Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 3 - "Destructors" to "Diameter"
Author: Various
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

In the stereoscope the two diagrams, by the combined use of which the form of bodies in three dimensions is recognized, are projections of the bodies taken from two points so near each other that, by viewing the two diagrams simultaneously, one with each eye, we identify the corresponding points intuitively. The method in which we simultaneously contemplate two figures, and recognize a correspondence between certain points in the one figure and certain points in the other, is one of the most powerful and fertile methods hitherto known in science. Thus in pure geometry the theories of similar, reciprocal and inverse figures have led to many extensions of the science. It is sometimes spoken of as the method or principle of Duality. GEOMETRY: Projective.)


The study of the motion of a material system is much assisted by the use of a series of diagrams representing the configuration, displacement and acceleration of the parts of the system.

Diagram of Configuration.—In considering a material system it is often convenient to suppose that we have a record of its position at any given instant in the form of a diagram of configuration. The position of any particle of the system is defined by drawing a straight line or vector from the origin, or point of reference, to the given particle. The position of the particle with respect to the origin is determined by the magnitude and direction of this vector. If in the diagram we draw from the origin (which need not be the same point of space as the origin for the material system) a vector equal and parallel to the vector which determines the position of the particle, the end of this vector will indicate the position of the particle in the diagram of configuration. If this is done for all the particles we shall have a system of points in the diagram of configuration, each of which corresponds to a particle of the material system, and the relative positions of any pair of these points will be the same as the relative positions of the material particles which correspond to them.

We have hitherto spoken of two origins or points from which the vectors are supposed to be drawn—one for the material system, the other for the diagram. These points, however, and the vectors drawn from them, may now be omitted, so that we have on the one hand the material system and on the other a set of points, each point corresponding to a particle of the system, and the whole representing the configuration of the system at a given instant.

This is called a diagram of configuration.

Diagram of Displacement.—Let us next consider two diagrams of configuration of the same system, corresponding to two different instants. We call the first the initial configuration and the second the final configuration, and the passage from the one configuration to the other we call the displacement of the system. We do not at present consider the length of time during which the displacement was effected, nor the intermediate stages through which it passed, but only the final result—a change of configuration. To study this change we construct a diagram of displacement.

Let A, B, C be the points in the initial diagram of configuration, and A', B', C' be the corresponding points in the final diagram of configuration. From o, the origin of the diagram of displacement, draw a vector oa equal and parallel to AA', ob equal and parallel to BB', oc to CC', and so on. The points a, b, c, &c., will be such that the vector ab indicates the displacement of B relative to A, and so on. The diagram containing the points a, b, c, &c., is therefore called the diagram of displacement.

In constructing the diagram of displacement we have hitherto assumed that we know the absolute displacements of the points of the system. For we are required to draw a line equal and parallel to AA', which we cannot do unless we know the absolute final position of A, with respect to its initial position. In this diagram of displacement there is therefore, besides the points a, b, c, &c., an origin, o, which represents a point absolutely fixed in space. This is necessary because the two configurations do not exist at the same time; and therefore to express their relative position we require to know a point which remains the same at the beginning and end of the time.

But we may construct the diagram in another way which does not assume a knowledge of absolute displacement or of a point fixed in space. Assuming any point and calling it a, draw ak parallel and equal to BA in the initial configuration, and from k draw kb parallel and equal to A'B' in the final configuration. It is easy to see that the position of the point b relative to a will be the same by this construction as by the former construction, only we must observe that in this second construction we use only vectors such as AB, A'B', which represent the relative position of points both of which exist simultaneously, instead of vectors such as AA', BB', which express the position of a point at one instant relative to its position at a former instant, and which therefore cannot be determined by observation, because the two ends of the vector do not exist simultaneously.

It appears therefore that the diagram of displacements, when drawn by the first construction, includes an origin o, which indicates that we have assumed a knowledge of absolute displacements. But no such point occurs in the second construction, because we use such vectors only as we can actually observe. Hence the diagram of displacements without an origin represents neither more nor less than all we can ever know about the displacement of the material system.

Diagram of Velocity.—If the relative velocities of the points of the system are constant, then the diagram of displacement corresponding to an interval of a unit of time between the initial and the final configuration is called a diagram of relative velocity. If the relative velocities are not constant, we suppose another system in which the velocities are equal to the velocities of the given system at the given instant and continue constant for a unit of time. The diagram of displacements for this imaginary system is the required diagram of relative velocities of the actual system at the given instant. It is easy to see that the diagram gives the velocity of any one point relative to any other, but cannot give the absolute velocity of any of them.

Diagram of Acceleration.—By the same process by which we formed the diagram of displacements from the two diagrams of initial and final configuration, we may form a diagram of changes of relative velocity from the two diagrams of initial and final velocities. This diagram may be called that of total accelerations in a finite interval of time. And by the same process by which we deduced the diagram of velocities from that of displacements we may deduce the diagram of rates of acceleration from that of total acceleration.

We have mentioned this system of diagrams in elementary kinematics because they are found to be of use especially when we have to deal with material systems containing a great number of parts, as in the kinetic theory of gases. The diagram of configuration then appears as a region of space swarming with points representing molecules, and the only way in which we can investigate it is by considering the number of such points in unit of volume in different parts of that region, and calling this the density of the gas.

