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X.

0N CHEMICAL RAT” AND THE STRUCTURE AND
LIGHT OF THE SKY.

THE first physical investigation of any importance in
whlch, jointly with my friend Professor Knoblauch, I took
part, bore the title : “ The Magneto-optic Properties of
Crystals, and the Relation of Magnetism and Diamagnetism
to Molecular Arrangement.” 1 This investigation compelled
me to reflect upon the structure of crystals, on their optical
properties in relation to that structure, and more particu-
larly on the striking phenomena exhibited by many of
them in the field of a sufficiently powerful magnet. These
were evidently due to the manner in which the molecules
of the crystals were built together by the force of crystal-
lization ; and it was natural, if not necessary for me, to em-
ploy such strength‘of imagination as I possessed in obtain-
ing a mental picture of this molecular architecture. The
inquiry gave a tinge and bias to my subsequent scientific
thought, rendering, as it did, the conceptions and pursuits
of molecular physics pleasant to me. Its influence is to be
traced in most of my scientific work. The first lecture, for
example, which I ever delivered in this theatre, was “ On
the Influence of Material Aggregation on the Manifestations
of Force ; ” by “ material aggregation ” being meant the
way in which, by Nature or by Art, the molecules of mat-

1Ph2'losophical flfagazine, July, 1850.

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