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The Study Of Literature
English Literature Of The 19th Century:
 Thomas Babington Macaulay

 Thomas Carlyle

 Theological Writers

 Scientific Literature Of The Early Victorian Period

 Charles Robert Darwin

 Thomas Henry Huxley

 John Tyndall

 Periodical Literature And Criticism

 Matthew Arnold

 John Ruskin

 Read More Articles About: English Literature Of The 19th Century

John Tyndall

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

Another scientist who claims attention by felicity of style is John Tyndall (1820-1893). He was born near Carlow, Ireland, and became an assistant in the Ordnance Survey in 1839. Afterwards he was a railway engineer at Manchester and taught physics in Queenwood College. He pursued special studies in magnetism in Germany, and in 1857 obtained the degree of Doctor at Marburg. He had already been professor of natural philosophy at the Royal Institution in London, and in 1867 he was made its superintendent. His noted works are "Heat Considered as a Mode of Motion" (1863), "On Radiation" (1865), "Dust and Disease." He spent many vacations in Switzerland studying the glaciers, and published some books on mountain-climbing. In 1872 he lectured in the United States, and gave the proceeds for the promotion of scientific study in this country. In 1874, at the meeting of the British Association at Belfast, he delivered an address defending the cause of science, claiming for it complete freedom in its own domain, and excluding religion from the field of knowledge, but allowing it exercise in the region of emotion. In his explanation of evolution, he said : "I discern in . . . matter . . . the promise and potency of all terrestrial life," yet he also said: "The whole process of evolution is the manifestation of a Power absolutely inscrutable to the intellect of man," and declared himself not a rank materialist. He did much to popularize science by his lucid expositions. His "Fragments of Science" are full of entertaining reading.

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