In like manner the diagram of velocities appears as a region containing points equal in number but distributed in a different manner, and the number of points in any given portion of the region expresses the number of molecules whose velocities lie within given limits. We may speak of this as the velocity-density.

Diagrams of Stress.—Graphical methods are peculiarly applicable to statical questions, because the state of the system is constant, so that we do not need to construct a series of diagrams corresponding to the successive states of the system. The most useful of these applications, collectively termed Graphic Statics, relates to the equilibrium of plane framed structures familiarly represented in bridges and roof-trusses. Two diagrams are used, one called the diagram of the frame and the other called the diagram of stress. The structure itself consists of a number of separable pieces or links jointed together at their extremities. In practice these joints have friction, or may be made purposely stiff, so that the force acting at the extremity of a piece may not pass exactly through the axis of the joint; but as it is unsafe to make the stability of the structure depend in any degree upon the stiffness of joints, we assume in our calculations that all the joints are perfectly smooth, and therefore that the force acting on the end of any link passes through the axis of the joint.

The axes of the joints of the structure are represented by points in the diagram of the frame. The link which connects two joints in the actual structure may be of any shape, but in the diagram of the frame it is represented by a straight line joining the points representing the two joints. If no force acts on the link except the two forces acting through the centres of the joints, these two forces must be equal and opposite, and their direction must coincide with the straight line joining the centres of the joints. If the force acting on either extremity of the link is directed towards the other extremity, the stress on the link is called pressure and the link is called a "strut." If it is directed away from the other extremity, the stress on the link is called tension and the link is called a "tie." In this case, therefore, the only stress acting in a link is a pressure or a tension in the direction of the straight line which represents it in the diagram of the frame, and all that we have to do is to find the magnitude of this stress. In the actual structure gravity acts on every part of the link, but in the diagram we substitute for the actual weight of the different parts of the link two weights which have the same resultant acting at the extremities of the link.

We may now treat the diagram of the frame as composed of links without weight, but loaded at each joint with a weight made up of portions of the weights of all the links which meet in that joint. If any link has more than two joints we may substitute for it in the diagram an imaginary stiff frame, consisting of links, each of which has only two joints. The diagram of the frame is now reduced to a system of points, certain pairs of which are joined by straight lines, and each point is in general acted on by a weight or other force acting between it and some point external to the system. To complete the diagram we may represent these external forces as links, that is to say, straight lines joining the points of the frame to points external to the frame. Thus each weight may be represented by a link joining the point of application of the weight with the centre of the earth.

But we can always construct an imaginary frame having its joints in the lines of action of these external forces, and this frame, together with the real frame and the links representing external forces, which join points in the one frame to points in the other frame, make up together a complete self-strained system in equilibrium, consisting of points connected by links acting by pressure or tension. We may in this way reduce any real structure to the case of a system of points with attractive or repulsive forces acting between certain pairs of these points, and keeping them in equilibrium. The direction of each of these forces is sufficiently indicated by that of the line joining the points, so that we have only to determine its magnitude. We might do this by calculation, and then write down on each link the pressure or the tension which acts in it.

We should in this way obtain a mixed diagram in which the stresses are represented graphically as regards direction and position, but symbolically as regards magnitude. But we know that a force may be represented in a purely graphical manner by a straight line in the direction of the force containing as many units of length as there are units of force in the force. The end of this line is marked with an arrow head to show in which direction the force acts. According to this method each force is drawn in its proper position in the diagram of configuration of the frame. Such a diagram might be useful as a record of the result of calculation of the magnitude of the forces, but it would be of no use in enabling us to test the correctness of the calculation.

But we have a graphical method of testing the equilibrium of any set of forces acting at a point. We draw in series a set of lines parallel and proportional to these forces. If these lines form a closed polygon the forces are in equilibrium. (See MECHANICS.) We might in this way form a series of polygons of forces, one for each joint of the frame. But in so doing we give up the principle of drawing the line representing a force from the point of application of the force, for all the sides of the polygon cannot pass through the same point, as the forces do. We also represent every stress twice over, for it appears as a side of both the polygons corresponding to the two joints between which it acts. But if we can arrange the polygons in such a way that the sides of any two polygons which represent the same stress coincide with each other, we may form a diagram in which every stress is represented in direction and magnitude, though not in position, by a single line which is the common boundary of the two polygons which represent the joints at the extremities of the corresponding piece of the frame.

We have thus obtained a pure diagram of stress in which no attempt is made to represent the configuration of the material system, and in which every force is not only represented in direction and magnitude by a straight line, but the equilibrium of the forces at any joint is manifest by inspection, for we have only to examine whether the corresponding polygon is closed or not.

The relations between the diagram of the frame and the diagram of stress are as follows:—To every link in the frame corresponds a straight line in the diagram of stress which represents in magnitude and direction the stress acting in that link; and to every joint of the frame corresponds a closed polygon in the diagram, and the forces acting at that joint are represented by the sides of the polygon taken in a certain cyclical order, the cyclical order of the sides of the two adjacent polygons being such that their common side is traced in opposite directions in going round the two polygons.

The direction in which any side of a polygon is traced is the direction of the force acting on that joint of the frame which corresponds to the polygon, and due to that link of the frame which corresponds to the side. This determines whether the stress of the link is a pressure or a tension. If we know whether the stress of any one link is a pressure or a tension, this determines the cyclical order of the sides of the two polygons corresponding to the ends of the links, and therefore the cyclical order of all the polygons, and the nature of the stress in every link of the frame.

