Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/133

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THE NATIONAL PHYSICAL LABORATORY.

cuss its aims. As was fitting. Sir Douglas Galton was the first wit- ness to be called. It is a source of sorrow to his many friends that he has not lived to see the Laboratory completed.

And here I may refer to another serious loss which in the last few days this Laboratory has sustained. Sir Courtenay Boyle was a member of Lord Eayleigh's committee, and as such was convinced of the need for the laboratory and of the importance of the work it could do. He took an active part in its organization, sparing neither time nor trouble ; he intended that it should be a great institution, and he had the will and the power to help. The country is the poorer by his sudden death.

Let me now quote some of Sir Douglas Galton's evidence: "For- merly our progress in machinery,'^ he says, "was due to accuracy of measurement and that was a class of work which could be done as Whit- worth showed by an educated eye and educated touch. But as we ad- vance in the applications of science to industry we require accuracy to be carried into matters which cannot be so measured. In the more delicate researches which the physical, chemical and electrical student undertakes he requires a ready means of access to standards to enable him to compare his own work with that of others." Or again: "My view is that if Great Britain is to claim its industrial supremacy, we must have accurate standards available to our research students and to our manufacturers. I am certain that if you had them our manufac- turers would gradually become very much more qualified for advancing our manufacturing industry than they are now. But it is also certain that you cannot separate some research from a standardizing depart- ment." Then after a description of the Eeichsanstalt he continues, "What I would advocate would be an extension of Kew in the direction of the Second Division of the Eeichsanstalt with such auxiliary re- search in the establishment of itself as may be found necessary." The second division is the one which takes charge of technical and industrial questions.

Professor Lodge again gave a very valuable summary of work which ought to be done. Put briefly it was this :

1. Pioneer work.

2. Verification work.

3. Systematic measurements and examination of the properties of sub- stances under all conditions.

4. The precise determination of physical constants.

5. Observational work, testing instruments.

6. Constructional work (gratings, optical glass).

7. Designing new and more perfect instruments.

Such were the views of those who took a prominent part in the founding of the institution.

It is now realized, at any rate by the more enlightened of our lead- ers of industry, that science can help them. This fact, however, has