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CHAMBERS'S

INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE.

NEW AND IMPROVED EDITION.

CONDUCTED BY

W. AND R. CHAMBERS,
EDITORS OF CHAMBERS'S EDINBURGH JOURNAL, EDUCATIONAL COURSE, &c.

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SOLD BY

W. S. ORR AND COMPANY, LONDON; W. CURRY JUNIOR AND

COMPANY, DUBLIN; AND ALL BOOKSELLERS.

PRICE TEXPENCE.

The First Volume being now complete, purchasers are informed that cloth covers, with a handsome an

suitable design, may be procured of the Publishers, or through any Bookseller.

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THE “ INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE,” published in 1833-4, consisted of fifty sheets in large quarto, each (with a few exceptions) containing a summary of a particular branch of human knowledge. The large sale which this work continues to experience as a volume, has suggested to the Editors the propriety of throwing it into the more convenient form of royal octavo, and at the same time extending and improving its contents.

They have therefore respectfully to announce, that the issue of AN EXTENDED AND IMPROVED EDITION OF THE “ INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE" was commenced on the first Saturday of January 1841, and will continue, at the rate of a sheet every Saturday, till the work is completed. It will con. sist of 100 sheets, or double the former number, and treat more than double the former number of subjects. The existing articles will be in many instances re-written, and in all so much iniprovel, that the work, considering at the same time its being so much extended, may, without much impropriety, be described as one altogether new. The New Series will also have the advantage of an arrangement of subjects in some degree accordant with their natural order, and it will be more extensively illustrated by Wood Engravings. Completed in two volumes, containing 1600 doublecolumned pages, at the price of twelve shillings and sixpence, it will be A COMPREHENSIVE POOR MAN'S CYCLOPÆDIA, AND PERHAPS THE MOST STRIKING EXAMPLE YET GIVEN OF THE POWERS OF THE PRESS IN DIFFUSING USEFUL KNOWLEDGE.

LIST

OF NUMBERS IN THE NEW SERIES, AS NEARLY AS IT AT PRESENT CAN BE GIVEN.

Astronomy, or System of the Universe. Political Economy.

Education, Practical Directions on.
Geology, or Structure of the Earth. Principles of Civil Government. Principles of Population-Poor-Laws
Geography-Descriptive and Political. Laws-Ilistry and Nature of. History of Languages-Writing.
Physical History of Man.
Superstitions

English LiteraturoBooks.
Ancient History - Egypt - Arabia Mahommedan and Pagan Religions. English Grammar.
Petræa.

History of the Bible, and Evidences of French Grammar.
History of the Jews-Palestine,

Christianity

Arithmetio interest Tables
History of Greece and Rome.

History of the Church and Religious Measurement-Laud Surveying.
History of the Middle Ages-Crusades. Denon inations.

Drawing and Perspective.
History of Great Britain and Ireland. Natural Thievlogy:

Painting and Sculpture Engraving.
History of Greut Britain and Ireland Private Duties of Life.

Art of Printing.
continuerl.

Public and Social Duties of Life. Architecture.
History of Great Britain and Ireland-Life and Maxims of Franklin. History of Inventions and Discoveries
concluded
Dress-Costumes

The Steam-Engine.
Constitution and Resources of the Bri- Preservation of Health,

Mining--Cou-Sault.
tish Empire.
Proverbs and Old Sayings.

Miscellaneous Manufactures.
Description of England.
Natura' Philosophy.

Manufactures of Silk, Cucton, Linen,
Description of London.
Mechanism Machinery.

and Woullen.
Descr.ption of Scotland.
Hydrostatics and Pneumatics

Agriculture
Description of Ireland.
Meteorulogy-the Weather.

Dairy liusbandry.
Description of the United States.
Optics- Acoustics.

llorses and Cattle.
Emigration to the United States. Ventilation-Lighting-Heating. Sheep.
Emigration to Canada.
Electricity and Galvanism.

Dags.
South America.
Chemistry

Pigs, Poultry, Pigeons, Cage Birds.
The West Indies
Chemistry applied to the Arts.

Bees
The East Indies
Zoology-Mammalia.

Domestic Economy-Cookery.
China.

Birds.

Kitchen Gardening.
Australia

Fishes, Reptiles.

kitchen and Flower Gardening. Van Diemen's Land-New Zealand.

Articulata.

Trees Forests Orchards.
The Ocean-Maritime Discovery-Na-

Mollusca and Zoophytes. Gymnastic Exercises
vigation
Vegetable Physiology-Botany.

Out-of-Door Sports
The Whale-Whale Fisheries.
Animal Physiology.

Angling.
Soinmerce-Money-Banks
Phrenology.

In Door Amusements
Roads--Canals-Railways
Logic.

Chronology, &c. &c.
The work is sold in single numbers at 14d.; and in monthly parts at 7d.

