Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Holmes , Richard (2010-03-02), The Age of Wonder, Vintage, Retrieved on 2012-01-02
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  • Folksonomies: history enlightenment science

    Memes

    02 JAN 2012

     Newton's Apple Gave New Meaning to the Garden of Eden Story

    Part of the power of the story was that it replaced the sacred Biblical account of the Fall from Innocence in Genesis (Eve and the apple) with a secular parable of the Ascent to Knowledge. See Patricia Fara, Newton: The Making of Genius (2005); and for a broad visionary perspective, Jacob Bronowski’s scientific classic The Ascent of Man (1973).
     1  1  notes

    The apple bequeathed knowledge to man in the secular fable of Newton observing the apple drop.

    02 JAN 2012

     Taxonomy as Colonial Imperialism

    Coleridge pointed to this difference between an organising taxonomy and a dynamic scientific principle or law in essays in The Friend (1819). The psychology of collecting, ordering and naming specimens could also be seen as a form of mental colonising and empire-building. ‘Taxonomy after all, is a form of imperialism. During the nineteenth century, when British naval surveys were flooding London with specimens to be classified, inserting them in their proper niches in the Linnaean hierarchy...
      1  notes

    British scientists renaming species that were already named by the native inhabitants of the colonies as a form of oppression.

    02 JAN 2012

     How Ballooning Changed Our Perspective of the Earth

    Ballooning produced a new, and wholly unexpected, vision of the earth. It had been imagined that it would reveal the secrets of the heavens above, but in fact it showed the secrets of the world beneath. The early aeronauts suddenly saw the earth as a giant organism, mysteriously patterned and unfolding, like a living creature. For the first time the impact of man on nature was clearly revealed: the ever-expanding relationship of towns to countryside, roads to rivers, cultivated fields to fore...
    Folksonomies: gaia earth perspective aerial
    Folksonomies: gaia earth perspective aerial
      1  notes

    The same way the "Earthrise" photo changed our perspective, ballooning revealed the Earth to be a dynamic, interconnected organism.

    02 JAN 2012

     John Adams and the Doctrinal Challenge of Extraterrestria...

    Sometime in the summer of 1786 the fifty-year-old John Adams, graduate of Harvard University, man of science and future second President of the United States, turned up one morning uninvited at The Grove. He was shown round all Herschel’s new telescopes, and they embarked on an impassioned discussion of the possibility of extraterrestrial life, and the moral implications of there being a ‘plurality of worlds’. This was the sort of metaphysical debate that Herschel had once had with his ...
      1  notes

    If there is life elsewhere in the Universe, Adams argues with Herschel that it challenges Biblical doctrine.

    02 JAN 2012

     Herschel's Sister was Cheaper than a Male Assistant

    Herschel made no bones about the fact that a female assistant, even his sister, would cost half as much as a male. It is possible to be indignant about this, but contemporary standards must be taken into account. Female domestic servants were paid £10 per annum, while a highly trained governess like Mary Wollstonecraft was paid £40 per annum by Lord Kingsborough in 1787. In fact a £60 stipend would have been handsome, exactly one-fifth of that paid to the Astronomer Royal. In Europe women ...
      1  notes

    A short survey of other female scientists working at the time.

    02 JAN 2012

     Garden of the Night Sky

    This method of viewing the galaxies (‘to continue the simile I have borrowed from the vegetable kingdom’) presented the entire universe in a new kind of light, with the most radical implications. ‘The heavens are now seen to resemble a luxuriant garden which contains the greatest variety of productions, in different flourishing beds … and we can extend the range of our experience [of them] to an immense duration.’ In a garden we may live ‘successively to witness the germination, b...
      1  notes

    A description of the variety found in the night sky through the newly invented telescope.

    02 JAN 2012

     The Realization That the Universe May End

    In a bravura passage, Darwin also considers Herschel’s disturbing suggestion that the entire cosmos may eventually wither back into ‘one dark centre’. This implies that the universe not only had a beginning, but will have a physically destructive end, a ‘Big Crunch’. There are hints here too of Milton’s vision of the falling rebel angels dropping out of the firmament in Book I of Herschel’s favourite, Paradise Lost. This itself had possible political overtones for a reader in th...
      1  notes

    The historical realization that the Universe might die in a "crunch" was followed by the idea that it might rise again like a phoenix.