Reciprocal Diagrams.—When to every point of concourse of the lines in the diagram of stress corresponds a closed polygon in the skeleton of the frame, the two diagrams are said to be reciprocal.

The first extensions of the method of diagrams of forces to other cases than that of the funicular polygon were given by Rankine in his Applied Mechanics (1857). The method was independently applied to a large number of cases by W. P. Taylor, a practical draughtsman in the office of J. B. Cochrane, and by Professor Clerk Maxwell in his lectures in King's College, London. In the Phil. Mag. for 1864 the latter pointed out the reciprocal properties of the two diagrams, and in a paper on "Reciprocal Figures, Frames and Diagrams of Forces," Trans. R.S. Edin. vol. xxvi., 1870, he showed the relation of the method to Airy's function of stress and to other mathematical methods. Professor Fleeming Jenkin has given a number of applications of the method to practice (Trans. R.S. Edin. vol. xxv.).

L. Cremona (Le Figure reciproche nella statica grafica, 1872) deduced the construction of reciprocal figures from the theory of the two components of a wrench as developed by Moebius. Karl Culmann, in his Graphische Statik (1st ed. 1864-1866, 2nd ed. 1875), made great use of diagrams of forces, some of which, however, are not reciprocal. Maurice Levy in his Statique graphique (1874) has treated the whole subject in an elementary but copious manner, and R. H. Bow, in his The Economics of Construction in Relation to Framed Structures (1873), materially simplified the process of drawing a diagram of stress reciprocal to a given frame acted on by a system of equilibrating external forces.

Instead of lettering the joints of the frame, as is usually done, or the links of the frame, as was the custom of Clerk Maxwell, Bow places a letter in each of the polygonal areas enclosed by the links of the frame, and also in each of the divisions of surrounding space as separated by the lines of action of the external forces. When one link of the frame crosses another, the point of apparent intersection of the links is treated as if it were a real joint, and the stresses of each of the intersecting links are represented twice in the diagram of stress, as the opposite sides of the parallelogram which corresponds to the point of intersection.

This method is followed in the lettering of the diagram of configuration (fig. 1), and the diagram of stress (fig. 2) of the linkwork which Professor Sylvester has called a quadruplane.

In fig. 1 the real joints are distinguished from the places where one link appears to cross another by the little circles O, P, Q, R, S, T, V. The four links RSTV form a "contraparallelogram" in which RS = TV and RV = ST. The triangles ROS, RPV, TQS are similar to each other. A fourth triangle (TNV), not drawn in the figure, would complete the quadruplane. The four points O, P, N, Q form a parallelogram whose angle POQ is constant and equal to [pi] - SOR. The product of the distances OP and OQ is constant. The linkwork may be fixed at O. If any figure is traced by P, Q will trace the inverse figure, but turned round O through the constant angle POQ. In the diagram forces Pp, Qq are balanced by the force Co at the fixed point. The forces Pp and Qq are necessarily inversely as OP and OQ, and make equal angles with those lines.

Every closed area formed by the links or the external forces in the diagram of configuration is marked by a letter which corresponds to a point of concourse of lines in the diagram of stress. The stress in the link which is the common boundary of two areas is represented in the diagram of stress by the line joining the points corresponding to those areas. When a link is divided into two or more parts by lines crossing it, the stress in each part is represented by a different line for each part, but as the stress is the same throughout the link these lines are all equal and parallel. Thus in the figure the stress in RV is represented by the four equal and parallel lines HI, FG, DE and AB. If two areas have no part of their boundary in common the letters corresponding to them in the diagram of stress are not joined by a straight line. If, however, a straight line were drawn between them, it would represent in direction and magnitude the resultant of all the stresses in the links which are cut by any line, straight or curved, joining the two areas. For instance the areas F and C in fig. 1 have no common boundary, and the points F and C in fig. 2 are not joined by a straight line. But every path from the area F to the area C in fig. 1 passes through a series of other areas, and each passage from one area into a contiguous area corresponds to a line drawn in the diagram of stress. Hence the whole path from F to C in fig. 1 corresponds to a path formed of lines in fig. 2 and extending from F to C, and the resultant of all the stresses in the links cut by the path is represented by FC in fig. 2.

Many examples of stress diagrams are given in the article on BRIDGES (q.v.).

Automatic Description of Diagrams.

There are many other kinds of diagrams in which the two co-ordinates of a point in a plane are employed to indicate the simultaneous values of two related quantities. If a sheet of paper is made to move, say horizontally, with a constant known velocity, while a tracing point is made to move in a vertical straight line, the height varying as the value of any given physical quantity, the point will trace out a curve on the paper from which the value of that quantity at any given time may be determined. This principle is applied to the automatic registration of phenomena of all kinds, from those of meteorology and terrestrial magnetism to the velocity of cannon-shot, the vibrations of sounding bodies, the motions of animals, voluntary and involuntary, and the currents in electric telegraphs.

