B 30b 52?
Dr. Horace Ivie
PLYMPTON'S PARKER'S PHILOSOPHY,
A SCHOOL COMPENDIUM
NATURAL AND EXPERIMENTAL
EMBRACING THE ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF
MECHANICS, HYDROSTATICS, HYDRAULICS I&tipFICfe, ACOFS.TTTS,
PYRONOMICS, OPTICS, ELECTRICITY-,' GALVANISM, 'MAGNETI6li,'
CONTAINING ALSO ,A DESCRIPTION OF THE
STEAM AND LOCOMOTIVE ENGINES,
.jfllND OF THE
RICHARD GREEN PARKER, A.M.,
AUTH0R OP "AIDS TO ENGLISH COMPOSITION," A' SERIES OF "SCHOOL READERS," ETC.
Delectando pariier que monendo.
Prodesse quam conspici.
A NEW EDITION, REVISED AND ENLARGED,
BY GEO. W. PLYMPTON, A.M.,
PROFESSOR OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE, BROOKLYN POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE.
NEW YORK: -
COLLINS & BROTHER, PUBLISHERS,
G1FTOF -TE> -2
DIVISIONS OF THE SUBJECT, . . . . . . .17
OP MATTER AND ITS PROPERTIES, * . ; . . 19
OF GRAVITY, . . . .-* 1 || .... 33
MECHANICS, on THE LAWS OF MOTION, . . . . 41
THE MECHANICAL POWERS, . . . . ' 70
REGULATORS OF M^oSt, .... ^ .. 100
S, V/ ?"" ; ., . .108
-; .t A, ?\ . ' 128
? " " \* . . . . . . .138
ACOUSTICS, . . . ... . . " '.* '- .' . 173
PYltONOMICS, - . 185
THE STEAM-ENGINE, 196
OPTICS, . . . . .* . . . , . .210
GALVANISM, OR VOLTAIC ELECTRICITY, ..... 283
MAGNETISM, . 298
ELECTRO MAGNETISM, . 308
THE ELECTROMAGNETIC TELEGRAPH, .... 319
THE ELECTROTYPE PROCESS, 331
MAGNETO-ELECTRICITY, . . . . . . . 332
ASTRONOMY, , 335
APPENDIX, . ... . 403
The Index at the close of the volume, being full and comprehensive, will be
found more convenient for reference.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by
. COLLINS & BROTHER,
In tho Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
P E E. F A O E
REVISED AND ENLARGED EDITION.
THE favor with which this book has, from its first appearance,
been received by the teachers of this country, has induced the pub-
lishers to offer yet another edition to the schools of the United States.
It is presented as a revision and an enlargement of the previous
The revision of the book has led to such corrections of the text of
the older work as the recent progress in physical science demanded.
This has been accomplished without changing the numbering of
the paragraphs or their distribution on the pages. Where a more
extended correction seemed necessary than this plan permitted, the
reader has been referred by note to the Appendix for the supple-
It was deemed an exceedingly desirable object by the publishers
that the new work should be presented in such shape that, when
introduced to classes using the old edition, the exchange might be
effected with the least possible inconvenience to teacher and pupil.
The principal emendations have been made in the subjects of
Mechanics, Heat, Hydrodynamics, and Optics. In Mechanics par-
ticularly, the progress of ideas within a short period demands that
the rudimentary conceptions of Force, Power, and work in the mind
of the learner should be more sharply defined. The first paragraphs
of the Appendix, giving the distinction between these terms, and
also introducing the term Energy, have been prepared in accordance
with this demand.
The mechanical theory of Heat, the practical relation of Hydro-
statics and Hydraulics to Mechanical Engineering, the later uses
of compressed air, and the theory of the Spectroscope, have received
a due share of space in the additional pages.
A large number of new illustrations have been added, which, it is
hoped, will aid the necessarily concise Appendix.
GEO. W. PLTMPTON.
POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE, December, 1871.