    02 JAN 2012

     Herschel's Heterodox Opinions

    Laplace’s cool confidence in avowing atheistical sentiments was legendary. The story was told that after Napoleon had inspected a copy of Laplace’s Systéme du Monde, he challenged the astronomer about his beliefs. ‘Monsieur Laplace! Newton has frequently spoken of God in his book. I have already gone over yours, and I have not found His name mentioned a single time.’ To this Laplace made the magnificent and disdainful reply: ‘Citizen First Consul, I have no need of that hypothesis....
    Folksonomies: history science atheism
    Folksonomies: history science atheism
      1  notes

    He believed in aliens living in the Sun, rejected praise for god in his work, but managed to avoid having his library burned down.

    02 JAN 2012

     Deep Space Implied Deep Time

    Already in a paper of 1802 Herschel considered the idea that ‘deep space’ must also imply ‘deep time’. He wrote in his Preface: A telescope with a power of penetrating into space, like my 40 foot one, has also, as it may be called, a power of penetrating into time past … [from a remote nebula] the rays of light which convey its image to the eye, must have been more than 19 hundred and 10 thousand — that is — almost two million years on their way.’ The universe was therefore al...
    Folksonomies: history astronomy cosmos time
    Folksonomies: history astronomy cosmos time
      1  notes

    Herschel realized the very large universe required a very old universe.

    02 JAN 2012

     Byron Charged With Atheism

    Over the next decade Herschel’s work began to be widely known by the younger generation of Romantic writers. Byron visited him at Slough in 1811, and viewed the stars through his telescope, which gave him an alarmingly religious experience: ‘The Night is also a religious concern; and even more so, when I viewed the Moon and Stars through Herschel’s telescope, and saw that they were worlds.’124 Later Byron defended himself against accusations of atheism. ‘I did not expect that, becau...
    Folksonomies: history heresy orthodoxy
    Folksonomies: history heresy orthodoxy
      1  notes

    For extrapolating on the insights about the Universe brought on by looking through Herschel's telescope.

    02 JAN 2012

     Davy Sees Freedom in Human Fallability

    The experience of ‘paralytic strokes’ (like his father’s), which destroyed ‘perception and Memory’ as well as physical motion, proved that the physical brain was the single centre of ‘all the Mental faculties’. Children were not magically endowed with intelligence and souls at birth. On the contrary: ‘A Child is not superior in Intellectual power to a common earthworm. It can scarcely move at will. It has not even that active instinctive capacity for Self-Preservation.’ Such...
      1  notes

    Children are no more advanced than earthworms and strokes demonstrate how we are a product of our brains, and this shows Davy that we are capable of infinite happiness and science is indefinitely perfectible.

    02 JAN 2012

     The Loss of the "Four Elements"

    The disappearance of the traditional world of the ‘four elements’ was revolutionary. It was as radical in the world of chemistry as Copernicus’s proof that the earth was not the centre of the solar system; or (some said) as Robespierre’s claim that the people, not the king, embodied sovereignty. Moreover, it was counter-intuitive: it went against common sense and common appearances. Surely water and air were primary, simple elements? Not at all: chemical experiment and scientific inst...
      1  notes

    Was as big in chemistry as the Earth being the center of the Universe was to Astronomy.

    02 JAN 2012

     Lavoisier's Scientific Method

    Lavoisier had written an influential seven-page Preface to his Traité Élémentaire, defining his scientific method. This declaration seized young Davy’s imagination. Writing with great simplicity and clarity, Lavoisier championed the idea of precise experiment, close observation and accurate measurement. Above all, the man of science was humble and observant before nature. ‘When we begin the study of any science, we are in the situation, respecting that science, similar to that of child...
    Folksonomies: history scientific method
    Folksonomies: history scientific method
      1  notes

    Which inspired Humphery Davy.

    02 JAN 2012

     Worship of Nature is Worship of Light

    Davy’s two main essays were far the most ambitious contribution to the anthology, and announced his intellectual arrival in Bristol. He set out to champion chemistry, and speculate about its future, on the grandest metaphysical scale. In a Penzance notebook he had exclaimed: ‘What we mean by Nature is a series of visible images: but these are constituted by light. Hence the worshipper of Nature is a worshipper of light.’38 In his Essay 1, ‘On Heat, Light and the Combinations of Light...
    Folksonomies: naturalism laws of nature
    Folksonomies: naturalism laws of nature
      1  notes

    ...and other simple laws of nature.