In Watt's indicator for steam engines the paper does not move with a constant velocity, but its displacement is proportional to that of the piston of the engine, while that of the tracing point is proportional to the pressure of the steam. Hence the co-ordinates of a point of the curve traced on the diagram represent the volume and the pressure of the steam in the cylinder. The indicator-diagram not only supplies a record of the pressure of the steam at each stage of the stroke of the engine, but indicates the work done by the steam in each stroke by the area enclosed by the curve traced on the diagram. (J. C. M.)

DIAL and DIALLING. Dialling, sometimes called gnomonics, is a branch of applied mathematics which treats of the construction of sun-dials, that is, of those instruments, either fixed or portable, which determine the divisions of the day (Lat. dies) by the motion of the shadow of some object on which the sun's rays fall. It must have been one of the earliest applications of a knowledge of the apparent motion of the sun; though for a long time men would probably be satisfied with the division into morning and afternoon as marked by sun-rise, sun-set and the greatest elevation.

History.—The earliest mention of a sun-dial is found in Isaiah xxxviii. 8: "Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees which is gone down in the sun-dial of Ahaz ten degrees backward." The date of this would be about 700 years before the Christian era, but we know nothing of the character or construction of the instrument. The earliest of all sun-dials of which we have any certain knowledge was the hemicycle, or hemisphere, of the Chaldaean astronomer Berossus, who probably lived about 300 B.C. It consisted of a hollow hemisphere placed with its rim perfectly horizontal, and having a bead, or globule, fixed in any way at the centre. So long as the sun remained above the horizon the shadow of the bead would fall on the inside of the hemisphere, and the path of the shadow during the day would be approximately a circular arc. This arc, divided into twelve equal parts, determined twelve equal intervals of time for that day. Now, supposing this were done at the time of the solstices and equinoxes, and on as many intermediate days as might be considered sufficient, and then curve lines drawn through the corresponding points of division of the different arcs, the shadow of the bead falling on one of these curve lines would mark a division of time for that day, and thus we should have a sun-dial which would divide each period of daylight into twelve equal parts. These equal parts were called temporary hours; and, since the duration of daylight varies from day to day, the temporary hours of one day would differ from those of another; but this inequality would probably be disregarded at that time, and especially in countries where the variation between the longest summer day and the shortest winter day is much less than in our climates.

The dial of Berossus remained in use for centuries. The Arabians, as appears from the work of Albategnius, still followed the same construction about the year A.D. 900. Four of these dials have in modern times been found in Italy. One, discovered at Tivoli in 1746, is supposed to have belonged to Cicero, who, in one of his letters, says that he had sent a dial of this kind to his villa near Tusculum. The second and third were found in 1751—one at Castel-Nuovo and the other at Rignano; and a fourth was found in 1762 at Pompeii. G. H. Martini in his Abhandlungen von den Sonnenuhren der Alten (Leipzig, 1777), says that this dial was made for the latitude of Memphis; it may therefore be the work of Egyptians, perhaps constructed in the school of Alexandria.

Herodotus recorded that the Greeks derived from the Babylonians the use of the gnomon, but the great progress made by the Greeks in geometry enabled them in later times to construct dials of great complexity, some of which remain to us, and are proof not only of extensive knowledge but also of great ingenuity.

Ptolemy's Almagest treats of the construction of dials by means of his analemma, an instrument which solved a variety of astronomical problems. The constructions given by him were sufficient for regular dials, that is, horizontal dials, or vertical dials facing east, west, north or south, and these are the only ones he treats of. It is certain, however, that the ancients were able to construct declining dials, as is shown by that most interesting monument of ancient gnomics—the Tower of the Winds at Athens. This is a regular octagon, on the faces of which the eight principal winds are represented, and over them eight different dials—four facing the cardinal points and the other four facing the intermediate directions. The date of the dials is long subsequent to that of the tower; for Vitruvius, who describes the tower in the sixth chapter of his first book, says nothing about the dials, and as he has described all the dials known in his time, we must believe that the dials of the tower did not then exist. The hours are still the temporary hours or, as the Greeks called them, hectemoria.

The first sun-dial erected at Rome was in the year 290 B.C., and this Papirius Cursor had taken from the Samnites. A dial which Valerius Messalla had brought from Catania, the latitude of which is five degrees less than that of Rome, was placed in the forum in the year 261 B.C. The first dial actually constructed at Rome was in the year 164 B.C., by order of Q. Marcius Philippus, but as no other Roman has written on gnomonics, this was perhaps the work of a foreign artist. If, too, we remember that the dial found at Pompeii was made for the latitude of Memphis, and consequently less adapted to its position than that of Catania to Rome, we may infer that mathematical knowledge was not cultivated in Italy.

The Arabians were much more successful. They attached great importance to gnomonics, the principles of which they had learned from the Greeks, but they greatly simplified and diversified the Greek constructions. One of their writers, Abu'l Hassan, who lived about the beginning of the 13th century, taught them how to trace dials on cylindrical, conical and other surfaces. He even introduced equal or equinoctial hours, but the idea was not supported, and the temporary hours alone continued in use.

Where or when the great and important step already conceived by Abu'l Hassan, and perhaps by others, of reckoning by equal hours was generally adopted cannot now be determined. The history of gnomonics from the 13th to the beginning of the 16th century is almost a blank, and during that time the change took place. We can see, however, that the change would necessarily follow the introduction of clocks and other mechanical methods of measuring time; for, however imperfect these were, the hours they marked would be of the same length in summer and in winter, and the discrepancy between these equal hours and the temporary hours of the sun-dial would soon be too important to be overlooked. Now, we know that a balance clock was put up in the palace of Charles V. of France about the year 1370, and we may reasonably suppose that the new sun-dials came into general use during the 14th and 15th centuries.

