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KASY LESSONS

IN

NATURAL PHILOSOPHY

NATURAL II I STORY

MECHANICS, CrilEMIBTRi

ELECTRICITY, OPTICS, AND ACOl's'iirs

\\TI1I NTMKKOrs ILI.rsTK.VI

LONDO

'

LBTO5 AND \v li I <, H r \V

65, PATKKNOSTKK UOW

GRANDFATHER WHITEHEAD'S CATECHISMS,

[.-NATURAL PHILOSOPHY.

TO TEACHERS AND PUPILS.

THE object of every tutor should be to convey the knowledge the pupil requires in as simple, clear, accurate, and concise a manner as possible.

The object of every pupil should be to acquire the knowledge imparted

by the

tutor, not in words only, but in ideas ; so that the information

.1 should not be of a

superficial character

a mere catalogue of

scientific names but an acquaintance with the phenomena of Nature, and

net and comprehensive idea of the laws which regulate them.

.jitly remarked that " a tutor should not be continually

thundering instruction into the ears of his pupil as if he were pouring it

through a funi

:ter having put the lad, like a young horse, on a

.-fore him, to observe 1 :

should, according to the extent ot

his eai

i,k- to perform,

luee him to taste, to

distinguish, and to find out things for himself ; sometimes opening the

way, at other times leaving it for him to open ; and by abating or in-

creasing his own pace, accommodate his precepts to the capacity of his

pupil."

inquiry A\ill follow, and the consequence

will be a

ignorant or m

unproduet

Lrratify that curiosity by acquiring knowledge.

The.

on the road-side.

n quite as mm-li as the

In the following Catechisms the

pupil is led step by ste;

knowledge by numerous diagrams

-1 easy method, to acquire the . is still further elucidated

nts.

iv

PREFACE.

The experiments are so contrived, that the apparatus required is of the

most simple and inexpensive kind in most instances, and due regard lias

been paid throughout to simplicity and usefulness, rather than mag-

nificence ; the object being to render everything as plain and intelligible

as possible, commensurate with the subject.

The introductory narratives are all founded upon facts, or are the actual

biographies of eminent scientific men.

The lessons have been constructed

for weekly tuition, it being desirable that the first five days should be devoted to catechising, and the sixth to recapitulation, examination viva

voce, or essay writing upon the subjects contained in the week's course of study.

Teachers are recommended to give additional illustrations of the

subjects under consideration, to perform the experiments given in the lessons before the pupil, and to adduce other familiar and simple experi-

ments to elucidate them.

Pupils should perform the experiments themselves before studying the

lessons, and repeat them again when master of the lesson.

If possible,

they should also perform other experiments bearing upon the question, and explain their analogy to those previously exhibited.

Each lesson has a few important questions appended, to assist the

teacher in the examination of the pupils.

GRANDFATHER W

INTRODUCTORY NARRATIVE.

LESSON I.

NEARLY a century and a half ago,

great distress prevailed in a certain dis-

trict in England, where there were but a

few houses, peopled by labourers in the humblest condition of life ; and, as the

land was unproductive, and marshes

hemmed in by mountains were to be seen

far and wide, the earth did not bring forth

sufficient to supply the wants of the peo-

ple, so that many of them were oblip-,1

to leave the home of their childhood, and

settle elsewhere.

A poor lad, who had

only received sufficient i-diuMtion to

enable him to read, wa removed from

t

6

school

to assist

his

INTRODUCTORY NARRATIVE.

father in his employment of stuff-weaving.

[Lesson I.

The love

of

knowledge the ardent desire of becoming a scholar had taken possession of the youth,

who devoted all his leisure moments, and even a portion of the time which his father

The father, instead of encouraging his son's

required of him, to reading and writing.

fondness for study, forbade him to open a book, behaved with great harshness, and at

length drove him from the house, telling him to go and seek his fortune where and how

he chose. "NVeary, and uncertain where to go, he threw himself upon the heath to

reflect upon the course he must take; and, having refreshed himself at an adjoining

brook, walked to the neighbouring village, and took up his abode in the house of a

tailor's widow, with whose son he had been previously acquainted.

He contrived to

support himself by industry and frugality, and to add to his stock of knowledge by care-

ful observation and reading.

