Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/566

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assistant, Mr. Graham. The zone assigned to the observatory was that between 25° and 30° of north declination. As related to this work, Prof. Adams gave, in an appendix to one of the volumes of the Cambridge Observations, the formulae and instructions which he had drawn up many years before for the formation of a proposed new fundamental catalogue, together with the mean places of the eighty-four fundamental stars from 1830 to 1870.

Prof. Adams was President of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1851-1853, and in 1874-1876, and had the honor of delivering the addresses in presenting the gold medal to Dr. Peters, Dr. Hind, D'Arrest, and Leverrier. In 1870, as vice-president, he delivered the address on the presentation of the medal to Delaunay. He himself received the medal in 1866 for his contributions to the development of the lunar theory. He received the Copley medal of the Royal Society in 1848. In 1881 he declined an offer of the position of astronomer royal. In 1884 he was one of the British delegates to the International Prime Meridian Conference, which met in Washington. He received honorary degrees from Oxford, Dublin, Edinburgh, the University of Bologna, and his own university; and he was a correspondent of numerous foreign learned societies.

Among his peculiar tastes in work Prof. Glaisher mentions the enjoyment he took in making calculations that called for long lines of figures, as illustrated in his calculation of Euler's constant to 263, and of some logarithms to 273, places of decimals. Few of his papers were produced spontaneously. In the majority of cases he was induced to give an account of some investigation of his own by the publication of a paper by some one else in which the same subject was treated. He was able to map out beforehand in his head the whole course of an investigation; and he rarely began to write till he had carefully thought out his subject, when he wrote straight on without interruption.

While astronomy and mathematics were his professed studies, he was interested in other branches of knowledge, was a man of most extensive general reading, was much attracted to special pursuits, and made a valuable collection of early printed books. His moral and intellectual qualities were well balanced.

Prof. Adams was attacked by a severe illness in October, 1889, but recovered and continued his mathematical work for several months. He was again attacked in June, 1890, by an illness from which he never fully recovered.