Among the earliest of the modern writers on gnomonics was SEBASTIAN MUeNSTER (q.v.), who published his Horologiographia at Basel in 1531. He gives a number of correct rules, but without demonstrations. Among his inventions was a moon-dial,[1] but this does not admit of much accuracy.

During the 17th century dialling was discussed at great length by many writers on astronomy. Clavius devotes a quarto volume of 800 pages entirely to the subject. This was published in 1612, and may be considered to contain all that was known at that time.

In the 18th century clocks and watches began to supersede sun-dials, and these have gradually fallen into disuse except as an additional ornament to a garden, or in remote country districts where the old dial on the church tower still serves as an occasional check on the modern clock by its side. The art of constructing dials may now be looked upon as little more than a mathematical recreation.

General Principles.—The diurnal and the annual motions of the earth are the elementary astronomical facts on which dialling is founded. That the earth turns upon its axis uniformly from west to east in twenty-four hours, and that it is carried round the sun in one year at a nearly uniform rate, is the correct way of expressing these facts. But the effect will be precisely the same, and it will suit our purpose better, and make our explanations easier, if we adopt the ideas of the ancients, of which our senses furnish apparent confirmation, and assume the earth to be fixed. Then, the sun and stars revolve round the earth's axis uniformly from east to west once a day—the sun lagging a little behind the stars, making its day some four minutes longer—so that at the end of the year it finds itself again in the same place, having made a complete revolution of the heavens relatively to the stars from west to east.

The fixed axis about which all these bodies revolve daily is a line through the earth's centre; but the radius of the earth is so small, compared with the enormous distance of the sun, that, if we draw a parallel axis through any point of the earth's surface, we may safely look on that as being the axis of the celestial motions. The error in the case of the sun would not, at its maximum, that is, at 6 A.M. and 6 P.M., exceed half a second of time, and at noon would vanish. An axis so drawn is in the plane of the meridian, and points to the pole, its elevation being equal to the latitude of the place.

The diurnal motion of the stars is strictly uniform, and so would that of the sun be if the daily retardation of about four minutes, spoken of above, were always the same. But this is constantly altering, so that the time, as measured by the sun's motion, and also consequently as measured by a sun-dial, does not move on at a strictly uniform pace. This irregularity, which is slight, would be of little consequence in the ordinary affairs of life, but clocks and watches being mechanical measures of time could not, except by extreme complication, be made to follow this irregularity, even if desirable.

The clock is constructed to mark uniform time in such wise that the length of the clock day shall be the average of all the solar days in the year. Four times a year the clock and the sun-dial agree exactly; but the sun-dial, now going a little slower, now a little faster, will be sometimes behind, sometimes before the clock-the greatest accumulated difference being about sixteen minutes for a few days in November, but on the average much less. The four days on which the two agree are April 15, June 15, September 1 and December 24.

Clock-time is called mean time, that marked by the sun-dial is called apparent time, and the difference between them is the equation of time. It is given in most calendars and almanacs, frequently under the heading "clock slow," "clock fast." When the time by the sun-dial is known, the equation of time will at once enable us to obtain the corresponding clock-time, or vice versa.

Atmospheric refraction introduces another error by altering the apparent position of the sun; but the effect is too small to need consideration in the construction of an instrument which, with the best workmanship, does not after all admit of very great accuracy.

The general principles of dialling will now be readily understood. The problem before us is the following:—A rod, or style, as it is called, being firmly fixed in a direction parallel to the earth's axis, we have to find how and where points or lines of reference must be traced on some fixed surface behind the style, so that when the shadow of the style falls on a certain one of these lines, we may know that at that moment it is solar noon,—that is, that the plane through the style and through the sun then coincides with the meridian; again, that when the shadow reaches the next line of reference, it is 1 o'clock by solar time, or, which comes to the same thing, that the above plane through the style and through the sun has just turned through the twenty-fourth part of a complete revolution; and so on for the subsequent hours,—the hours before noon being indicated in a similar manner. The style and the surface on which these lines are traced together constitute the dial.

The position of an intended sun-dial having been selected—whether on church tower, south front of farmstead or garden wall—the surface must be prepared, if necessary, to receive the hour-lines.

The chief, and in fact the only practical difficulty will be the accurate fixing of the style, for on its accuracy the value of the instrument depends. It must be in the meridian plane, and must make an angle with the horizon equal to the latitude of the place. The latter condition will offer no difficulty, but the exact determination of the meridian plane which passes through the point where the style is fixed to the surface is not so simple. At present we shall assume that the style has been fixed in its true position. The style itself will be usually a stout metal wire, and when we speak of the shadow cast by the style it must always be understood that the middle line of the thin band of shade is meant.

The point where the style meets the dial is called the centre of the dial. It is the centre from which all the hour-lines radiate.

The position of the XII o'clock line is the most important to determine accurately, since all the others are usually made to depend on this one. We cannot trace it correctly on the dial until the style has been itself accurately fixed in its proper place. When that is done the XII o'clock line will be found by the intersection of the dial surface with the vertical plane which contains the style; and the most simple way of drawing it on the dial will be by suspending a plummet from some point of the style whence it may hang freely, and waiting until the shadows of both style and plumb-line coincide on the dial. This single shadow will be the XII o'clock line.