Soon after his arrival, a pedlar, who combined fortune-

teller and astrologer with his own trade, came to lodge in the same house ; and becoming

intimate with Hallam for such was the boy's name instructed him in the various branches

of knowledge that he was acquainted with, while pursuing his own trade of pedlar and

From the astrologer-pedlar he obtained the knowledge of the first

itinerant merchant

principles of Natural Philosophy ; and his naturally active and intelligent mind, improved

by reading, extracted new and important facts from the incidents of every-day life with

which he was surrounded.

The time for the departure of the pedlar arrived, and previous to setting off on his

journey, he lent Hallam Cocker's Arithmetic, which had bound up with it a treatise on

Algebra, and a work upon Physics and Somatolosy. These he studied so thoroughly

that when the pedlar returned he was astonished to find his quondam pupil had almost

eclipsed his tutor, and forthwith proceeded to draw his horoscope, as he termed it, in

order to discover the probable career of this wonderful lad.

Having concluded his observations, the pedlar predicted that in two years Hallam

would surpass his tutor, and ultimately rise to bo a great man ; and the youth promised

that if such came to pass, he would not forget in his prosperity the instruction of the

pedlar, and his kindness towards him.

Eighteen years have elapsed, and the prediction has been fulfilled : the lad abandoned

his trade of weaver, turned schoolmaster, and married his landlady the tailor's widow.

He has passed through many phases in his journey through life, and, notwithstanding the privations and hardships he encountered, has risen to considerable eminence as a

scholar, has been appointed Professor of Mathematics, and elected a Fellow of the Royal

Society. The few houses that were scattered upon the borders of the wild and desolate district

where Hallam's father formerly lived, have increased in number and size ; the marshes

have been drained, the land tilled, the mountains quarried, and the whole aspect changed

from desolation to the busy hum of commercial activity. Jacqunrd-looms have been

erected, mills and factories built, and long lines of streets; BO that from being a village

He seeks out the aged pedlar, who still instructs the

at first, it has grown into a city.

young and labours for his bread; the old man has almost forgotten his pupil, but tears

At eve, the two

of joy suffuse his eyes, as the remembrance of other days is recalled.

stroll towards the brow of the hill,

approach a mill on the road-side, they halt, for the pedlar is wearied and wishes to rest himself.

Hallam supporting his aged tutor, and as they

I.]

NAT I- HAL PHILOSOPHY.

"This .spot," said Hallam, " is where I reclined when my father drove me from his

house; but how changed the prospect! The mountain's side is now peopled; and

where the heath and furze grew amid marshy land, the golden-eared corn bends to the

breeze.

Observe yon waggon as it moves along the road ; 'tis mine

aye, and all the

factories beyond!

So you must now leave off toiling, and share them with me; for ta

your instruction I owe alL"

" To mine ?" replied the pedlar.

"Yes! 'twas through the knowledge obtained from you, that I have risen to my

present position. Your prediction ever before me, and with the desire of reaching the highest pinnacle of fame and honour, I worked incessantly ; success crowned my efforts ;

and now, surrounded with wealth and honours, I must not forget the pedlar-astrologer,

and his gift-book of NATURAL PHILOSOPHY."

NATURAL PHILOSOPHY,

BTIONfl AND EXPLANATIONS.

.vAt-r.

WHAT is Natural Philo-

sophy ?

Pupil. ciences which treats of phenomena that

do not depend upon a change of the con-

struction of bodies ; and makes us acquainted

with the nature, causes, properties, and effects of the various objects and events

It will enable us to

which surround us.

discover why a room smokes when there

Why the handles of

It is that branch of the natural

are

cooking vessels are often made of wood.

Why persons interpose a piece of woollen

material between their hand and the handle of an iron kettle. Why plunging the

hands into water produces a sensation nf

two

fire? in

it

cold.

cracked bell makes a discordant SOUTH!.

Why water

in

fluid ;

or why a

[The pupil should be required to give satisfactory

answers to all these queries.]

2.

T.

What

is the term Philosophy

P.

From the Greek

philosophia

"

(<PAOTO<$>(), which literally signifies

of wisdom or knowledge."

lovo

appear* from what you a wide

I s

have *t

Held for

so many objects of opposite character. he case f

/'

Yes.

Th

vaat realm of Nature,

: vl sci-

ences into two great branches Natural

History, and Natural Philosophy.

4. T. What does Natural History treat

of?

