Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/585

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

remainder of the book is taken up by a consideration of the national code of rules for electric wiring. This code, which has gradually been molded into its present shape by the underwriters, is now generally accepted by the best electrical companies. It is the result of a careful study of past accidents due to faulty wiring, and much experimental work with the various insulators and electric appliances. As the rules are necessarily short and contain many technical terms, Mr. Robb has, where necessary, defined the terms, and after each rule has stated the reasons for it. The book is well conceived, and should find a large field of usefulness especially among architects, who, as the author says, are not nearly so well up in electrical matters as they should be.

The essay for which a prize of five hundred dollars from the Henry M. Phillips fund was awarded by the American Philosophical Society in 1896 has been printed in the Proceedings of the Society. Its subject is The Theory of the State, and the writer is George H. Smith, of Los Angeles. Mr. Smith makes four chief divisions of his discussion, namely, (1) the nature of the state, (2) its functions, (3) its rights or rightful powers, and (4) the principles that should govern its political organization. In an introductory chapter he criticises the doctrine of absolute sovereignty as generally received in modern times, which he regards as standing in the way of an intelligent investigation of his subject. After discussing other definitions of the state he defines it as "an autonomous society of men," and proceeds to treat of the functions of such an organization. The rights or just powers of the state he treats as a subdivision of jurisprudence, using this word to mean the whole science of right. In his final chapter he deals with the principles of political organization, describing the several kinds of government, and discussing the principles that should govern the distribution of the sovereign powers.


The Elementary Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, by G. C. Foster and E. Atkinson (Longmans, $2.25), affords a substantial college course in its subject. The work is a translation, considerably modified with the consent of the author, of Joubert's Traitée Élémentaire d'Électricité. A notable departure from the original consists in the introduction of that view of the nature of electrical phenomena which was originated by Faraday and developed by Maxwell. This has involved keeping in view throughout the volume the dual character of electrification and emphasizing the essential part played in familiar electrical phenomena by the dielectric medium in which they occur. On the same account the idea of lines and tubes of force has been early introduced, and charge, capacity, and energy are spoken of as belonging to the electric field as a whole, rather than to the conductors which bound it. The work is almost exclusively devoted to the laws and principles of the science, giving but little attention to applications and none to history, and nearly all of its three hundred and eighty-one illustrations are cuts of laboratory apparatus or diagrams. The authors have made more use of mathematical reasoning than M. Joubert did, so that processes of calculation by the aid of formulas appear in every chapter.

It would seem possible to select a laboratory manual of chemistry suitable for almost any class from among those now published. One recently prepared by Prof. Edward H. Keiser, of Bryn Mawr (American Book Company, 50 cents), furnishes a list of two hundred and sixty-eight elementary experiments illustrating the properties of the common elements and the chief laws of chemical action. Certain of these experiments, designated Laboratory Demonstrations, are intended to be performed only by one or two of the more skillful students in the presence of the whole class. Questions are interspersed with the directions, some of which can be answered from the observations made on the experiments, and the rest from the text-book or lectures that will accompany the manual.

Mr. Arthur H. Hiorns, who is the author of several books on related subjects, has now written Principles of Metallurgy, a somewhat more advanced work than his Elementary Metallurgy, and containing new methods that have been introduced in recent years (Macmillan, $1.60). The arrangement of the matter is thus outlined in the preface: "The physical properties of the metals are considered first; then the chemical principles involved in the various processes are