In one class of dials, namely, all the vertical ones, the XII o'clock line is simply the vertical line from the centre; it can, therefore, at once be traced on the dial face by using a fine plumb-line.

The XII o'clock line being traced, the easiest and most accurate method of tracing the other hour-lines would, at the present day when good watches are common, be by marking where the shadow of the style falls when 1, 2, 3, &c., hours have elapsed since noon, and the next morning by the same means the forenoon hour-lines could be traced; and in the same manner the hours might be subdivided into halves and quarters, or even into minutes.

But formerly, when watches did not exist, the tracing of the I, II, III, &c., o'clock lines was done by calculating the angle which each of these lines would make with the XII o'clock line. Now, except in the simple cases of a horizontal dial or of a vertical dial facing a cardinal point, this would require long and intricate calculations, or elaborate geometrical constructions, implying considerable mathematical knowledge, but also introducing increased chances of error. The chief source of error would lie in the uncertainty of the data; for the position of the dial-plane would have to be found before the calculations began,—that is, it would be necessary to know exactly by how many degrees it declined from the south towards the east or west, and by how many degrees it inclined from the vertical. The ancients, with the means at their disposal, could obtain these results only very roughly.

Dials received different names according to their position:—

Horizontal dials, when traced on a horizontal plane;

Vertical dials, when on a vertical plane facing one of the cardinal points;

Vertical declining dials, on a vertical plane not facing a cardinal point;

Inclining dials, when traced on planes neither vertical nor horizontal (these were further distinguished as reclining when leaning backwards from an observer, proclining when leaning forwards);

Equinoctial dials, when the plane is at right angles to the earth's axis, &c. &c.

Dial Construction.—A very correct view of the problem of dial construction may be obtained as follows:—

Conceive a transparent cylinder (fig. 1) having an axis AB parallel to the axis of the earth. On the surface of the cylinder let equidistant generating-lines be traced 15 deg. apart, one of them XII ... XII being in the meridian plane through AB, and the others I ... I, II ... II, &c., following in the order of the sun's motion.

Then the shadow of the line AB will obviously fall on the line XII ... XII at apparent noon, on the line I ... I at one hour after noon, on II ... II at two hours after noon, and so on. If now the cylinder be cut by any plane MN representing the plane on which the dial is to be traced, the shadow of AB will be intercepted by this plane and fall on the lines AXII AI, AII, &c.

The construction of the dial consists in determining the angles made by AI, AII, &c. with AXII; the line AXII itself, being in the vertical plane through AB, may be supposed known.

For the purposes of actual calculation, perhaps a transparent sphere will, with advantage, replace the cylinder, and we shall here apply it to calculate the angles made by the hour-line with the XII o'clock line in the two cases of a horizontal dial and of a vertical south dial.

Horizontal Dial.—Let PEp (fig. 2), the axis of the supposed transparent sphere, be directed towards the north and south poles of the heavens. Draw the two great circles, HMA, QMa, the former

horizontal, the other perpendicular to the axis Pp, and therefore coinciding with the plane of the equator. Let EZ be vertical, then the circle QZP will be the meridian, and by its intersection A with the horizontal circle will determine the XII o'clock line EA. Next divide the equatorial circle QMa into 24 equal parts ab, bc, cd, &c. ... of 15 deg. each, beginning from the meridian Pa, and through the various points of division and the poles draw the great circles Pbp, Pcp, &c. ... These will exactly correspond to the equidistant generating lines on the cylinder in the previous construction, and the shadow of the style will fall on these circles after successive intervals of 1,2, 3, &c., hours from noon. If they meet the horizontal circle in the points B, C, D, &c., then EB, EC, ED, &c. ... will be the I, II, III, &c., hour-lines required; and the problem of the horizontal dial consists in calculating the angles which these lines make with the XII o'clock line EA, whose position is known. The spherical triangles PAB, PAC, &c., enable us to do this readily. They are all right-angled at A, the side PA is the latitude of the place, and the angles APB, APC, &c., are respectively 15 deg., 30 deg., &c., then

tan AB = tan 15 deg. sin latitude, tan AC = tan 30 deg. sin latitude, &c. &c.

These determine the sides AB, AC, &c., that is, the angles AEB, AEC, &c., required.

The I o'clock hour-line EB must make an angle with the meridian EA of 11 deg. 51' on a London dial, of 12 deg. 31' at Edinburgh, of 11 deg. 23' at Paris, 12 deg. 0' at Berlin, 9 deg. 55' at New York and 9 deg. 19' at San Francisco. In the same way may be found the angles made by the other hour-lines.

The calculations of these angles must extend throughout one quadrant from noon to VI o'clock, but need not be carried further, because all the other hour-lines can at once be deduced from these. In the first place the dial is symmetrically divided by the meridian, and therefore two times equidistant from noon will have their hour-lines equidistant from the meridian; thus the XI o'clock line and the I o'clock line must make the same angles with it, the X o'clock the same as the II o'clock, and so on. And next, the 24 great circles, which were drawn to determine these lines, are in reality only 12; for clearly the great circle which gives I o'clock after midnight, and that which gives I o'clock after noon, are one and the same, and so also for the other hours. Therefore the hour-lines between VI in the evening and VI the next morning are the prolongations of the remaining twelve.