P. It instructs us in the nature of indi-

vidual objects, and arranges them in

according to their different charae:

If such be the case, of what does

Natural Philosophy treat ?

P. It endeavours to teach us the manner

in which inorganic substances act upon each other; laying open, in fact, t:

of the niiiti ri.il world.

5.

T.

What do you mean by inorganic substances f

/'. Ii: :-.' mi. Mihstances are bodies that are not endowed with life, such as minerals, being the reverse of organic, or living bodies.

-What do you mean by th.

/'.

senses,

All

objects recognisable by the

whether fluid or solid,

are

ge-

!>cd as bodies ; thus

v.

solid body, and M All these substances ex-

cite certain sensations in our minds, and

gaseous body.

the pov.

;n(ilitict or proper tut.

M arc called

e me some examples of the

properties of boi

. quality

has some i

:

it

is distin-

NATURAL PHILOSOPHY.

[Lesson II.

guished from another. It is the property

of glass to be transparent and brittle; of

fire to burn ; of charcoal to be inodorous

anJ insipid ; of amber to be brittle, light,

hard, and transparent ; and ofthe loadstone

to attract iron.

[The pupil should be requested to give other

examples of the properties of bodies.]

9.

T.

You said that certain sensations

were excited in our minds by bodies : give

me some examples.

P. One body excites the sensation of

green, another of blue, and a third is de-

void of all colour, or may be said to be

white, such as lime.

10.

T.

"Why is lime white ?

P. Because the particles of matter of

which it is composed are piled so densely one upon another, that they are able to

reflect all the coloured rays of light.

1 1.

T.

mattt-r ?

What do you mean by the term

P.

The substance entering into the

composition of all bodies has received the

general name of matter, which possesses certain essential characteristic qualities.

12. T.

What do you mean by the ex-

pression general name ?

P. A

general name is one that is used

to express a large genus or class of things

of similar character ; thus, fiats may in-

clude straw hats, gutta-percha hats, cork

hats, silk, beaver, or felt hats, and many

other kinds ; and when we say apples, we

use an indefinite term, if we allude to any

particular kind, such as crab-apples, or golden russet, and only employ the general

Generalisation

name to express the class.

of facts can only be accomplished by per-

sons of experience, well acquainted with

science. The vast and heterogeneous mass

of phenomena which puzzle ignorant peo-

ple, are compared, classified, and gene-

ralised by the philosopher, and rendered

familiar and useful to mankind.

13. T. What do you mean by phenomena ?

P.

They are all extraordinary appear-

ances in the works of Nature; the \\oid

phenomenon being derived from the Greek

word phaino (to appear), and signifying,

literally, an appearance.

14.

7\

Give me some illustrations of

natural phenomena.

P. Heat applied to ice drives the par-

ticles entering into its composition further

asunder, and changes it from a solid to a

liquid form ; and if the temperature is in-

creased, and the process prolonged, the

water or liquid is converted into a gaseous

fluid or steam, because the component par-

Heat

ticles are driven still further apart.

rarefies air and causes it to expand ; for

example, [Experiment 1,] let a bladder,

of air, be tied tightly at the neck

and then laid before a fire, or held over the

flame of a spirit-lamp sufficiently high to prevent the flame injuring the bladder, and the air will expand and fill the bladder.

half full

[The pupil should give some further illustra-

tions of natural phenomena.]

GENERAL QUESTIONS UPON LESSON I.

1. What is the derivation and meaning

of the term Philosophy ?

2. How is Philosophy divided ?

3. Name the senses by which the exist-

ence of bodies are made known to us.

4. What is the quality of a body ?

5. What constitutes the composition of

bodies ?

6.

7.

8.

What is matter ?

What is a natural pnenomenon ?

Prove that the same cause may pro-

duce various effects.

LESSON II.*

WE have an excellent example for the youth ofthe present age to follow, in the case

of the poor boy Hallam, who, by untiring zeal in study, and perseverance, raised him- self from obscurity to affluence, and an honourable position in the scientific world. The

chief points in the story are true, but some little incidents have been introduced for

* Grandfather Whitehead requests that the Pupil will commit to memory the ideat of each lesson, and endeavour by experiments of a different character from those given here, to demontlrate to the

Teacher that he has thoroughly mastered the subject.

Lesson H.]

NATURAL PHILOSOPHY.

especial reasons.

