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Bay is the motherland of the Mannar pearl oysters. In a second chapter the author discusses first of all the limitations of the pearl-oyster habitat in Palk Bay. A second biological note contains the results of the author's observations on the pearl oyster spat, and he distinguishes three stages of development of the pearl oyster larvæ and estimates that oyster larvæ may be subject to current disposal for as long a period as fifteen days. In a third biological note the author details the results of his investigation on the parasites found in the oysters of the Tondi beds.
peris. New edition. Pp. xvi+319. (London: Constable and Co., Ltd.) 6s. 6d. net.
The Near-Eastern Problem and the Pan-German Peril. By V. Yovanovitch. Pp. 47. (London: Watts and Co.) 6d. net.
Russia and Democracy: the German Canker in Russia. By G. de Wesselitsky. Pp. viii+96. (London W. Heinemann.) 1s. net.
Plane Trigonometry. By H. L. Reed. Pp. xiii+ 290+xvi. (London: G. Bell and Sons, Ltd.)
Mammals of Eastern Equatorial Africa. (Illus-
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Morals in Evolution. By Prof. L. T. Hobhouse. Pp. xvi+648. (London: Chapman and Hall, Ltd.) 10s. 6d. net.
Masonry. By Prof. M. A. Howe. Pp. ix + 160. (New York: J. Wiley and Sons, Inc.; London: Chapman and Hall, Ltd.) 6s. 6d. net.
Working Data for Irrigation Engineers. By E. A. Moritz. Pp. xiii+395. (New York: J. Wiley and Sons, Inc.; London: Chapman and Hall, Ltd.) 178.
The Examination of Hydrocarbon Oils and of Saponifiable Fats and Waxes. By Prof. D. Holde. Translated by Dr. E. Mueller. Pp. xv+483. (New York: J. Wiley and Sons, Inc.; London: Chapman and Hall, Ltd.) 21s. net.
Elementary Chemical Microscopy. By Prof. E. M. Chamot. Pp. xiii+410. (New York: J. Wiley and Sons, Inc.; London: Chapman and Hall, Ltd.) 12s. 6d. net.
All About the Zeppelins and other Enemy Aircraft. By F. Walker. Pp. 32. (London: Kegan Paul and Co., Ltd.) 6d. net.
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Ferromagnetism and the A2 Transformation in Iron. By H. C. H. C.
Recent Marine Researches
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THURSDAY, JULY 15, 1915.
NEW BOOKS ON BRITISH BOTANY. (1) The Potamogetons (Pond Weeds) of the British Isles. By A. Fryer and A. Bennett. Illustrated by R. Morgan. Pp. x+94 + 60 plates. (London: L. Reeve and Co., Ltd., 1915.) Price £5 5s. net. (2) Floral Rambles in Highways and Byways. By Rev. Prof. G. Henslow. Pp. 294. (London: S.P.C.K., 1915.) Price 6s. net. (3) A Pocket Synopsis of the Families of British Flowering Plants. By W. B. Grove. By W. B. Grove. Pp. vi+49. (Manchester: At the University Press; London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1915.) Price Is. net.
TUDENTS of British Botany and workers in general on pond weeds will welcome the appearance, after many days, of the completion of the monograph on British potamogetons which is associated with the name of the late Alfred Fryer. The monograph presents the results of an intimate study in their native habitats and extending over many years, of the species of one of the most critical of genera. In his home at Chatteris, in the fen country, Fryer was especially well situated for observing at first hand a large number of forms of this remarkably variable genus, and the retirement in which he lived, though a matter of regret to his botanical friends, gave the opportunity for close and uninterrupted study. The critical notes which accompany his very full description of the species, varieties, and forms are. evidence his thorough and painstaking methods, and the great value of his work is enhanced by the large series of beautifully prepared specimens numbering many hundreds which he bequeathed to the British Museum, where, in the Department of Botany, they will form a permanent record available for future use.
To the few botanists who were privileged to know Fryer it will be matter for regret that a brief account of his life was not included in the volume which records the results of his botanical work; the two were so intimately connected. At any rate, some explanation of the genesis and course of the work was due. No reference is made to the fact that three parts containing 56 pages of text and 36 plates were published in 1898 (two parts) and 1900, and that a fourth part, edited by Mr. A. H. Evans from Mr. Fryer's MS. appeared, with 13 plates, in 1913. work was completed by the issue in March, 1915, of a concluding part by Mr. Arthur Bennett, with
an introduction to the whole and a key to the species.