    02 JAN 2012

     Science is Performed With the "Passion of Hope"

    Here Coleridge was defending the intellectual discipline of science as a force for clarity and good. He then added one of his most inspired perceptions. He thought that science, as a human activity, ‘being necessarily performed with the passion of Hope, it was poetical’. Science, like poetry, was not merely ‘progressive’. It directed a particular kind of moral energy and imaginative longing into the future. It enshrined the implicit belief that mankind could achieve a better, happier ...
      1  notes

    It is inspired by the idea that humanity can improve and create a better world.

    See Also: Coleridge to Davy, 1 January 1800, Coleridge Collected Letters, edited by E.L. Griggs, vol 1; and see Treneer, p58
    02 JAN 2012

     Humphry Davy Describes Nitrous Oxide

    This is the published version: ‘By degrees as the pleasurable sensations increased, I lost all connection with external things; trains of vivid visible Images rapidly passed through my mind and were connected with words in such a manner, as to produce perceptions perfectly novel. I existed in a world of newly connected and newly modified ideas. I theorized; I imagined that I had made discoveries. When I was awakened from this semi-delirious trance by Dr Kinglake, who took the gas-bag from m...
      1  notes

    Two accounts from his journals and published descriptions of his first experience with laughing gas.

    02 JAN 2012

     A Mastectomy Without Anesthesia

    In September 1811 the Herschels’ old friend Fanny Burney, by then the married Madame d’Arblay, underwent an agonising operation for breast cancer without anaesthetic. It was carried out by an outstanding French military surgeon, Dominique Larrey, in Paris, and so successfully concluded that she lived for another twenty years. What is even more remarkable, Fanny Burney remained conscious throughout the entire operation, and subsequently wrote a detailed account of this experience, watching...
    Folksonomies: surgery horror dark ages
    Folksonomies: surgery horror dark ages
      1  notes

    Fanny Burney's horrific account of undergoing surgery to have a breast removed.

    02 JAN 2012

     William Lawrence on the Need for Free Science

    Lawrence eventually went on to broaden his attack. Science, he argued, had an autonomous right to express its views fearlessly and objectively, without interference from Church or state. It must avoid ‘clouds of fears and hopes, desires and aversions’. It must ‘discern objects clearly’ and shun ‘intellectual mist’. It must dispel myth and dissipate ‘absurd fables’.19 The world of scientific research was wholly independent. ‘The theological doctrine of the soul, and its separ...
      1  notes

    Science must operate without fear of oppression or reaction from authorities.

    02 JAN 2012

     Analysis of the Transformation of Lamia

    This extraordinary creation is both sexually alluring and yet clearly menacing and ‘demonic’. By using the term ‘rainbow-sided’ of her body, Keats even seems to be recalling his old Newtonian joke, and inventing his own mysterious biological rainbow, a living creature who is both a spectre and a spectrum. There are many other passages which play with medical and scientific imagery in the poem — for example Hunter’s theory of ‘inflammation’ as proof of vitality. When Lycius des...
      1  notes

    An interesting critical viewpoint of Lamia's transformation and the influence of science on the language.

    02 JAN 2012

     Dr. Frankenstein is a Amalgam of Scientists of the Time

    The actual writing of Mary’s novel can be followed fairly closely from her journal in Switzerland, and then back in England at Great Marlow on the Thames. What is less clear is where she gathered her ideas and materials from, and how she created her two unforgettable protagonists: Dr Frankenstein and his Creature. One is tempted to say that the Creature – who is paradoxically the most articulate person in the whole novel — was a pure invention of Mary’s genius. But in Victor Frankenst...
    Folksonomies: fiction inspiration
    Folksonomies: fiction inspiration
      1  notes

    From Shelley's journals.

    02 JAN 2012

     The Cognitive Growth of Frankestein's Monster

    Mary Shelley’s idea of the mind was, like Lawrence’s, based on the notion of the strictly physical evolution of the brain. This is how Lawrence was provocatively challenging his fellow members of the Royal College of Surgeons in his lectures of 1817: ‘But examine the “mind,” the grand prerogative of man! Where is the “mind” of the foetus? Where is that of a child just born? Do we not see it actually built up before our eyes by the actions of the five external senses, and of the ...
      1  notes

    The monster grows according to Blake's hypothesis of cultural evolution.