It is founded upon the career of Thomas Simpson, the celebrated

mathematician, who was born in the town of Market- Bosworth, in Leicestershire, in

the year 1710.

i ibled to comprehend many of the laws of nature; and the Blowledge he thus

acquired was applied to the daily purposes of life, for Natural Philosophy explains the

principles of the various arts which are practised, elevates and improves the mind, and

extends man's power over nature.

It unfolds to us the magnificence, order, and beauty

of construction in the material world, and adduces the most powerful evidence of the

wisdom and beneficence of the Creator. It was the knowledge of its laws that enabled

Hallam to change the desolate

By studying the books given to him by the pedlav-astrologer, the boy

tra|^>f

land into a populous and productive district.

We can understand the manner

^hich bodies act upon each other, and the reason

[Experiment 2,] take a sheet of glass

You know this already from

they do so, by means of its laws ; for example :

and place some water upon it ; the glass will be wetted.

daily experience ; but you require to know Natural Philosophy to explain the reason.

If we wipe the glass dry, and place some mercury upon it, [Experiment 3,] the same

effect is not produced, the glass remains dry ; and Natural Philosophy explains why

the glass is differently affected.

Suppose we substitute a thin sheet of lead or tin,

[Experiment 4,] and use the mercury as we did with the glass, the effect will be

different ; the metal plates will be wetted with the mercury, and if there is sufficient

mercury, the plates will be dissolved in a short time.

Again, take a lump of sugar,

[Experiment 5,] and place it upon the glass plate we used a short time ago ; examine

it carefully, and you will observe how compact it looks ; place a teaspoonful of water

upon the glass and allow it te flow towards the sugar, you see it falls to pieces, and has

now disappeared ; and when you know more of Natural Philosophy the reason will be

obvious.

QUESTIONS.

15.

T.

From what you have shown re-

specting the manner in which some bodies

act upon each other, it would appear that the phenomena we have witnessed always

happen under similar circumstances, and

therefore, that there must be a natural law

to govern the action of bodies.

think that this is the case?

It is a natural

Yen, undoubtedly. law that bodies always act in the same

Do you

imiiM-r under the same circumstances, and

Pure water

will always dissolve sugar, but does not

affect gold in the same manner, because it

is not its nature to do so.

>dy has its own law.

16.

T.

Do you understand what

is

meant by a natural law T

P.

It is

tl.

f

the

It' we apply heat to

water it converts the water into steam, cold

phrnmnen* <

will not ; thm-fnre we

law that

.ty it is a natural 1 1 is a natural

gov< .: all bodies at the earth's sin

left to themselves, descend in straight lines

towards the surface.

Do you think that I can dissolve

17. T.

sand in water ?

/'.

No; I

know you cannot, because it

is contrary to its natural law.

18. 7\

cover.

How have these laws been dis-

P. By experiments and observ.v

19.

/'.

T.

What is the use of expei :

Experiments verify oliserv.it ions and

truths, elicit facts, establish i

press the principles more strong!.

our minds, and exemplify thw .i|>] of gener.il principles to the demonstration

of individual facts.

. rdth.it sail.!.

and other bodies .ire insoluble, or

uith water, you say that

it is a natural law that p'"-'"" as it would he impossible fo:

to observe and experiment upon all (he

'>

10

NATURAL PHILOSOPHY.

[ Lesson III.

bodies by which he is surrounded, how can

we obtain the knowledge we reqii :

P. From the experience of philo-

sophers, who have observed and experi-

mented upon the many and various bodies around them, and left their knowledge to

Galileo was the first to test theories

us.

by practical experiments, and Lord Bacon

showed that this was the only method of

laws of

acquiring a knowledge

nature.

of

the

21. 7*.

Where can the recorded

ex-

perience of philosophers be found ?

P. In works upon Natural Philosophy,

in which the nature and properties

of

bodies, the laws which govern them, and

the phenomena of nature are explained.

22. T.

As bodies differ materially one

from another, the comprehension of the

nature of their individual properties appears

to be almost impossible.

P. So it would be, if there were not

general properties which we observe to

exist in all bodies, whatever other differences they exhibit. Thus, it is essential to the

existence of a body that it possess the

power of extension, occupy a limited space,

but in addition to

and be impenetrable ;

these properties, without which we cannot

form any idea of matter, there are other

properties which we observe, .MS divisibility,

extensibility, compressibility, porosity, in-

ertia, and gravity.

23.