Collected Papers: Volume IX by H. A. Lorentz (auth.)

By H. A. Lorentz (auth.)

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Extra resources for Collected Papers: Volume IX

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The first detailed investigation which we possess on molecular forces, was concerned with liquids. We have already seen how BORELLI imagined the formation of drops and the rise of water in capillary tubes to take place, but this does not really deserve the name of an explanation. This was only obtained, when LAPLACE subjected in his "Mecanique celeste" the attractive forces between liquid molecules to a mathematical treatment. It turned out, then, that one was able to explain all phenomena, occurring in this field, by the assumption that the mutual attraction of two molecules is appreciable only at very small distances and that the same is true of the attraction, experienced by the liquid particles from a solid wall.

We understand then that one cannot but establish equations, by means of which for every moment the position and the velocity of the falling stone can be calculated. This purpose can be attained by means of different equations and one of these determines the changes which the velocity of the stone continually experiences. In order, now, to express this equation in words, one can term one of the quantities, occurring in it, "force", and one is led so to the statement, that a constant "force", directed towards the centre of the earth, acts on the stone.

14 DE MOLECULAIRE THEORIEN IN DE NATUURKUNDE Dit is in zooverre te betreuren, als men juist alleen in die onderstelling de vraagstukken, die ik U zooeven opnoemde, voldoende heeft opgelost. Wanneer de moleculen anders op elkaar werken dan volgens de onderstelling van MAXWELL, heeft men van verschijnselen als de inwendige wrijving slechts eene benaderde, geene volkomen strenge theorie gegeven 7). Het is zeer te hopen, dat spoedig deze moeilijkheid worde overwonnen, daar men dan misschien iets meer over de onderlinge werking der deeltjes van een gas zal te weten komen.

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