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The Only Book of its Kind Available
LAWS OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE
By EDWIN F. NORTHRUP, Ph.D.
Palmer Physical Laboratory, Princeton University
SCIENCE: “The author . . has done an important service in bringing
JOURNAL OF THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE: "Dr. Northrup has done a needed piece of work very well indeed. He has given the physicist a good additional tool, and every one having to do with physics, closely or re
motely, should keep this book near his elbow." A full list of the general propositions or laws of science fills an obvious gap in the literature of physical science. It is not always easy for students in one branch of science to find and to know the literature on important principles and facts in an entirely different or even in a closely allied branch. The fundamentals of science are its laws, principles, theorems, and precise statements of the general properties of matter. In this book students of all branches will find guidance and derive inspiration by having before them under a single view the very epitome of the world's heritage of the fundamentals of its knowledge and wisdom.
The simplicity and directness with which each law is expressed are unique. The specialist in one field is given a view of a broad range of activity.
A bibliography of all books and journals referred to, and a very full index (16 pages), enabling quick location of subjects, are included.
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TRO EMNER No. 65 ANALYTICAL BALANCE
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SOME RESPONSIBILITIES OF BOTAN
ICAL SCIENCE1 When this meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science was first announced it was the expectation of all of us that our discussions and deliberations here would center primarily about the immediate and practical needs of a time of war. In those days the thought seemed common in this country, that it was the plain duty of scientists to lay their more remote aims aside for the time being and to devote their energies almost entirely to practicalities, the practicalities of those great martial undertakings whose wonderfully successful results have only just now passed into history. But it has become clear that the needs of a modern militant nation are not merely men and money; the ramifications of these needs seem to have led into nearly every cranny of human activity, so that almost every person has found ways by which his special fitness, for some activities rather than for others, might be utilized in this grand mobilization of the nation as a whole. In very many cases it has appeared that the more remote aims of those whose activities are primarily intellectual and spiritual are not to be laid wholly aside at the sounding of the trumpet of war and at the waving of the battle flag. It has emerged that most or all of those activities that may truthfully be called essential for peace and for the general advancement, are also essential in time of war. Details have required alteration, but the war has led, on the whole, rather to an acceleration, to a speeding-up of the majority of productive peace activities, rather than to the laying of such activities aside.
War differs from peace rather in degree than
1 Address of the chairman and vice-president of Section G-Botany, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Baltimore, December, 1918.
in kind. It calls for a mobilization-which is has grown apace and constitutes our most a planned cooperation of all the valuable and cherished possession. It alone can be handed worthy activities of the nation. And just such on to the coming generations; other human a mobilization was proceeding with ever-in- achievements wear out and disintegrate with creasing strides in this country, until the news time, while knowledge lasts and grows and inof the present armistice announced the need creases in value as our race matures. Whatfor still further changes of detail. Let us ever may be your idea of the final good of hope that the spirit of planned activity, human life, whether it be to glorify God or aroused from the magic lamp of human nature wallop the devil, to give ourselves pleasure in by the rubbing of a martial hand, may not be the present or in the future, or to give to comsent to rest with the return of peace. The civ- ing generations a better chance to live as they ilized world has found again that the greatest will wish to live--no matter at what particular human pleasures and satisfactions may come angle you may view these academic questions from the giving of money and goods and heart- of ultimate results, you will surely agree that beats and even the life-blood of many individ- the preservation of real knowledge is one of uals, all for the furthering of the same worthy our responsibilities. We and our posterity will cause. It has found that national and world have great need for all the knowledge that is mobilization are the means whereby great available, to-morrow and the day after, and works may be rapidly achieved, it has found one of our world responsibilities is clearly to that cooperation between individuals and be- see that knowledge once gained shall not be tween states is the means whereby the pleas- lost. ures of the accomplishment of such works are But this is not all. It is not sufficient for a to be most quickly attained. In order that we healthy human being to act merely as a vestal, and those who follow us may enjoy these great simply to keep a torch burning that was pleasures of accomplishment, let us strive to kindled by others. It is our instinct to inkeep the spirit of cooperation alive and ag- crease the body of science as well as to pregressively active against the false demons of serve what has been accomplished, and instinct the more primitive and more frequently pre- appears to accord with reason here, for if vailing forms of selfishness, and let us move knowledge is valuable it should be increased as forward, with this spirit in our hearts, into the rapidly as possible. This is, then, another of era that is now dawning.