THE term Philosophy literally signifies, the loye of
wisdom ; but, as a general term, it is used to denote an
explanation of the reason of things, or an investigation
of the causes of all phenomena, both of mind and of
When applied to any particular department of knowl-
edge, the word Philosophy implies the collection of general
laws or principles, under which the subordinate facts or
phenomena relating to that subject are comprehended.
Thus that branch of Philosophy which treats of God, his
attributes and perfections, is called Theology; that which
treats of the material world is called Physics, or Natural
Philosophy; that which treats of man as a rational being
is called Ethics, or Moral Philosophy; and that which
treats of the mind is called Intellectual Philosophy, or
The natural division of all things that exist is into
body and mind things material and immaterial, spiritual
and corporeal. Physics relates to material things, Meta-
physics to immaterial. Man, as a mere animal, is includ-
ed in the science of Physics ; but, as a being possessed of
a soul, of intellect, of the powers of perception, conscious-
ness, volition, reason, and judgment, he becomes a sub-
ject of consideration in the science of Metaphysics.
All material things are divided into two great classes,
called organized and unorganized matter. Organized
matter is that which is endowed with organs adapted to
the discharge of appropriate functions, such as the mouth
and stomach of animals, or the leaves of vegetables. By
means of such organs they enjoy life. Unorganized mat-
ter, on the contrary, possesses no such organs, and is con-
sequently incapable of life and voluntary action. Stones,
the various kinds of earth, metals, and many minerals,
are instances of unorganized matter. Fossils, that is,
substances dug out of the earth, are frequently instances
of a combination of organized and unorganized matter.
Unorganized matter also enters into the composition of
organized matter. Thus, the bones of animals contain
lime, which by itself is unorganized matter.
Physical Science, or Physics, with its subdivisions of
Natural History (including Zoology, Botany, Mineralogy,
Conchology, Entomology, Ichthyology, &c.) and Natural
Philosophy, including its own appropriate subdivisions,
embraces the whole field of organized and unorganized
The term Natural Philosophy is considered by some
authors a's embracing the whole extent of physical science,
while others use it in a more restricted sense, including
only the general properties of unorganized matter, the
forces which act upon it, the laws which it obeys, the
results of those laws, and all those external changes which
leave the substance unaffected. It is in this sense that
the term is employed in this work.
Chemistry, on the contrary, is the science which inves-
tigates the composition of material substances, the inter-
nal changes which they undergo, and the new properties
Which they acquire by such changes. The operations of
chemistry may be described under the heads of Analysis
or decomposition, and Synthesis or combination.
Natural Philosophy makes us acquainted with the con-
dition and relations of bodies as they spontaneously arise,
without any agency of our own. Chemistry teaches us
how to alter the natural arrangement of elements to bring
about some particular condition that we desire. To ac-
complish these objects in both of the departments of
science to which we refer, we make use of appliances
called philosophical and chemical apparatus, the proper
use of which it is the office of Natural Philosophy and
Chemistry respectively to explain. All philosophical
knowledge proceeds either from observation or experi-
ment, or from both. It is a matter of observation that
water, by cold, is converted into ice ; but if, by means of
freezing mixtures, or evaporation, we actually cause water
to freeze, we arrive at the same knowledge by experiment.
By repeated observations, and by calculations based on
such observations, we discover certain uniform modes in
which the powers of nature act. These uniform modes
of operation are called laws; and these laws are general
or particular according to the extent of the subjects
which they respectively embrace. Thus, it is a general
law that all bodies attract each other in proportion to the
quantity of matter which they contain. It is a particular
law of electricity that similar kinds repel and dissimilar
kinds attract each other. ,
The collection, combination, and proper arrangement
of such general and particular laws, constitute what is
called Science. Thus, we have the science of Chemistry,
the science of Geometry, the science of Natural Philo-
The terms art and science have not always been em-
ployed with proper discrimination. In general, an art is
that which depends on practice or performance, while
science is the examination of general laws, or of abstract
and speculative principles. The theory of music is a
science ; the practice of it is an art.