It was fortunate that Mr. Bennett, a friend of and co-worker with Fryer, and a botanist whose knowledge of our pond-weeds is unequalled, was able to complete the work. The volume as it stands, though a connected whole, thus represents three portions-an earlier portion, including seventeen of the total forty-two species and hybrids, which had been completed and published by Mr. Fryer before his death; a second portion, the difficult lucens group, which Mr. A. H. Evans has been able to edit from Fryer's MS. and published notes; and a third portion dealing with the grass-leaved group for which Mr. Bennett is solely responsible.
The text is well arranged and remarkably clear, though there is some want of uniformity in matters bibliographical. The work of the artist, Robert Morgan, is left to speak for itself. It is no detraction from the value of Fryer's work to emphasise the importance of the coloured plates, the great majority of which were drawn by Morgan from living plants supplied by the author; and there is no doubt that Morgan's untimely death in 1900 was a leading factor in the cessation of publication. The omission from the plates of the name of the species is to be regretted.
Apart from its value as a purely systematic work, the volume is of special interest as indicating methods of study and as throwing light on questions of variation and species-status in aquatic plants.
(2) It is difficult to realise when looking through Prof. George Henslow's latest volume that the
author was an active botanist before most modern workers in the science were born. There is a freshness and juvenility about the series of rambles which form the subject of his eminently readable chapters, and we congratulate Prof. Henslow on the mental vigour which he retains with his fourscore years. In a series of fourteen chapters with titles such as "Along a Road's Sides," "By Hedges and Ditches," "Through Marsh-land," "In the Water," and others similar, he has brought together an amount of information about our commoner plants in a manner intelligible to any reader who has a slight knowledge of botany. Some of the more striking features of the plants characteristic of the various habitats are described, and interesting notes on their natural history, such as pollination, methods of climbing, etc., and on their distribution and folklore, are given. As was to be expected, the author seizes every opportunity to emphasise his view of
the origin of plant-form and structure as a direct response to the stimulation of its environment. The book is well illustrated by blocks nearly all of which are old friends (though the source is rarely indicated; many are borrowed from Johns' "Flowers of the Field "). There are also a number of, generally poor, coloured plates.
(3) Mr. Grove's pocket synopsis of the families of British Flowering Plants is a systematic enumeration of the characters of these families arranged under their orders and larger groups, on the lines of the system adopted by Engler in his "Syllabus." It is carefully compiled and "is intended primarily to facilitate the determination of the families of British plants by students." Most students will, however, probably' wish to proceed further than the family and will prefer to use handbooks already in existence which enable them to do this.
TEXT-BOOKS OF CHEMISTRY.
(1) Intermediate Practical Chemistry for Univer-
(2) The Manufacture of Organic Dyestuffs. By
(3) Outlines of Organic Chemistry. A book de-
Dr. F. J. Moore. 2nd edition. Pp. xi+325. (New York: J. Wiley and Sons, Inc.; London: Chapman and Hall, Ltd., 1914.) Price 6s. 6d.
(4) Elementary Practical Chemistry for Medical
as a sort of sign-post to the student. The usual tables are, however, postponed until the student is conversant with "identifications by the dry way. After a very full account of qualitative analysis by the wet way, which includes tests for the rare metals, a section is devoted to preparations of pure substances and to gravimetric and volumetric analysis. The book is, in short, a very useful compendium of practical inorganic chemistry, and for those who intend to become professional chemists it may be unreservedly recommended.
(2) This book on organic dyestuffs is a translation from the French of Prof. A. Wahl, who fills the chair of industrial chemistry in the University of Nancy. We have it on the authority of Dr. Knecht, who has written a short introductory notice, that it supplies a real want, and that it was, in fact, at his suggestion that "this excellent little book " was translated.
It deals essentially with the production of the dyes from the raw material, and includes an account of the distillation of coal tar and the manipulation of the intermediate products. It enters neither into the theory of organic chemistry nor into the application of the dyes to the fibre. The student is therefore recommended to equip himself beforehand with a substantial knowledge of organic chemistry. Moreover, the book does not profess to transform the student into a practical colour-maker, for few details of the actual manufacture or the character of the plant are supplied. We may presume, therefore, that he will receive the necessary practical training concurrently with the study of the text-book if he intends to enter this branch of industry. cannot conceive how any student of ordinary intelligence can commit to memory the description of such a variety of compounds, many of which possess highly complex formulæ, without some pegs of practical experimental work to hang his information on.
The publication of this little volume comes at an opportune moment, when it is highly desirable that the interest of young chemists should be stimulated in the direction of colour-making. It is noteworthy that at the end of the volume the list of books of reference which is given includes a substantial number of English and French, in addition to German authors.
