[This was a double lecture; but as the substance of the first part, with amplification partly founded on experimental discoveries by many workers since it was delivered, has been already reproduced in dated additions on pp. 148—157 and 176—184 above, only the second part is here given.]
I want now to go somewhat into detail as to absolute magnitudes of masses and energies, in order that there may be nothing indefinite in our ideas upon this part of our subject; and I commence by reading and commenting on an old article of mine relating to the energy of sunlight and the density of ether.
[Nov. 20, 1899…March 28, 1901. From now, henceforth till the end of the Lectures, sections will be numbered continuously.]
NOTE ON THE POSSIBLE DENSITY OF THE LUMINIFEROUS MEDIUM AND ON THE MECHANICAL VALUE OF A CUBIC MILE OF SUNLIGHT
[From Edin. Royal Soc. Trans., Vol. xxi. Part I. May, 1854; Phil. Mag. ix. 1854; Comptes Rendus, xxxix. Sept. 1854; Art. LXVII. of Math. and Phys. Papers.]
§ 1. That there must be a medium forming a continuous material communication throughout space to the remotest visible body is a fundamental assumption in the undulatory Theory of Light. Whether or not this medium is (as appears to me most probable) a continuation of our own atmosphere, its existence is a fact that cannot be questioned, when the overwhelming evidence in favour of the undulatory theory is considered; and the investigation of its properties in every possible way becomes an object of the greatest interest.