    02 JAN 2012

     William Lawrence Withdrawls "Natural History of Man"

    William Lawrence’s experiment ended in an altogether different way. At the end of 1819 he withdrew his Natural History of Man, yielding to pressure from the Royal College of Surgeons and a number of medical institutions. But he continued to speak out in favour of scientific freedom. ‘I take the opportunity of protesting, in the strongest possible terms … against the attempt to stifle impartial enquiry by an outcry of pernicious tendency; and against perverting science and literature, wh...
    Folksonomies: science freedom
    Folksonomies: science freedom
      1  notes

    but continues to argue that science must be free to work independently and without fear of retribution.

    02 JAN 2012

     Humphry Davy's Wife Doesn't Like Michael Faraday

    She in turn may also have found Faraday physically awkward, and even irritating. He was small and stocky — not more than five foot four — with a large head that always seemed slightly too big for his body. His broad, open face was surrounded by an unruly mass of curling hair parted rather punctiliously in the middle (a style he never abandoned). His large, dark, wide-apart eyes gave him a curious air of animal innocence. He spoke all his life with a flat London accent (no match for Jane...
      1  notes

    An amusing description of the physicist, who was widely respected as a lecturer, but disliked by the social woman.

    02 JAN 2012

     Humphry Davy Accepts and Award from France While England ...

    Some people say I ought not to accept this prize; and there have been foolish paragraphs in the papers to that effect; but if the two countries or governments are at war, the men of science are not. That would, indeed, be a civil war of the worst description: we should rather, through the instrumentality of men of science, soften the asperities of national hostility.
      1  notes

    He says that while their countries may be at war, their men of science are not.

    02 JAN 2012

     Davy VS Gay-Lussac in the Race to Discover Iodine

    He was warmly received by Cuvier, Ampère and Berthollet, but got into an awkward priority dispute with the gifted young chemist Joseph Gay-Lussac. Gay-Lussac, Davy’s exact contemporary, had made a popular name in France with his intrepid ballooning exploits, and had been hard on Davy’s heels with potassium and sodium experiments. Both were now given by the Académie des Sciences a newly isolated substance to analyse: a strange violet crystal recently found as a byproduct of gunpowder man...
    Folksonomies: chemistry discovery iodine
    Folksonomies: chemistry discovery iodine
      1  notes

    Still disputed as to who won the race.

    02 JAN 2012

     Humphry Davy Proves Diamonds are Made of Carbon

    In Florence, while the guest of the Grand Duke, Davy performed an impressive carbon-based experiment which proved that the most apparently precious of objects — the diamond — could also be the product of nature’s simplest processes. With the Duke’s permission, he commandeered the huge solar magnifying lens at the Florentine Cabinet of Natural History, and subjected an uncut diamond to intense and continuous heat. The diamond eventually burst into flame, leaving a fine crust of black c...
      1  notes

    By setting one on fire.

    02 JAN 2012

     Cooleridge Describes Davy's Work as Methodical

    This refusal to allow anything to chance, ‘accident’ or good fortune was exactly the same as Herschel’s insistence that chance played no part in his discovery of Uranus. Coleridge had taken this up as one of the key philosophical problems associated with science, in an essay provokingly entitled ‘Does Fortune Favour Fools?’, which he republished in The Friend in 1818. Here he described Davy, perhaps mischievously, as ‘the illustrious Father and Founder of Philosophic Alchemy’. B...
      1  notes

    His discoveries were not the result of accidents or luck.

    See Also: Coleridge, The Friend (1809 edition), no. 19, 1809; in The Friend, vol 2, edited by Barbara E. Rooke, Routledge, 1969, pp251-2
    02 JAN 2012

     Davy Refused to Patent His Safety Lamp

    John Buddle, now entirely won over by Davy, was also concerned about a reward. By August there were 144 safety lamps ‘in daily use’ at Walls End, and they were rapidly spreading to all the other collieries in the North-East.91 Buddle urged Davy to take out a patent, pointing out that he could not only make his fortune but control the quality of the lamps issued to miners. Davy consistently refused, although he knew his colleague William Wollaston had made a fortune with a patent on proces...
      1  notes

    Despite the fact that it could have made him a fortune.

    02 JAN 2012

     Davy On Science as a Force for Good

    By relating the human predicament to the scientific solution, Davy produced one of the great demonstrations of scientific ‘Hope’. He showed that applied science could be a force for good previously unparalleled in human society, and might gradually liberate mankind from untold misery and suffering. Deliberately echoing Bacon — as Lavoisier had once done — he claimed that scientific knowledge was a disinterested power for good: ‘The results of these labours will, I trust, be useful t...
    Folksonomies: science virtue good
    Folksonomies: science virtue good
      1  notes

    Scientific knowledge as a "disinterested power for good."

