Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/444

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Malay Peninsula. On some of the subjects for which prizes were offered no essays were sent in, and some of the essays sent in were held not to meet the terms of the competition.

A committee of the British House of Commons appointed to consider the advisability of adopting the metrical system of weights and measures has found many considerations in favor of the movement. An engineering firm has used the system for several years, having adopted it on account of the advantage of working interchangeably with engineers on the Continent. Their workmen were agreed that the entire system was easier to deal with than the English measures, and was much less liable to error. Dr. Gladstone insisted upon the superior facility of teaching the metric system. As the children have to learn decimals, very little more time would be needed by them for learning the metric system.



Prof. Julius Lothar Meyer, one of the greatest of chemists, died "suddenly, gently, and painlessly," at Tübingen, Germany, April 12th, in the sixty-fifth year of his age. He was born in 1830; studied at Zurich, Würzburg, Heidelberg, and Königsberg, medicine, chemistry, and mathematical physics; was graduated doctor of medicine from Würzburg in 1854; received leave to teach chemistry and physics in 1859; and was successively engaged in the Physiological Institute at Breslau, the Royal Prussian Forstakademie at Eberswalde, the Polytechnikum at Carlsruhe, and the University of Tübingen, where he was professor of chemistry for nearly twenty years, and where he died. His reputation as a philosophical chemist was based upon a work on Modern Theories in Chemistry, which he published in 1864, and which has appeared in a fifth edition and in an English translation. He was preparing a sixth edition at the time of his death. In 1883 he with Prof. Seubert recalculated the atomic weights of the elements from the original data, and published a book embodying their results. He was one of the earliest investigators of the relations between the properties and the atomic weights of the elements, and published a memoir on that subject in 1869, in which he arranged the elements in the order of atomic weights, in a single table, and indicated the periodic character of the dependence of properties on atomic weights. On this subject a question of priority arose between him and Mendeleef. The case appears to be one of those of which the history of science offers many illustrations, in which two investigators reached similar results about the same time independently. In experimental chemistry, Lothar Meyer published memoirs in almost every branch, including those on the atomic weight of beryllium, on determinations of vapor densities, on the combustion of carbon monoxide, on the preparation of hydriodic acid, on the transpiration of gases, and on various organic compounds, etc.

Prof. Karl Ludwig, the eminent German physiologist, died in Leipsic, April 25th. He was born at Welzenhausen, in 1816, and took the degree of doctor in 1839. He became a privat docent at Marburg in 1842; extraordinary professor at Zurich in 1849; ordinary professor in the Academy for Army Surgeons at Vienna; and for the last thirty years was professor of physiology at the University of Leipsic. His first published work was on the Mechanism of the Secretion of Urine. He improved physiological methods by the introduction of apparatus for the graphic recording of results; was the author of important researches on the circulation of the blood, on the influence of respiration on the circulation, and on the action of the medulla oblongata on the circulation; and he made very valuable researches on the part played by the nervous system in glandular secretion.

Prof. Carl Vogt, an eminent naturalist and original investigator on his own lines, from whom the Monthly has published several charming as well as instructive articles, died in Geneva, Switzerland, May 5th. He was born at Giessen, in 1817, and was particularly industrious in the study of freshwater mollusks. In 1845 he published, with Prof. Agassiz, a memoir on the anatomy of fishes of the family Salmonidæ, in preparation for which he had specially studied the different phases of the development of these fishes. This was the beginning of the investigation of the embryology of fishes. He gained much fame by the researches which he carried on, under the direction of Agassiz, on the formation and movement of glaciers, establishing a station, which was named the Hotel of the Neufchatelais, on the lower glacier of the Aar. In his later years he published, in conjunction with M. Jung, a treatise on zoölogy.

Daniel Kirkwood, late Professor of Mathematics in Indiana State University, and a distinguished astronomer, died in Riverside, Cal., June 11th. He was born in Bladensburg, Md., in 1814; studied in the academy at York, Pa., where he became first assistant and mathematical instructor; was appointed Principal of the High School at Lancaster, Pa., in 1843; Professor of Mathematics in Delaware College in 1851, and president of the institution three years later; and served thirty years, from 1856 till 1886, as Professor of Mathematics in Indiana University. He was a frequent contributor on astronomical subjects to scientific journals, and published a book upon the asteroids, or minor planets between Mars and Jupiter.