Page:A Voyage in Space (1913).djvu/181

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yet know why the steps in Bode's Law are so nearly regular up to Uranus and why there is then a short step to Neptune, but so it is; and both Adams and Leverrier, who confidently put out their feet for a step of the usual length, got a jar in consequence. It was not enough to make them miss the step altogether; in other words, they found Neptune all right; but the stumble was so obvious that it excited many remarks. Some people even went so far as to say that they had not found Neptune at all, but that the discovery was made by accident! It would take too long to explain the full meaning of this criticism; you may like to read all about it some day, especially if you like mathematics. But before leaving the story of this great discovery I should like just to tell you how it came to be connected with the names of two different people.

J. C. Adams was quite a young man who had just taken his B.A. degree at Cambridge when he carried out his resolution of calculating where the planet must be that was disturbing Uranus. He finished the calculations, and took them to the Professor of Astronomy in Cambridge. Unfortunately that particular professor did not happen to be very clever; sometimes there are professors who are not very clever, or are lazy, though you might not believe it, and it is hard luck on the students. However, this professor had enough sense to suggest that Adams should get help from some one else, and he recommended him to go to the Astronomer Royal (Airy) at Greenwich, and then he thought that he had done everything that could be reasonably expected of him and went peacefully to sleep. At any rate he