Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 9.djvu/316

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294
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
makes known to us the presence of the universe, and in which whatever exists—if I may be permitted to say so—lives and moves and has its being.
What object, then, can be offered to us more worthy of contemplation than the attributes of this intermedium between ourselves and the outer world?
Its existence, the modes of motion through it, its transverse vibrations, their creation of the ideas of light and colors in the mind, the interferences of its waves, polarization, the conception of radiations and their physical and chemical effects—these have occupied the thoughts of men of the highest order. The observational powers of science have been greatly extended through the consequent invention of those grand instruments, the telescope, the microscope, the spectrometer. Through these we have obtained more majestic views of the nature of the universe. Through these we are able to contemplate the structure and genesis of other systems of worlds, and are gathering information as to the chemical constitution and history of the stars.
In this noble advancement of science you, through some of your members, have taken no inconspicuous part. It adds impressively to the honor you have this day conferred on me, that your action is the deliberate determination of competent, severe, impartial judges. I cannot adequately express my feelings of gratitude in such a presence, publicly pronouncing its approval on what I have done.

I am, gentlemen, very truly yours, John W. Draper.

 
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BLASIUS'S THEORY OF STORMS.[1]
By Prof. VICTOR L. CONRAD, M. A.

I PROPOSE to give some account of a new theory of storms put forth by Prof. Blasius, of Philadelphia, formerly Professor of Natural Sciences in the Lyceum of Hanover, Germany. His attention was first drawn to the subject of storms in the year 1851. Having witnessed the destructive effects of a tornado at West Cambridge, Massachusetts, he made a careful survey of its entire track. The facts discovered about the middle of its course, where the most damage had been caused, favored the rotary theory of Redfield; those near the end of its path seemed to confirm the inblowing theory of Espy; but those at the beginning could not be explained by either theory. Discouraged and perplexed by these conflicting results, he resolved to apply to storms the analogy drawn from the life of an animal in its origin or embryo, its development to maturity, and its end. From this he argued that storms must have a beginning, a duration, and an end, with phases peculiar to each stage of their development and progress, like an animal; and, guided by this analogy, he made a careful reexamination and application of all the facts he had

  1. "Storms: Their Nature, Classification, and Laws, with the Means of predicting them by their Embodiments the Clouds." By William Blasius. Philadelphia: Porter & Coates.