our world-responsibilities. The burden of my words to you this after- To preserve for the future all that is noon will be to ask you to pass, for a few min- known of ourselves and of the universe about utes, out of the work-a-day world of selfish us, to make this knowledge ever more readily struggles for “ credit” or “priority” in scien- available, and to add to the store as we work tific literature, or for salary increase and the it over and hand it on to others, these seem to like of that, out of the world of minute detail be the prime responsibilities of human beings, with its microscope lenses and balance pans, as distinguished from other organisms. Now, and to dwell for a little while on some of the if these things are to be done there is no group larger possibilities and opportunities that lie of society so fitted to do them as is the group before botanical science at this time. And I of scientists; upon them has fallen the mantle shall wish to emphasize the idea that, for a of the vestal and that of the priest. Society, as goodly number of us, at any rate, these possi- a whole, relies on scientists for these things bilities and opportunities are tasks and re- and these responsibilities are especially ours. sponsibilities that really and truly need to be It has frequently seemed to me that we, as met.
a group, fulfill these requirements with a maxIt is well first to realize that those who de- imum of friction and waste and with a minivote their lives to science have peculiar re- mum of efficiency. At least it is not difficult sponsibilities. The body of human knowledge for a dreamer or an idealist to suggest general ways by which our service to humanity might on anything at all. As the late Professor be greatly enhanced. If improvements might Bessey remarked of botanical research, the be introduced each individual might find more work of botanical science is carried on by a pleasure than is now possible, in his own work sort of guerilla warfare, each botanist for and in that of the group, and it seems just now himself. To speed up our work in all lines to be an opportune time to take some thought we need more team-play, as it were. We need as to possible ways by which our social func- to have somewhat clearly in mind what, intion as scientists may become more satisfac- deed, our activities are all about. If we tory, both to ourselves and to those outside of
might attend to these matters of orientation our group. A kind of idealism has succeeded
we ought to be able, then, to emphasize cerin winning the war, and he who runs may read tain sorts of work that are to be regarded as that this was a war of science, and that it was the more important, for the present. through science that it was finally won. Con
The answer to the question as to how sequently, I may not be too bold if I here pass guerilla warfare, without esprit du corps and in review some of the suggestions for an im
without conscious aims, is to be metamorproved science that have come to me in one
phosed into a planned and productive camway or another.
paign, lies, I am almost certain, in the con
notation of the word cooperation. As we mobIn the first place, ever since my student
ilized ourselves and laid aside our individual days it has seemed very strange to me that the
differences of opinion or faith, in order to help devotees of science lay so little stress on the
in the winning of the war, even so ( if we broader and more general aspects of their thought it important enough) we might mobwork and upon the aims that are held in view.
ilize ourselves for the rational acceleration of Our introdudtory books plunge the beginner
the work of botanical and other sciences. One into a maze of concrete detail, without at
of our greatest responsibilities right now is to tending to the orientation that every beginner
orient ourselves as a group and to plan our needs. Our teaching of beginners follows our
campaign of work for the immediate future. texts, or else our texts follow our teaching.
The group of botanists is an international We imply that this general orientation, this
group and our mobilization should aim to be appreciation of the relations between our par
international finally, but it were well if the ticular small chapter of science and the great
botanists of this country might put their own body of human knowledge, will care for itself,
house in order as a first move toward the setwithout conscious attention. We see that our
ting up of conscious aims and planned camstudents learn how to weigh a seed or how to
paigns by the world group. In the meantime, stain a chromosome, and we strive to give
botanical scientists of other countries may be them a digest of all that is so far known of seeds or chromosomes, but it is only seldom
doing likewise, and the International Associathat the very need for such knowledge re
tion, or some other organization, might become ceives adequate attention. I am not sure
the means of bringing the national groups into whether botanical science is to be criticized
a single whole. more in this respect than other branches, but Turning to matters a little more concrete, I am sure that the criticism is justly to be
I suggest that there are two quite different considered by botanists of all sorts.
kinds of aims or objects, toward which we Obviously the matter has lain largely in a
may strive. The first of these has to do with lack of esprit du corps among botanists; we our responsibility to preserve botanical knowlhave largely failed to be conscious of our edge, to make it available for all sorts of apresponsibility as a group. We have not taken plication, and to pass it on to the next and the trouble to find out what we can agree on,
later generations. The second kind of aim and an outsider feels that we can not agree deals with our responsibility, to add to botan