HIS little volume presents in some respects an original method of treating. practical chemistry. After the usual preliminary description of the wash-bottle and its applications, etc., a series of above one hundred little qualitative and quantitative experiments are introduced, the interpretation of which the student is expected to supply. These are excellent so far as they go, but an occasional grouping of the observed phenomena might have been introduced with advantage | tical interest, namely, citric acid, the fulminates,
(3) Dr. Moore's "Outlines of Organic Chemistry," published originally in 1910, has now reached a second edition. The new edition, whilst retaining the original character and arrangement, represents a thorough revision, and includes the description of a number of new substances of prac
and the chemistry of rubber, tannin, and the cyanides. The book is sufficiently well known to need no elaborate description.
(4) The "Elementary Practical Chemistry" by Messrs. Myers and Firth is written mainly for medical students, who, according to the authors, have experienced a long-felt want of this particular kind of aid to practical work. The information, though neither new in substance nor arrangement, is selected in accordance with the syllabuses of most of the medical examining bodies in order, it is presumed, that the overworked medical student may not expend his energies in stepping beyond their well-defined boundaries. This remark is not made in any spirit of cynicism, for it is becoming more and more evident that, with the present overcrowded courses in other branches besides that of medicine, special instruction must be devised for particular classes of students.
We have no hesitation in recommending the book, not only to medical students but to any class of beginners, as a useful introduction to practical chemistry. It is divided into four parts; the first deals with chemical manipulation and a variety of preparations, the second with qualitative, the third with quantitative analysis, and the final chapter is devoted to organic analysis. We would submit two suggestions to the consideration of the authors, though, perhaps, they overstep the syllabus; to combine rough quantitative measurements with such preparations as the reduction of copper sulphate to copper or the preparation of quicklime from marble, to which they readily lend themselves. There seems no reason to wait until part iii. is reached. The second point is to modify part iv. so as to introduce a group of simple organic preparations before entering on the qualitative side of the subject. We confess to having our misgivings as to the value of this
Organic chemistry, as represented by organic compounds used in medicine, is not to-day what it was a quarter of a century ago, and the perfunctory testing of a few dozen of the simplest substances selected from the wide range of complex medical preparations now manufactured has neither an educational nor a practical value. It is, of course, not the authors, but the syllabus which is at fault, for the growing importance of organic chemistry for the medical man demands a much more intimate knowledge than most of the syllabuses are devised to meet.
(5) Dr. J. N. Friend, the editor of this new text-book of inorganic chemistry, points out that, whilst physical and analytical chemistry have been comprehensively dealt with in the form of text
books, inorganic chemistry can show no similar publication, and the present projected series of nine volumes is intended to fill the gap. Each volume is written by one or more authors, well known and accredited in the chemical world, so that the new volumes, so far as authorship is concerned, hold out every promise of success. That the series, if efficiently done, will be welcomed by those who can afford to purchase it, almost goes without saying; but it is to be feared that nine volumes at ten shillings and sixpence each will appeal more to public libraries than to private purses.
After reading through several chapters and dipping into others, the impression we have received is entirely favourable. The matter is not only well and thoughtfully arranged and clearly expressed, but (what is less common in the larger text-books containing great masses of condensed information) it is presented in an attractive, literary form. literary form. Whilst giving full weight to the many excellent features of the work, it is not, perhaps, irrelevant to inquire for what class of readers it is written. It is obviously not a work of reference, such, for example, as Dammer's "Handbuch." It is too big and costly to serve as a text-book for advanced students, though there is much that they might read with profit. The question, in short, is whether a big and expensive text-book affords the best means of conveying to a large number of readers the latest discoveries in a growing science like chemistry. It generally means the reiteration of a large amount of elementary matter, with an expenditure of space which could be more profitably applied to expanding the subject on its less familiar side.
To take an example from the present volume, a chapter on the classification of the elements leads naturally to the familiar facts of the periodic law, which is discussed at some length. Our interest having been stimulated up to this point, we come upon a paragraph entitled "Modifications of the Periodic System," in which we are informed that there is no space to discuss it, our curiosity having to be appeased with three-quarters of a page of references. The work of the Braggs on molecular structure, which is certainly among the most important contributions to the subject during the present century, is relegated to a footnote with numerous references, and there are many other examples of the same kind. It is as if we had been invited to take a journey into foreign lands, and, having started, had been presented with a Baedeker instead.