Let us now remove the imaginary sphere with all its circles, and retain only the style EP and the plane HMA with the lines traced on it, and we shall have the horizontal dial.

On the longest day in London the sun rises a little before 4 o'clock, and sets a little after 8 o'clock; there is therefore no necessity for extending a London dial beyond those hours. At Edinburgh the limits will be a little longer, while at Hammerfest, which is within the Arctic circle, the whole circuit will be required.

Instead of a wire style it is often more convenient to use a metal plate from one quarter to half an inch in thickness. This plate, which is sometimes in the form of a right-angled triangle, must have an acute angle equal to the latitude of the place, and, when properly fixed in a vertical position on the dial, its two faces must coincide with the meridian plane, and the sloping edges formed by the thickness of the plate must point to the pole and form two parallel styles. Since there are two styles, there must be two dials, or rather two half dials, because a little consideration will show that, owing to the thickness of the plate, these styles will only one at a time cast a shadow. Thus the eastern edge will give the shadow for all hours before 6 o'clock in the morning. From 6 o'clock until noon the western edge will be used. At noon it will change again to the eastern edge until 6 o'clock in the evening, and finally the western edge for the remaining hours of daylight.

The centres of the two dials will be at the points where the styles meet the dial face; but, in drawing the hour-lines, we must be careful to draw only those lines for which the corresponding style is able to give a shadow as explained above. The dial will thus have the appearance of a single dial plate, and there will be no confusion (see fig. 3).

The line of demarcation between the shadow and the light will be better defined than when a wire style is used; but the indications by this double dial will always be one minute too fast in the morning and one minute too slow in the afternoon. This is owing to the magnitude of the sun, whose angular breadth is half a degree. The well-defined shadows are given, not by the centre of the sun, as we should require them, but by the forward limb in the morning and by the backward one in the afternoon; and the sun takes just about a minute to advance through a space equal to its half-breadth.

Dials of this description are frequently met with. The dial plate is of metal as well as the vertical piece upon it, and they may be purchased ready for placing on the pedestal,—the dial with all the hour-lines traced on it and the style plate firmly fastened in its proper position, if not even cast in the same piece with the dial plate.

When placing it on the pedestal care must be taken that the dial be perfectly horizontal and accurately oriented. The levelling will be done with a spirit-level, and the orientation will be best effected either in the forenoon or in the afternoon, by turning the dial plate till the time given by the shadow (making the one minute correction mentioned above) agrees with a good watch whose error on solar time is known. It is, however, important to bear in mind that a dial, so built up beforehand, will have the angle at the base equal to the latitude of some selected place, such as London, and the hour-lines will be drawn in directions calculated for the same latitude. Such a dial can therefore not be used near Edinburgh or Glasgow, although it would, without appreciable error, be adapted to any place whose latitude did not differ more than 20 or 30 m. from that of London, and it would be safe to employ it in Essex, Kent or Wiltshire.

If a series of such dials were constructed, differing by 30 m. in latitude, then an intending purchaser could select one adapted to a place whose latitude was within 15 m. of his own, and the error of time would never exceed a small fraction of a minute. The following table will enable us to check the accuracy of the hour-lines and of the angle of the style,—all angles on the dial being readily measured with an ordinary protractor. It extends from 50 deg. lat. to 59 1/2 deg. lat., and therefore includes the whole of Great Britain and Ireland:—

- - LAT. XI. A.M. X. A.M. IX. A.M. VIII. A.M. VII. A.M. VI. A.M. I. P.M. II. P.M. III. P.M. IIII. P.M. V. P.M. VI. P.M. deg. deg. deg. deg. deg. deg. deg. min. min. min. min. min. min. min. - - 50 0 11 36 23 51 37 27 53 0 70 43 90 0 50 30 11 41 24 1 37 39 53 12 70 51 90 0 51 0 11 46 24 10 37 51 53 23 70 59 90 0 51 30 11 51 24 19 38 3 53 35 71 6 90 0 52 0 11 55 24 28 38 14 53 46 71 13 90 0 52 30 12 0 24 37 38 25 53 57 71 20 90 0 53 0 12 5 24 45 38 37 54 8 71 27 90 0 53 30 12 9 24 54 38 48 54 19 71 34 90 0 54 0 12 14 25 2 38 58 54 29 71 40 90 0 54 30 12 18 25 10 39 9 54 39 71 47 90 0 55 0 12 23 25 19 39 19 54 49 71 53 90 0 55 30 12 27 25 27 39 30 54 59 71 59 90 0 56 0 12 31 25 35 39 40 55 9 72 5 90 0 56 30 12 36 25 43 39 50 55 18 72 11 90 0 57 0 12 40 25 50 39 59 55 27 72 17 90 0 57 30 12 44 25 58 40 9 55 36 72 22 90 0 58 0 12 48 26 5 40 18 55 45 72 28 90 0 58 30 12 52 26 13 40 27 55 54 72 33 90 0 59 0 12 56 26 20 40 36 56 2 72 39 90 0 59 30 13 0 26 27 40 45 56 11 72 44 90 0 - -

