Page:A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism - Volume 2.djvu/234

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making any assumption not warranted by experimental evidence, and that there is, as yet, no experimental evidence to shew whether the electric current is really a current of a material substance, or a double current, or whether its velocity is great or small as measured in feet per second.

A knowledge of these things would amount to at least the beginnings of a complete dynamical theory of electricity, in which we should regard electrical action, not, as in this treatise, as a phenomenon due to an unknown cause, subject only to the general laws of dynamics, but as the result of known motions of known portions of matter, in which not only the total effects and final results, but the whole intermediate mechanism and details of the motion, are taken as the objects of study.

575.] The experimental investigation of the second term of Xme, namely , is more difficult, as it involves the observation of the effect of forces on a body in rapid motion.

The apparatus shewn in Fig. 34, which I had constructed in 1861, is intended to test the existence of a force of this kind.