    02 JAN 2012

     Davy Poem on Growing Old

    Davy was now forty, and like every man of science and every poet, he hoped against hope that original work and ‘powers of inspiration’ still lay ahead in his maturity. His description of these longings was nakedly Romantic, and surely recalled his moonlit walks along the banks of the Avon some twenty years before. Though many chequered years have passed away Since first the sense of Beauty thrilled my nerves, Yet still my heart is sensible to Thee, As when it first received the flood of ...
    Folksonomies: discovery aging growing old
    Folksonomies: discovery aging growing old
      1  notes

    And hoping he still had discoveries ahead of him.

    02 JAN 2012

     Byron's Don Juan and Controversy

    However, on receiving an early copy of the first canto of Byron’s Don Juan in 1819, Banks was outraged. ‘I never read so Lascivious a performance. No woman here will Confess that she has read it. We hitherto considered his Lordship only as an Atheist without morals. We now must add to his respectable Qualifications that of being a Profligate.’16 Yet had Banks lived to read the tenth canto (1821), he might well have been amused by His Lordship’s nimble mockery of Newton and the story o...
      1  notes

    The poem pokes fun at Adam in the Garden of Eden, and predicts a hopeful future through science.

    02 JAN 2012

     Shelley's Obituary

    This obituary was immediately followed in the same issue of the Gentleman’s Magazine by a short notice of the death of one Percy Bysshe Shelley, son of the Whig MP for Horsham. ‘Supposed to have perished at sea, in a storm, somewhere off Via Reggio, on the coast of Italy … Mr Shelley is unfortunately too well-known for his infamous novels and poems. He openly professed himself an atheist. His works bear the following titles: Prometheus Chained [sic] … etc.’69 For good measure a Lond...
    Folksonomies: atheism obituary shelley
    Folksonomies: atheism obituary shelley
      1  notes

    Called him "infamous" and condemned his atheism.

    02 JAN 2012

     Davy's Poem Seeking to Inspire Other Scientists

    He depicts himself watching in rapture the two adult grey-tailed eagles in the bright sunlight, followed by their young offspring. This moment is transformed into an image of Davy the man of science, hoping to inspire his young scientific protégés to ever greater discoveries. The mighty birds still upward rose In slow but constant and most steady flight. The young ones following; and they would pause, As if to teach them how to bear the light And keep the solar glory full in sight. So went...
      1  notes

    Evokes images of prometheus, but also of triumph.

    02 JAN 2012

     Herschel Compares Scientific Discovery to Columbus' Explo...

    Herschel prophetically implied that electricity and electro-magnetism still hid many secrets, and that their investigation would become the leading science of the new age. This would indeed be Faraday’s coming field of triumph. He summarised (paragraph no. 376) this pursuit in the image of a great and noble sea voyage of exploration. ‘There is something in this which reminds us of the obstinate adherence of Columbus to his notion of the necessary existence of the New World; and the whole ...
      1  notes

    Through analogies and parallels the scientists finds branches to connect fields of knowledge.

    02 JAN 2012

     The Origin of the Word "Scientist"

    At one meeting, chaired by William Whewell, Coleridge was drawn into a passionate discussion of semantics. It revolved around the question of what exactly someone who works ‘in the real sciences’ (as he had phrased it) should be called. This is how Whewell reported the British Association debate in the Quarterly Review of 1834: Formerly the ‘learned’ embraced in their wide grasp all the branches of the tree of knowledge, mathematicians as well as philologers, physical as well as ant...
      1  notes

    "Philosopher" was too lofty and indistinguishable from the soft science. "Atheist" was fatal. "Savans" (French for "learned) was too assuming, but "science" (from the Lating "scientia" meaning "knowledge") combined with "ist" was perfect, like "artist" or "economist."

    02 JAN 2012

     Why "Origin of Species" was So Devastating

    Yet with the growing public knowledge of geology and astronomy, and the recognition of ‘deep space’ and ‘deep time’, fewer and fewer men or women of education can have believed in a literal, Biblical six days of creation. However, science itself had yet to produce its own theory (or myth) of creation, and there was no alternative Newtonian Book of Genesis — as yet. That is why Darwin’s On the Origin of Species appeared so devastating when it was finally published in 1859. It was n...
      1  notes

    Before it's publication, science had no story of our origins to compete with the Bible.