Science differs from art in the same manner that
knowledge differs from skill. An artist may enchant us
with his skill, although he is ignorant of all scientific
principles. A man of science may excite our admiration
by the extent of his knowledge, though he have not the
least skill to perform any operation of art. When we
speak of the mechanic arts, we mean the practice of those
vocations in which tools, instruments and machinery, are
employed. But the science of Mechanics explains the
principles on which tools and machines are constructed,
and the effects which they produce. Science, therefore,
may be defined, a collection and proper arrangement of
the general principles or leading truths relating to any
subject; and there is this connection between art and
science, namely " A principle in science is a rule of art."
DIVISIONS OP THE SUBJECT.
_ . 1. NATURAL PHILOSOPHY, or PHYSICS, is the
\\ hat is . ,
Natural science which treats of the powers, properties and
Philoso- mu tual action of natural bodies, and the laws and
operations of the material world.
1. Some of the principal branches of Natural Philosophy are
NOTE. This list of branches might be considerably enlarged, but per-
haps a rigid classification would rather suggest the omission of some ol
tbem, as pertaining to the department of chemistry.
What is ^' MECHANICS. Mechanics is that branch of
Mechan- Natural Philosophy which relates to motion and
the moving powers, their nature and laws, with
their effects in machines.
4. Mechanics is generally considered under two division*, culled
Stfities uud Dynamics.
18 NATURAL PHILOSOPHY.
5. The word Statics is derived from a Greek word implying test
and it is applied to that department of mechanics which treats of
the properties and laws of bodies at rest.
6. Dynamics, from a Greek word signifying power or force
treats- q $he prapeYtie^ |vn>l i&ws of bodies in motion.
S J "V,,^ 7 ''I, 'I C^S "y?
I. Pneumatics treats of t,h<^ mechanical properties and effecta
o^)^,gr\aii^\KlEaiIjapj3didiiL ^ill.ec^'elastic fluids or gases.
8. Hydrostatics treats of the gravity and pressure of fluids in
a state of rest.
9. Hydraulics treats of fluids in motion, and of the instru-
ments and machines by which their motion is guided or con-
10. Acoustics treats of the laws of sound.
II. Pyronomics treats of the laws and effects of heat.
12. Optics treats of light, color and vision.
13. Electricity treats of an exceedingly subtle agent, jailed
the electric fluid.
14 Galvanism (sometimes called chemical f l.ectricity) is a
branch of Electricity.
15. Magnetism treats of the properties and effects of the
magnet or loadstone.
16. Electro-Magnetism treats of magnetism inc uced by elec-
17. Magneto-Electricity treats of electricity indu-sed by mag-
18. Astronoiny treats of the heavenly bodies, the sun, moon.
stars, planets, comets.
19. The agents whose effects or operations are described in
Natural Philosophy are divided into two classes, called respectively
Ponderable and imponderable Agents.
NOTE. Some writers on Philosophy have suggested a different classi-
fication, into Bodies and Agents, calling bodies ponderable, and agenta /-
20. Ponderable agents are those which have weight, as
21. Imponderable agents are those which have no weight sueli
as light heat, magnetism and electricity.
OF MATTEE AND ITS PEOPEETIES. 19
What is 22. MATTEE. Matter is the general name of
Matter? everything that occupies space.
23. Matter exists in three different states or forms
namely, in the solid, liquid, and gaseous forms.
24. Matter exists in a solid form when the particles of which it is
composed cohere together. The different degrees of cohesion which
different bodies possess causes them to assume different degrees of
25. Matter exists in a liquid state when the component parts do
not cohere with sufficient force to prevent their separation by the
mere influence of their weight. The surface of a fluid at rest always
conforms itself to the shape of the portion of the earth's surface
over which it stands.
26. Matter exists in a gaseous or aeriform state when the par-
ticles of which it is composed have a repulsion towards each other
which causes them to separate with a power of expansion to which
there is no known limit. Of this, smoke presents a familiar in-
stance. As it ascends it expands, the particles repelling each other
until they become wholly invisible.
NOTE. The word aeriform means, m the form of air.
