University of Virginia Library



There are three classes in this school: the Junior and Senior
classes of Natural Philosophy, and the class of Geology and Mineralogy.

In the Junior class the illustrations are experimental and graphical,
with references to the simpler truths of Geometry. In the
Senior Class the subjects, where they admit of it, are discussed
mathematically. The aim of the course being a comprehensive
view of general Physics, the instructions are given chiefly by lectures,
though aided from time to time by text-books. The following
is the plan of the course.


1. General or Rational Mechanics; consisting of Statics and
Dynamics, or the doctrines of Equilibrium and Motion, and their
various applications.


Page 14

2. Mechanics of Solids.—Molecular Structure of Solids, Excitement
and Transfer of Force, Elements of Machinery, Friction,
Strength of Materials, Motive Powers, &c.

3. Mechanics of Liquids.—Molecular Structure, Resulting
Laws of Equilibrium and Pressure, Flotation, Specific Gravities,
Waves, Motions through Pipes, &c., Resistance, Hydraulic
Machines, &c.

4. Mechanics of Airs.—Molecular Structure, Elasticity, &c.;
Atmosphere, Barometers and Formulæ, Resistance, Pneumatic
Machines, Hydro-Pneumatic do., &c.

5. Capillarity and Endosmose.—Laws and Theory of Capillarity,
Laws of Diffusion, &c.

6. Acoustics.—Mechanism of Molecular Vibrations, Sound-waves,
Propagation and Reflection, Musical Vibration of Chords,
&c.' Musical Scales and Instruments, Speech and Hearing, &c.

7. Thermotics or Heat.—Temperature, Expansion, Latent and
Specific Heat, Heat of Combination, Conduction, &c.; Melloni's
Laws, Vapours, Metereology, Steam Engine, &c.

8. Electricity.—1st. Mechanical. Excitation, Conduction, &c.;
Atmospheric; 2d. Chemical. Excitation, Transfer, Effects, &c.;
Natural Sources and Application of Electricity, &c.

9. Magnetism.—1st. Statical. Induction, Distribution, &c.;
Magnetism of Globe, Dip, &c.; 2d. By Currents. Electro-Magnetic
Phenomena and Laws, Thermo-Electricity, &c.

10.—Optics.—Propagation, Reflection, Refraction of Light;
Chromatics, Dispersion, Polarization, &c.; Theories, Optical
Instruments, Photography, the Eye, &c.


1. Descriptive Astronomy.—General View of Celestial Phenomena,
Modes of Observing and Computing the Places and Motions
of the Heavenly Bodies, Theory of Celestial Motions, &c.

2. Physical Astronomy.—Investigation of Forces, Planetary
Gravitation, Perturbations, Tides, Nebular Theory, &c.

In the class of Geology and Mineralogy especial attention
is given to the structure and mineral products of our own
country. The great mineral zones are described by reference to
maps and sections, the order of stratification pointed out, the nature
of the materials shown by specimens, and the relations of all these
features to the agriculture and other resources of the country particularly
dwelt upon. Modes of exploring are taught and methods
given for the analysis of ores, rocks, and soils.

Text Books.—Reference is made in the Junior Class to the
works of Herschell, Brewster, Lardner, &c.; in the Senior, to
Young's Analytical Mechanics, and Norton's Astronomy; in Geology,
to Lyell, Trimmer, or De La Beche; and in Mineralogy, to
Allen, Dana, or any of the leading works.