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FOR GENERAL USE
AND ADAPTED TO AID STUDENTS ENGAGED IN ANY
DEPARTMENTS OF SCIENCE OR ART,
FOR GENERAL USE.
TO THE READER. The first thirty-two pages of this Tract treat of the Arithmetic. The last few, from page 33, give direction deemed important, for the study of Science generally, and should be read first. The Tract may conveniently, where desired, be bound into the volume of Physics.
FORMULA IN SCIENCE. The following pages exhibit the abridged view of arithmetic promised in the last paragraph of page 716 of the Elements of Physics, published in 1865.
What is here offered is not a complete or exhaustive Treatise on Arithmetic, but an endeavour to remove or lessen certain difficulties which common minds encounter in the attempt to go well into the subject; and the author hopes that this simple introduction will so far lessen these difficulties that the number of successful students will be thereby much increased.
Formulæ are short arithmetical expressions showing general relations among the phenomena of nature; a knowledge of these greatly facilitates the computations required in particular cases, and they are therefore important to be understood by all who make applications of science to practical purposes.
As some of the signs or symbols used in these are employed also in algebra, many persons who have not learned algebra avoid the study of formulæ because of the supposed difficulty ; but those who know the common arithmetical operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, with the signification of the few marks explained, at page 707, and in common books, are prepared to understand all that follows here.
§ 1. A chief cause why so many people have imperfect couceptions and command of the powers of common arithmetic is, that in ordinary schools the methods of teaching arithmetic