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Published by W. and R. CHAMBERS, Edinburgh: W. S. Orr and COMPANY, London ; W. Curry, Jun. and Co., Dubuni

and sold by all booksellers who usually supply Chambers Journal.

CHAMBERS'S

INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE.

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITONS OF CIAMBERS'S

EDINBURGII JOURNAL, EDUCATIONAL COURSE, &c.

E.

NUMBER 51.

NEW AND IMPROVED SERIES.

Price 11d.

NATURAL PHILOSOPHY.

MATTER AND ITS PROPERTIES.

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Natural Philosophy is a term of wide import, and lias bodies may liave the same volunie, but possess very
a reference to all those branches of physical science different figures. Thus, two masses of matter may have
which treat of existing substances, their motions, their the same volume, although the one be round and the
mutual connexion, and their influence on each other. other be square.
In this enlarged sense it may be considered as embrac Matter is divisible into parts, and these parts may
ing astronomy, mathematics, dynamics, hydrostatics, again be subdivided into other parts. By this is meant
geology, chemistry, optics, botany, in short, a vast range divisibility or separability. To the practical subdivision
of human knowledge, which for the sake of convenience of matter there seems to be no assignable limit; and
is usually divided into distinct branches of science. In many of the instances of it which may be found in phi-
its more limited and linary meaning, the term applies losophical investigations almost exceed credibility. The
only to inorganic substances, and the laws which regu- thinnest part of a soap-bubble, which is a thin shell of
late their connexion with each other, but without alte water and the matter of soap, does not exceed in thick-
ration of character; and it is this most important branch ness the 2,500,000th part of an inch. The useful arts,
of knowledge, which in reality is the basis of all others, also, furnishi many striking examples ; but it is in the
of which we now propose treating. We shall commence organised world that the most astonishing proofs of the
with an explicit definition of the meaning of the term extreme divisibility of globules, or particles of matter,
substances or matter, it being necessary that this be are to be found.
clearly understood.

Animalcules-that is, animals which are so small as to be invisible to the naked eye, and which, by means

of microscopes, are seen floating in water-are in some Matterấor that of which all bodies are composed cases so minute, that it would require a million of them whose existence is made known to us by means of the to form the bulk of a grain of sand. As these animalsenses or by the test of philosopliic experimentis pos- cules possess, in every case, a perfect organisation to sessed of various properties, some of which are essential enable tliem to perform all the functions of life, tlie to its existence, while others are only accidental or con smallness of their different parts, and the extreme tingent. The essential properties of matter are Im. minuteness of the particles of matter which compose penetrability, Extension, Figure, Divisibility, Inertia, them, are too exquisite to be made the subject of caland Attraction.

culation: the imagination is lost in the contemplation Impenetrability is that quality of bodies, in virtue of of their wonderful economy. The effuvium or odour which each occupies a certain portion of space, and ex- which excites the sensation of smell, consists of an includes other bodies from existing in the same place at calculable number of particles of matter floating in the the same instant. In the usual sense, we call any hard atmosphere, and so minute as to be altogether invisible body, such as a stone, impenetrable, because it firmly to the eye. These particles are not more remarkable resists our efforts to pierce it. But as it is understood for their inconceivably small size than for the length philosophically (although we can condense, pierce, and of time which they will remain in suspension in the remove the greater number of them), all bodies are atmosphere, or in connexion with some particular place. alike impenetrable, because they equally possess the The efHuvium given forth by a single grain of musk has property of excluding other substances from the spaces been known to perfume a large apartment for twenty which they occupy. This, in fact, is saying no more years, and yet at the expiry of that period there was no than that two things cannot be in the same place at sensible diminution of the little mass of matter from once, which is a self-evident truth, whether we apply which the smell had proceeded. it to a single particle of matter or a large mass.

The diffusion of particles of matter invisible to the or portion or particle of matter, pos naked eye, is also obvious in the case of the melting of sesses a certain extension or magnitude. It is impos- a piece of sugar in our tea; the solid mass of the sugar sible to form a conception of matter, however minute disappears, and the particles of which it was composed may be the particle, without connecting with it the idea are diffused in the liquid. There is a similar diffusion of its having a certain bulk, and filling a certain extent of particles of salt in the ocean. When we look through of space. In common phraseology, we express this pro- a glass full of sea water, we perceive that it is pure and perty of bodies by the word size or volume.

linipid; but if we pour the water into a vessel on the The next property demanding our attention is the fire, and boil it, we shall at length discover that, while figure of bodies. Figure or form is the result of ex- the liquid has escaped in the form of vapour, the par. tension, for we cannot have the idea of a body possess- tieles

of salt it held in solution remain incrusted on the ing lengths and breadth, without its having some kind vessel. of figure, however irregular. The volume of a body Particles of matter are never destroyed or lost, allas no relation to its figure: Bodies which have the though they may disappear from our immediate obsersame figure may possess very different volumes ; and Ivation. Under certain circumstances, the particles may

Every body,

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