University of Virginia Library



There are three classes in this School.

1. The Junior or General Class, which meets three times
each week throughout the session of nine months. The
object of the course of lectures to this class is to furnish the
student with a comprehensive view of Modern Physics, and
to make him familiar with its methods of investigation.
With the design of laying a thoroughly scientific basis for
the course, a large space is given at the outset to the discussion
of the cardinal doctrines of motion and force. These
doctrines are established, and their leading consequences


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are traced, without the use of mathematical symbols.
Guided by these truths, the teacher discusses, in the light
of experiment, the structure of matter according to the
received atomic hypotheses, and the equilibrium and motion
of solids and fluids. These topics, with various applications,
occupy the first half of the course of lectures.

The remainder of the course is devoted to Molecular
Physics, and treats of Capillarity, Osmose, Wave Motion,
Sound, Light, Heat and Electricity. In this, as in the
previous portion of the lectures, the established laws of
motion and force are kept steadily in view, to convince the
student that the entire body of Physics is a coherent and
harmonious system of mechanical truth.

Text-Book.—Silliman's Physics.

2. The Senior Class.—This class meets twice a week, and
studies Mechanics and Astronomy.

Text-Books.—Parkinson's Mechanics, Norton's Astronomy,
Lockyer's Astronomy.


3. These subjects are assigned to a separate class, which
the members of the other classes in the School may attend
without payment of an additional fee. In this class the
lectures commence with General Mineralogy, which is treated
with especial reference to Geology, to which it is designed
to be an introduction. In the lectures on Geology, the
specific identity of ancient and modern Geological causes
is pointed out; the present action of these causes, whether
atmospheric, aqueous or igneous, is considered, and their
effects in the past history of the Earth are examined. The
illustrations are drawn, as far as practicable, from the Geological
structure of Virginia.

The students have an opportunity of familiarizing themselves
with the minerals, rocks and fossils exhibited in the

Text-Books.—Dana's Manuals of Mineralogy and Geology.

Class of Practical Physics.—Arrangements are now
making to accommodate those students who, expecting to
be teachers of Science, or for other reasons, desire to acquaint
themselves practically with the details of Physical Manipulation.
These accommodations will, it is hoped, be enlarged
as the demand for them augments. The course of instruction
will be partly experimental and partly theoretical. For
the present, the subjects presented will be these:


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A. Experimental.—1. Study of the Construction, Management
and Preservation of Physical Apparatus. The
student will take apart, examine and put together various
philosophical instruments, and will carefully repeat with
them the experiments performed in the lecture room.

2. Use of "Instruments of Precision."—Measurement of
length, of differences of altitude, of volume; Calibration
of tubes; Specific Gravity of solids and liquids;
Measurement of small intervals of time by revolving
mirror; of number of vibrations of sounding bodies by
Syren, Monochord and revolving mirror or screen; of Curvature
and focal distances of mirrors and lenses; Manipulation
and use of the Telescope, Microscope and Spectroscope;
Daily Observations with Meteorological Instruments;
Determination of the errors of instruments.

B. Theoretical.—Reduction of Observations; Interpolation;
Graphical representation of results; Calculation,
from a series of measurements of a quantity, of its most
probable value, and of the degree of precision attained;
Essays on prescribed physical topics.