27. The vesicular form of matter is the form in which we see it
in clouds. It consists of very minute vesicles, resembling bubbles,
arid it is the state into which many vapors pass before they assume
a fluid condition.
28. Some substances are capable, under certain conditions, of
assuming all these different forms. Water, for instance, is solid in
the form of ice, fluid as water, in the gaseous state when converted
into steam, and vesicular in the form of clouds.
29. All matter, whether in the solid, liquid, gaseous, or vesicular
form, is either simple or compound in its nature. But this consider-
ation of matter pertains more properly to the science of chemistry.
It is proper, however, here to explain what is meant by a simple 01
homogeneous and a compound or heterogeneous substance.
30. All matter is composed of very minute particles or atoms
united together by different degrees of cohesion. When all the
atoms are of the same kind, the body is a simple or homogeneous
substance. Thus, for instance, pure iron, pure gold, &c., consists
of very minute particles or atoms, all of which are pure iron or
pure gold. But water, and many other substances, are compound
substances, composed of atoms of two or more different substances,
Combined by chemical affinity.
NOTE. The ancient philosophers supposed that all material substance*
*ere composed of Fire, Air, Earth arid AVater, and these four substanow
*re called the f^ur elements, because they were supposed to be the fiuiHt
substances of which all things are composed. But modern science has
shown that not one of these is a simple substance. Water, for instance,
is composed of two invisible gases, called Hydrogen and Oxygen, united in
the proportion of one part, in weight, of hydrogen to eight of oxygen ; or,
by measure, one part of oxygen to two of hydrogen. In like manner air,
or, rather, what the ancients understood by air, is composed of oxygen
mixed with another invisible gas, called nitrogen or azote, m the proportion
of seventy-two pa rts of the latter to twenty-eight of the former.
The enumeration of the elementary substances, which, either by them-
selves or in union with one another, make up the material world, properly
belongs to the science of Chemistry. As this work may fall into the hands
of some who will not find the information elsewhere, a list of the simple
substances or elements is herejpresented, so far as modern science has in-
vestigated them. They are sixty-three in number, forty-nine of which are
metallic, and fourteen are non-metallio.
The forty-nine metals are
The non-metallic elements are
Of the elementary substances now enumerated, about fourteen constitute
the great mass of our earth and its atmosphere. The remainder occur only
in comparatively small quantities, while nearly a third of the whole number
is so rare that their uses in the great economy of nature are not understood,
nor have they as yet admitted of any useful application.
The science of Geology reveals to us the fact that granite appears to be
the foundation of the crust of the earth ; and in the granite, either in its
original formation or in veins or seams which, have been thrown up by
subterranean forces into the granite, all of the elementary substances which
have been enumerated are to be found. A chart is presented below in
which the materials composing the strata of the crust of the earth are
enumerated, together with a tabular view of the composition of these
materials. It is not contended that this chart is perfectly accurate in all
its details ; but as it affords an interesting and extensive subject of inves-
tigation, and as it is not to be found elsewhere in print, it is thought that it
will be well worth the space which it occupies, although a rigid classifies*
tion would exclude it from this work.
OF MATTER AND ITS PROPERTIES. 21
Dr. Boyntoris Chart of Materials that enter into the Composition of Granite.
Quartz . .
2 Fluor AciJ
4 B. Acid
44 Carb. Acid
Mica . .
M. Garnet . .
Carbonate of Lime . .
Carbonate cf Magnesia
What are 31. There are seven essential * properties be-
the essen- i on g m g to matter, namely, 1. Impenetrability;
crties of 2. Extension ; 3. Figure ; 4. Divisibility ; 5. In*
Matter? dostructibility ; 6. Inertia; 7. Attraction.
What is 32. IMPENETRABILITY. Impenetrability is th
Impene- * . , . ,. /.
trabilityl power ot occupying a certain portion 01 space, so
* An essential property . of a body is that which is necessary to the
absolute existence of the body. All matter in common possesses these
essential properties, and no particle of matter can exist without any ane of
them. Different bodies possess other different properties which are not
essential to their existence, such as color, weight, brittleness, hardness.
