Fragments of science, V. 1-2

Fragments of science, V. 1-2

by John Tyndall


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Fragments of science, V. 1-2
by John Tyndall

WE cannot think of space as finite, for wherever in imagination we erect a boundary, we are compelled to think of space as existing beyond it. Thus by the incessant dissolution of limits we arrive at a more or less adequate idea of the infinity of space. But, though compelled to think of space as unbounded, there is no mental necessity compelling us to think of it either as filled or empty; whether it is so or not must be decided by experiment and observation. That it is not entirely void, the starry heavens declare; but the question still remains, Are the stars themselves hung in vacuo? Are the vast regions which surround them, and across which their light is propagated, absolutely empty? A century ago the answer to this question, founded on the Newtonian theory, would have been, 'No, for particles of light are incessantly shot through space.' The reply of modern science is also negative, but on different grounds. It has the best possible reasons for rejecting the idea of luminiferous particles; but, in support of the conclusion that the celestial spaces are occupied by matter, it is able to offer proofs almost as cogent as those which can be adduced of the existence of an atmosphere round the earth. Men's minds, indeed, rose to a conception of the celestial and universal atmosphere through the study of the terrestrial and local one. From the phenomena of sound, as displayed in the air, they ascended to the phenomena of light, as displayed in the aether; which is the name given to the interstellar medium.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781721883936
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 06/27/2018
Pages: 408
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.84(d)

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