This month's Aether Salon in New Babbage featured Miss Bookwork Hienrichs, discussing some of the advances in science during the 19th century.
Miss Viv Trafalgar (right) and Miss Sera Puchkina (left) introduced the Salon and the speaker:
Miss Hienrichs gave a summary of advances in physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, and biology. Many of the names brought back memories for me of musty old classrooms: Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell in physics, James Dalton in chemistry, Herschel and Swan in astronomy, and, of course, Darwin in biology. Below, Miss Hienrichs delivers her remarks:
Miss Hienrichs spoke of discoveries in the field of electromagnetics, and the "luminiferous aether" - what a great phrase! - and the discovery that the speed of light was independent of its direction..
Turning to chemistry, we learned of James Dalton's theory of atomic particles, Avogadro's theory that equal volumes of gas contain equal numbers of molecules, and Mendeleyev's periodic table of elements (in 1869, no doubt causing school children of the 1870s to groan at the sound of his name).
Other discoveries included advances in spectroscopy, in which scientists studied the type of light emitted by various materials. Von Fraunhofer discovered that the sun was composed of numerous elements, while Herschel showed that chemical analysis could be done through analysis of light spectra. The planet Neptune was first predicted mathematically by observing deviations in the orbits of other planets - huzzah for mathematics!