    02 JAN 2012

     Mungo Park Saved by a Moment of Scientific Fascination

    Park travelled on down the river as far as Silla, where, exhausted, he decided to turn back short of Timbuctoo on 25 August 1796. On the return journey he was robbed and stripped by Moorish banditti in ‘a dark wood’ before he reached Kalamia. They took everything — his horse, his compass, his hat, all his clothes except his trousers and his battered boots (‘the sole of one of them was tied onto my foot with a broken bridle rein’). They had evidently intended to kill him, but saw him...
      1  notes

    Park's situation is dire at one point in his explorations of Africa, but he finds a fascinating bit of moss that enchants him and makes him forget his horrible situation.

    02 JAN 2012

     Science is a Relay Race

    Indeed, there is a particular problem with finding endings in science. Where do these science stories really finish? Science is truly a relay race, with each discovery handed on to the next generation. Even as one door is closing, another door is already being thrown open. So it is with this book. The great period of Victorian science is about to begin. The new stories are passed into the hands of Michael Faraday, John Herschel, Charles Darwin …and the world of modern science begins to rush...
      1  notes

    It is difficult to know where to end a story about science, because the discoveries never cease and will continue into the future.

    02 JAN 2012

     Davy Poem Using Laws of Conservation and Thermodynamics

    In a thoughtful mood Davy wrote a new kind of metaphysical poem, ‘The Massy Pillars of the Earth. It reflects on the human condition, and suggests that since nothing is ever destroyed in the physical universe, only transformed (the First Law of Thermodynamics), then man himself must be immortal in some spiritual sense. It also returns in a new way to Davy’s early Cornish beliefs about starlight as the source of all energy in the universe: Nothing is lost; the ethereal fire, Which from th...
    Folksonomies: science poetry
    Folksonomies: science poetry
      1  notes

    A poem found in Humphry Davy Works.

    02 JAN 2012

     Humphery Davy: Poem About a Weeping Monument

    My eye is wet with tears For I see the white stones That are covered with names The stones of my forefathers’ graves. No grass grows upon them For deep in the earth In darkness and silence the organs of life To their primitive atoms return. Through ages the air Has been moist with their blood The ages the seeds of the thistle has fed On what was once motion and form... Thoughts roll not beneath the dust No feeling is in the cold grave They have leaped to other worlds They are far above t...
    Folksonomies: science poetry
    Folksonomies: science poetry
      1  notes

    There are various versions of this early poem in the HD Archive: see Paris, vol 1, p29; Treneer, pp4-5; or Fullmer, p13

    02 JAN 2012

     Davy Connects Science to Hope

    But Davy wished to make even bigger, philosophical claims for the scientific spirit and imagination. Drawing on his previous exchanges with Coleridge about the ‘hopeful’ nature of scientific progress, he put before his audience a vision of human civilisation itself, brought into being by the scientific drive to enquire and create. Science had woken and energised mankind from his primal ignorance and ‘slumber’. This was in effect Davy’s version of the Prometheus myth: ‘Man, in what...
    Folksonomies: science virtue hope
    Folksonomies: science virtue hope
      2  notes

    Science is Hope according to the former President of the Royal Society.

    02 JAN 2012

     Description of Humphrey Davy's Safety Lamp

    The final version of the lamp was wonderfully simple and surprisingly small. It was a standard uninsulated oil lamp, approximately sixteen inches high, with an adjustable cotton wick, enclosed in a tall column or ‘chimney’ of fine iron mesh. Astonishingly, the lamp required no other protection. In later models Davy added various improvements, largely designed to withstand rough use in the mine. Yet the fundamental notion that flame would not pass through gauze appeared so unlikely, so co...
    Folksonomies: engineering invention
    Folksonomies: engineering invention
      1  notes

    The flame was exposed, but surrounded by a wire mesh that acted as a heat sink to prevent the flame from igniting the gases surrounding it.

    02 JAN 2012

     John Keats Recalls a Game of Orbiting Children

    The young John Keats remembered an organised game at his school in Enfield, in which all the boys whirled round the playground in a huge choreographed dance, trying to imitate the entire solar system, including all the known moons (to which Herschel had by then added considerably). Unlike Newton’s perfect brassy clockwork mechanism, this schoolboy universe-complete with straying comets — was a gloriously chaotic ‘human orrery’. Keats did not recall the exact details, but one may imagi...
    Folksonomies: games astronomy order chaos
    Folksonomies: games astronomy order chaos
      1  notes

    Where the children run around mimicking the orbits of the planets and comets, making the solar system seem more chaotic than the classical perspectives.