Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 October 2008
Recent studies by Debye (1), Bloch (2), Stoner (3) and Guggenheim (4) expressing somewhat divergent views suggest that there is still some confusion and uncertainty in the method of application of the thermodynamic argument to magnetic phenomena. The first effective contribution to the subject was made by Larmor (5) over fifty years ago, and developing this further he finally proposed in 1929 a sufficient basis for a general theory of the whole range of phenomena. At about the same time (1927), and apparently in ignorance of Larmor's earlier work, Debye(1) also gave a brief outline of the thermodynamic aspects of the subject, starting, however, from much more tentative magnetic ideas and formulae which are now known to be without adequate physical justification. In 1933, Bloch (2) elaborated the argument still further, using, however, basic ideas more akin to those employed by Larmor, but derived by a very specialized argument. Then in 1935, using the same fundamental equation as Debye, Stoner revived the discussion with a systematic survey of the theoretical results bearing on the thermodynamic aspects of the subject, attempting later (6) to justify the basic magnetic ideas by a discussion which he now admits is not entirely satisfactory.