On 13 March 1845, John Frederic Daniell (1790–1845) passed away. From 1831-1834, he was the first professor of chemistry at King’s College London, and in 1835, he was appointed professor of chemistry at East India Company’s Military Seminary at Addiscombe, Surrey.
He was most known for his improved invention of the Voltaic cell, which was known as the Daniell cell. His other inventions included the dew-point hygrometer (humidity meter), a register pyrometer (surface temperature meter), and a manufacturing process devised by him for the manufacture of turpentine and resin for street lamp illumination.
A quote from Introduction to the Study of Chemical Philosophy (1839).
“There are several varieties of force all of which may either mediately or immediately be referred to the standard of our own exertions. Some of these cause masses of matter to approach, and others to recede from each other, retaining them in their second position against an opposing force; the former are classed together under the name of attraction, the latter under that of repulsion.
“The laws of these motions, and of the equilibrium of these forces, the intellect of man has been able to develope; but the origin of the forces themselves, though clearly perceived to be various, appears to be beyond his comprehension, even when that origin is in his own will. We cannot, at least, refer them to any secondary cause, and we must be content to know that they are powers conferred upon matter by the will of the Creator, for the maintenance of the order of His Creation.” (p. 13).
This book also includes a reference to the Jesuit scientist Fr. Roger Joseph Boscovich, SJ (1711–1787).
“With regard to its ultimate constitution, we cannot hope to attain to a clearer conception than that which presented itself to the comprehensive, but humble, mind of Newton; and that transcendent philosopher has thus embodied the result of his patient investigations: — ‘It seems probable to me that God, in the beginning, formed Matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, moveable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportion to space, as most conduced to the end for which He formed them; and that those primitive particles, being solids, are incomparably harder than any porous bodies compounded of them; even so very hard as never to wear or break in pieces; no ordinary power being able to divide what God himself made one in the first creation.’
“But this hypothesis, however convenient and consonant with our prejudices, is not absolutely necessary to the explanation of natural phenomena; for it may be conceived, according to the theory of Boscovich, that matter consists not of solid particles, but of mere mathematical centres of forces attractive and repulsive, whose relations to space were ordained, and whose actions are regulated and maintained by the Creator of the universe. Both hypotheses however agree in one great principle: viz., that the properties of bodies depend upon forces emanating from immovable points (whether substantial or not is of little importance) of their masses.” (p.7)
—“John Frederic Daniell.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation.
—Daniell, J.F. An Introduction to the Study of Chemical Philosophy. (London, GB: John W. Parker, 1843), 13, http://goo.gl/BPDSyJ. 7, http://goo.gl/SCNEg8.
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