§ 1. Introduction. Some twelve years ago I published, in England, a little book entitled the 'Glaciers of the Alps,' and, a couple of years subsequently, a second book, entitled 'Heat a Mode of Motion.' These volumes were followed by others, written with equal plainness, and with a similar aim, that aim being to develop and deepen sympathy between science and the world outside of science. I agreed with thoughtful men who deemed it good for... more...

PREFACE. In the following work I have not attempted to mix Narrative and Science, believing that the mind once interested in the one, cannot with satisfaction pass abruptly to the other. The book is therefore divided into Two Parts: the first chiefly narrative, and the second chiefly scientific. In Part I. I have sought to convey some notion of the life of an Alpine explorer, and of the means by which his knowledge is acquired. In Part II. an... more...

I. THE CONSTITUTION OF NATURE. [Footnote: 'Fortnightly Review,' 1865, vol. iii. p. 129.] WE cannot think of space as finite, for wherever in imagination we erect a boundary, we are compelled to think of space as existing beyond it. Thus by the incessant dissolution of limits we arrive at a more or less adequate idea of the infinity of space. But, though compelled to think of space as unbounded, there is no mental necessity compelling us to... more...

Chapter 1. Parentage: introduction to the royal institution: earliestexperiments: first royal society paper: marriage. It has been thought desirable to give you and the world some image of MICHAEL FARADAY, as a scientific investigator and discoverer. The attempt to respond to this desire has been to me a labour of difficulty, if also a labour of love. For however well acquainted I may be with the researches and discoveries of that great... more...