We are strongly of opinion that, with a mobile science, the system of cheap monographs, which
can without great cost be from time to time reedited, would serve the more useful purpose of bringing the subject up to date, and of reaching, by reason of their cheapness, a larger number of readers than this more costly form of advanced literature, excellent though it may be. J. B. C.
THE PHYSICAL BASIS OF GEOGRAPHY. Physical Geography. By P. Lake. Pp. xx+324. (Cambridge: At the University Press, 1915.) Price 7s. 6d. net.
HYSICAL geography is already represented by numerous elementary text-books, and by other more ambitious works, most of which deal with particular branches of the subject. Mr. Lake's book occupies an intermediate position, being suitable for the needs of teachers and university students. The result is admirable, and the author is to be congratulated, not only on the accuracy of the subject matter, but also on the lucidity and attractiveness of his treatment.
The book is divided into three sections, dealing in turn with the atmosphere, the oceans, and the lands. The first of these is perhaps the most valuable, or at least calls for most praise, for climate and weather, being still imperfectly understood even by their special students, have afforded many a pitfall for the unwary writers of general text-books. Any attempt at undue simplicity is to be deprecated in the interests of accuracy, and Mr. Lake has steered a happy course between the temptation to describe ideal cases, on the one hand, and the danger of citing confusing masses of actual meteorological data, on the other. The author points out the desirability of planning a teaching-course so that the study of the atmosphere occupies the winter session, leaving the land to the summer months when field excursions can be taken.
In the section dealing with the oceans, the chapter on waves and tides should be particularly useful to the student, for these subjects are effectively handled with enviable ease. A chapter is devoted to coral reefs and islands, and the views of Darwin and Murray are presented, but no mention is made of Daly's recent contribution to the controversy, in which he correlates the formation of atolls and barrier reefs with the lowering of sea-level that accompanied the Pleistocene glaciation, and its subsequent rise as the ice melted (Amer. Journ. Sci., 1910, p. 297). The The chapters which treat of the land are uniformly good. They constitute a delightful exposition of dynamical geology, and one feels that they are all too short. The temptation to have written more must have been strong, for rivers, and
glaciers, and volcanoes have a way of leading one further and further afield in the realm of earth-lore. Mr. Lake has written just enough in this, and in the other sections, to fire the student with interest, and no text-book can hope to achieve more.
The book is well illustrated with twenty plates, 162 figures in the text, and a series of maps illustrating isobars, isotherms and rainfall, those of the latter being coloured. Altogether it is a very refreshing text-book, and it has the advantage of satisfying a real need in the teaching of physical geography. ARTHUR HOLMES.
OUR BOOKSHELF. Smithsonian Physical Tables. Sixth revised edition. Prepared by F. E. Fowle. Pp. xxxvi +355. 1914.) THESE physical tables, originally compiled by Prof. Thomas Gray in 1896, have been revised by Mr. F. E. Fowle, of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The number of tables has been increased from 335 in the fifth to more than 400 in the sixth edition. The new matter includes a new set of wire tables from advance sheets supplied by the Bureau of Standards, mathematical tables compiled by Mr. C. E. Van Orstrand, and data relating to Röntgen rays and radio-activity. Thus we find a table giving Moseley's atomic numbers and the wave-lengths of lines in the X-ray spectra of the elements. We miss, however, determinations of the ratio of the charge to the mass of an electron. The mass of an electron is very nearly 9× 10-28 grams, not 6 × 10-28 grams (Table 406). Sadler, on p. 336, no doubt through association with Barkla, becomes Sadla! It would be useful to have the value of the electro-chemical equivalent given for some elements other than silver. These, however, are minor blemishes, and actual use of the tables during two months has proved their great value. It is not too much praise to say that a copy should be in every scientific library and advanced physical laboratory. It may be of service to state that the volume may be obtained in Great Britain, where it should be more widely known, through Messrs. Wm. Wesley and Son, Essex Street, Strand, W.C., at 8s. 6d. net.
(Washington: Smithsonian Institution,
The Design of Steam Boilers and Pressure Vessels. By Prof. G. B. Haven and Prof. G. W. Swett. Pp. vii+ 416. (New York: J. Wiley and Sons. Inc.; London: Chapman and Hall, Ltd., 1915.) Price 12s. 6d. net.
THIS book is a comprehensive treatise on the design of steam boilers and other vessels subjected to internal fluid pressure. The subject naturally divides itself into questions of strength, operations involved, and the production of working of providing dimensions suitable for the thermal drawings embodying the results of the calculations. The authors have endeavoured to harmonise the rational methods of both theory and practice;