Ac. These are called accidental properties, as they depend ou circum-
stances not essential to the very existence of a body.
J2 NATURAL PHILOSOPHY.
that where one body is another cannot be without Jig-
33. This property, Impenetrability, belongs to all bodies and
forms of matter , whether solid, fluid, gaseous, or vesicular.
The impenetrability of common air may be shown by immersi n g
an inverted tumbler in a vessel of water. The air prevents the
water from rising into the tumbler. An empty bottle, also, forcibly
held horizontally under the water, will exhibit the same property ,
for the bottle, apparently empty, is tilled with air, which escapes
in bubbles from the bottle as the water enters it. But, if the bottle
be inverted, the water cannot enter the bottle, on account of the
impenetrability of the air within.*
* This circumstance explains the reason why water, or any other liquid,
poured into a tunnel closely inserted in the mouth of a decanter, will rua
over the sides of the decanter. The air filling the decanter, and having
no means of escape, prevents the fluid from entering the decanter ; but, if
the tunne] be lifted from the decanter but a little, so as to afford the air an
opportunity to escape, the water will then flow iutc the decanter in an un-
When a nail is driven into wood or any other substances, it forces the
particles asunder and makes its way between them.
An experiment was made at Florence, many years ago r to show the im-
penetrability of water. A hollow globe of gold was filled with water and
subjected to great pressure. The water, having no other means of escape,
teas seen to exude from the pores of the gold.
The reason why fluids appear less impenetrable than solids is that th-j
particles which compose the fluids move easily among themselves, on account
of their slight degree of cohesion, and when any pressure is exerted upon a
fiuid the particles move readily into the unoccupied space to which they
have access. But, if the fluid be surrounded on all sides, and have no
means of escape, it will be found to possess the property of impenetrability
in no less a degree than solid bodies.
A well-known fact seems, at first view, to be at variance with this state-
ment. When a ve-'sel is filled to the brim with water or other fluiu, a con-
siderable portion 01 salt may be dropped into the fiuid without causing the
vessel to overflow. And, when salt has been added until the water can
hold no more in solution, a considerable quantity of sugar can be added in
a similar manner. The explanation of this familiar
fact is as follows The particles of the sugar are
smaller than the particles of the salt, and the particles
of the salt arc smaller than the particles which compose
the water. Now, supposing all of these particles to be
globular, they will arrange themselves as is represented
in Fig. 1, in which the particles of the water are indi-
cated by the largest circles, those of the salt by the
pext in size, and those of the sugar by the smallest.
Familiar Experiment. Fill a bowl or tumbler with peas, then pour on
Uie peas mustard-seed or fine grain, shaking the vessel to cau?e it to fill tho
racar.t spaces between the peas. In like manner add, successively, fine sand,
cater, salt and sugar. This will afford an illus -ration of the apparent paraduy
i i;vo bodies occupying the same space, and ; how that it is ouJy
OF MATTEE AND ITS PROPEETIES. 23
What is 34: ' EXTENSION. Extension is but another
Extern name for bulk or size, and it is expressed by the
terms length, breadth or width, height, depth and
NOTE. - - Length is the extent from end to end. Breadth or width is the
extent from side to side. Height, depth or thicKness, is the extent frona
the top to the bottom. The measure of a body frun the bottom to the top
is f-allei height ; from the top to the bottom, is called depth. Thus we
speak of the depth of a well, the height of a house, c.
14- iiat zs gg Figure is the form or shape of a body.
36. Figure and Extension are separate properties, although both
may be represented by the same terms, .length, breadth, &c. But
they differ as the words shape and size differ. Two bodies may be
of the same figure or shape, but of vastly different size. A grape and
an orange resemble eaph other in shape, but differ widely in size.
The limits of extension constitute figure, but figure has no other
connexion with extension.
What is 37. DIVISIBILITY. Divisibility is susceptibility
Dh'isi- , . , . . , ,
bility? of being divided.
38. To the divisibility of matter there is no known limit, nor