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round the molecule until the held is withdrawn, when it will be stopped by the action of an electro-motive force tending to induce an exactly equal current in the opposite direction. The principle of Weber's theory, with the modification necessitated by lately acquired knowledge, is the basis of the best modern explanation of diamagnetic phenomena.

There are strong reasons for believing that magnetism is a phenomenon involving rotation, and as early as 1876 Rowland, carrying out an experiment which had been proposed by Maxwell, showed that a revolving electric charge produced the same magnetic effects as a current. Since that date it has more than once been suggested that the molecular currents producing magnetism might be due to the revolution of one or more of the charged atoms or “ ions ” constituting the molecule. None of the detailed hypotheses which were based on this idea stood the test of criticism, but towards the end of the 19th century the researches of ]. ]. Thomson and others once more brought the conception of moving electric charges into prominence. Thomson has demonstrated the existence under many different conditions of particles more minute than anything previously known to science. The mass of each is about vfmth part of that of a hydrogen atom, and with each is indissolubly associated a charge of negative electricity equal to about 3-1 ><1o'1° C.G.S. electrostatic unit. These particles, which were termed by their discoverer corpuscles, are more commonly spoken of as electrons,1 the particle thus being identified with the charge which it carries. An electrically neutral atom is believed to be constituted in part, or perhaps entirely, of a definite number of electrons in rapid motion within a “ sphere of uniform positive electrification ” not yet explained. One or more of the electrons may be detached from the system by a finite force, the number so detachable depending on the valency of the atom; if the atom 'loses an electron, it becomes positively electrified; ifit receives additional electrons, it is negatively electrihed. The process of electric conduction in metals consists in the movement of detached electrons, and many other phenomena, both electrical and thermal, can be more or less completely explained by their agency. It has been supposed that certain electrons revolve like satellites in orbits around the atoms with which they are associated, a view which receives strong support from the phenomena of the Zeeman effect, and on this assumption a theory has been worked out by P. Langevinf which accounts for many of the observed facts of magnetism. As a consequence of the structure of the molecule, which is an aggregation of atoms, the planes of the orbits around the latter may be oriented in various positions, and the direction of revolution may be right-handed or left-handed with respect to the direction of any applied magnetic field. For those orbits whose projection upon a plane perpendicular to the field is right handed, the period of revolution will be accelerated by the field (since the electron current is negative), and the magnetic moment consequently increased; for those which are left-handed, the period will be retarded and the moment diminished. The effect of the field upon the speed of the revolving electrons, and therefore upon the moments of the equivalent magnets, is necessarily a very small one. If S is the area of the orbit described in time 1' by an electron of charge e, the moment of the equivalent magnet is M=eS”r; and the change in the value of M due to an external field H is shown to be AM= -He'S/41rm, m being the mass of the electron. Whence

Q Hr e

M 4'n' m

The charge associated with a corpuscle is the same as that carried by a hydrogen atom. G. ]. Stoney in 1881 (Phil. Mag., 1881, II, 387) pointed out that this latter constituted the indivisible “ atom of electricity " or natural unit charge. Later he proposed (Trans. Roy. Dub. Soc., 1891, 4, 583) that such unit charge should be called an “ electron.” The application of this term to Thomson's corpuscle implies, rightly or wrongly, that notwithstanding its apparent mass, the corpuscle is in fact nothing more than an atom of electricity. The question whether a corpuscle actually has a material gravitating nucleus is undecided, but there are strong reasons for believing that its mass is entirely due to the electric charge. 2 Jour. de Phys., 1905, 4, 678; translated in Electrician., 1905, 56, 108 and 141.


According to the best determinations the value of e/m does not exceed 1-8><ro', and -r is of the order of 10-15 second, the period of luminous vibrations; hence AM/ M must always be less than 1o'9H, and therefore the strongest fields yet reached experimentally, which fall considerably short of IO5, could not change the magnetic moment M by as much as a ten-thousandth part. If the structure of the molecule is so perfectly symmetrical that, in the absence of any external field, the resultant magnetic moment of the circulating electrons is zero, then the application of a field, by accelerating the right-handed (negative) revolutions, and retarding those which are left-handed, will induce in the substance a resultant magnetization opposite in direction to the field itself; a body composed of such symmetrical molecules is therefore diamagnetic. If however the structure of the molecule is such that the electrons revolving around its atoms do not exactly cancel one another's effects, the molecule constitutes a little magnet, which under the influence of an external field will tend to set itself with its axis parallel to the field. Ordinarily a substance composed of asymmetrical molecules is paramagnetic, but if the elementary magnets are so conditioned by their strength and concentration that mutual action between them is possible, then the substance is ferromagnetic. In all cases however it is the diamagnetic condition that is initially set up-even iron is diamagnetic-though the diamagnetism may be completely masked by the superposed paramagnetic or ferromagnetic condition. Diamagnetism, in short, is an atomic phenomenon; paramagnetism and ferromagnetism are molecular phenomena. Hence may be deduced an explanation of the fact that, while the susceptibility of all known diamagnetics (except bismuth and antimony) is independent of the temperature, that of para magnetics varies inversely as the absolute temperature, in accordance with the law of Curie.


The most conspicuous property of the lodestone, its attraction for iron, appears to have been familiar to the Greeks at least as early as 800 B.C., and is mentioned by Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Theophrastus and others. A passage in De rerum natura (vi. 910-915) by the Roman poet, Lucretius (96-55 B.C.), in which it is stated that the stone can support a chain of little rings, each adhering to the one above it, indicates that in his time the phenomenon of magnetization by induction had also been observed. The property of orientation, in virtue of which afreely suspended magnet points approximately to the geographical north and south, is not referred to by any European writer before the 12th century, though it is said to have been known to the Chinese at a much earlier period. The application of this property to the construction of the mariner's compass is obvious, and it is in connexion with navigation that the first references to it occur (see COMPASS). The needles of the primitive compasses, being made of iron, would require frequent re-magnetization, and a “ stone ” for the purpose of “ touching the needle ” was therefore generally included in the navigator's outfit. With the constant practice of this operation it is hardly possible that the repulsion acting between like poles should have entirely escaped recognition; but though it appears to have been noticed that the lodestone sometimes repelled iron instead of attracting it, no clear statement of the fundamental law that unlike poles attract while like poles repel was recorded before the publication in 1 581 of the New Attractive by Robert Norman, a pioneer in accurate magnetic work. The same book contains an account of Norman's discovery and correct measurement of the dip (1576). The downward tendency of the north pole of a magnet pivoted in the usual way had been observed by G. Hartmann of Nuremberg in 1544, but his observation was not published till much later. The foundations of the modern science of magnetism were laid by William Gilbert (q.1J.). His De magnete magneticisque corporibus et de magna magnete tellure physiologic; nova (1600), contains many references to the expositions of earlier writers from Plato down to those of the author's own age. These show that the very few facts known with certainty were freely supplemented