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The Adventures of an Hypothesis.*

  • James Kendall

Extract

In the year 1815 an anonymous article appeared in Thomas Thomson's Annals of Philosophy (1) entitled “On the Relation between the Specific Gravities of Bodies in their Gaseous State and the Weights of their Atoms “. Its introductory paragraph illustrates the hesitancy of the writer in its exposition: “The author of the following essay submits it to the public with the greatest diffidence; for although he has taken the utmost pains to arrive at the truth, yet he has not that confidence in his abilities as an experimentalist as to induce him to dictate to others far superior to himself in chemical acquirements and fame. He trusts, however, that its importance will be seen, and that some one will undertake to examine it, and thus verify or refute its conclusions. If these should be proved erroneous, still new facts may be brought to light, or old ones better established, by the investigation; but if they should be verified, a new and interesting light will be thrown upon the whole science of chemistry.”

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*

Assisted in publication by a grant from the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. This Address was also published in Proceedings A, LXIII, 1949, 1—17

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References

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(1) [Prout], , 1815. Annals of Philosophy, vi, 321330.
(2) Dalton, , 1810. New System of Chemical Philosophy, Part II, 377.
(3) Thomson, , 1816. Annals of Philosophy, vii, 17.
(4) [Prout, ], 1816. Annals of Philosophy, vii, 111113.
(5) Thomson, , 1816. Annals of Philosophy, VII, 343.
(6) Turner, , 1833. Phil. Trans., cxxiii, 523544.
(7) Penny, , 1839. Phil. Trans., cxxix, 1333.
(8) Dumas, and Stas, , 1841. Ann. chim. phys. [3], 1, 538.
(9) Dumas, , 1843. Ann. chim.phys. [3], viii 189207.
(10) Marignac, , 1842. C.R., xiv, 570573.
(11) Marignac, , 1843. Bibl. Univ., XLVI, 350377.
(12) Daubeny, , 1831. Introduction to the Atomic Theory, 129130.
(13) Dumas, , 1859. Ann. chim. phys. [3], LV, 129210.
(14) Stas, , 1860. Bull. Acad. Roy. Belg. [2], x, 208336.
(15) Kendall, , 1949. Chemistry and Industry (Baekeland Memorial Lecture), XXVII, 6770.
(16) Marignac, , 1860. Bibl. Univ., ix, 97107.
(17) Cockroft, and Walton, , 1932. Proc. Roy. Soc. London, A, LXXXVI, 619.
(18) Bethe, , 1939. Phys. Rev., LV, 434.
(19) Haldane, , 1949. Philosophy for the Future, The Macmillan Company, 204.
(20) Muller, , 1927. Science, LXVI, 84.
(21) Auerbach, . and Robson, , 1947. Proc. Roy. Soc. Edin., B, LXII, 271, 284, 307.
(22) [Dobbin, ], 1932. Alembic Club Reprint, No. 20 (E. & S. Livingstone, Edinburgh), 5.

The Adventures of an Hypothesis.*

  • James Kendall

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