Vertical South Dial.—Let us take again our imaginary transparent sphere QZPA (fig. 4), whose axis PEp is parallel to the earth's axis. Let Z be the zenith, and, consequently, the great circle QZP the meridian. Through E, the centre of the sphere, draw a vertical plane facing south. This will cut the sphere in the great circle ZMA, which, being vertical, will pass through the zenith, and, facing south, will be at right angles to the meridian. Let QMa be the equatorial circle, obtained by drawing a plane through E at right angles to the axis PEp. The lower portion Ep of the axis will be the style, the vertical line EA in the meridian plane will be the XII o'clock line, and the line EM, which is obviously horizontal, since M is the intersection of two great circles ZM, QM, each at right angles to the vertical plane QZP, will be the VI o'clock line. Now, as in the previous problem, divide the equatorial circle into 24 equal arcs of 15 deg. each, beginning at a, viz. ab, bc, &c.,—each quadrant aM, MQ, &c., containing 6,—then through each point of division and through the axis Pp draw a plane cutting the sphere in 24 equidistant great circles. As the sun revolves round the axis the shadow of the axis will successively fall on these circles at intervals of one hour, and if these circles cross the vertical circle ZMA in the points A, B, C, &c., the shadow of the lower portion Ep of the axis will fall on the lines EA, EB, EC, &c., which will therefore be the required hour-lines on the vertical dial, Ep being the style.

There is no necessity for going beyond the VI o'clock hour-line on each side of noon; for, in the winter months the sun sets earlier than 6 o'clock, and in the summer months it passes behind the plane of the dial before that time, and is no longer available.

It remains to show how the angles AEB, AEC, &c., may be calculated.

The spherical triangles pAB, pAC, &c., will give us a simple rule. These triangles are all right-angled at A, the side pA, equal to ZP, is the co-latitude of the place, that is, the difference between the latitude and 90 deg.; and the successive angles ApB, ApC, &c., are 15 deg., 30 deg., &c., respectively. Then

tan AB = tan 15 deg. sin co-latitude;

or more simply,

tan AB = tan 15 deg. cos latitude, tan AC = tan 30 deg. cos latitude, &c. &c.

and the arcs AB, AC so found are the measure of the angles AEB, AEC, &c., required.

In this ease the angles diminish as the latitudes increase, the opposite result to that of the horizontal dial.

Inclining, Reclining, &c., Dials.—We shall not enter into the calculation of these cases. Our imaginary sphere being, as before supposed, constructed with its centre at the centre of the dial, and all the hour-circles traced upon it, the intersection of these hour-circles with the plane of the dial will determine the hour-lines just as in the previous cases; but the triangles will no longer be right-angled, and the simplicity of the calculation will be lost, the chances of error being greatly increased by the difficulty of drawing the dial plane in its true position on the sphere, since that true position will have to be found from observations which can be only roughly performed.

In all these cases, and in cases where the dial surface is not a plane, and the hour-lines, consequently, are not straight lines, the only safe practical way is to mark rapidly on the dial a few points (one is sufficient when the dial face is plane) of the shadow at the moment when a good watch shows that the hour has arrived, and afterwards connect these points with the centre by a continuous line. Of course the style must have been accurately fixed in its true position before we begin.

Equatorial Dial.—The name equatorial dial is given to one whose plane is at right angles to the style, and therefore parallel to the equator. It is the simplest of all dials. A circle (fig. 5) divided into 24 equal ares is placed at right angles to the style, and hour divisions are marked upon it. Then if care be taken that the style point accurately to the pole, and that the noon division coincide with the meridian plane, the shadow of the style will fall on the other divisions, each at its proper time. The divisions must be marked on both sides of the dial, because the sun will shine on opposite sides in the summer and in the winter months, changing at each equinox.

To find the Meridian Plane.—We have, so far, assumed the meridian plane to be accurately known; we shall proceed to describe some of the methods by which it may be found.

The mariner's compass may be employed as a first rough approximation. It is well known that the needle of the compass, when free to move horizontally, oscillates upon its pivot and settles in a direction termed the magnetic meridian. This does not coincide with the true north and south line, but the difference between them is generally known with tolerable accuracy, and is called the variation of the compass. The variation differs widely at different parts of the surface of the earth, and is not stationary at any particular place, though the change is slow; and there is even a small daily oscillation which takes place about the mean position, but too small to need notice here (see MAGNETISM, TERRESTRIAL).

With all these elements of uncertainty, it is obvious that the compass can only give a rough approximation to the position of the meridian, but it will serve to fix the style so that only a small further alteration will be necessary when a more perfect determination has been made.

A very simple practical method is the following:—

Place a table (fig. 6), or other plane surface, in such a position that it may receive the sun's rays both in the morning and in the afternoon. Then carefully level the surface by means of a spirit-level. This must be done very accurately, and the table in that position made perfectly secure, so that there be no danger of its shifting during the day.

Next, suspend a plummet SH from a point S, which must be rigidly fixed. The extremity H, where the plummet just meets the surface, should be somewhere near the middle of one end of the table. With H for centre, describe any number of concentric arcs of circles, AB, CD, EF, &c.

A bead P, kept in its place by friction, is threaded on the plummet line at some convenient height above H.

Everything being thus prepared, let us follow the shadow of the bead P as it moves along the surface of the table during the day. It will be found to describe a curve ACE ... FDB, approaching the point H as the sun advances towards noon, and receding from it afterwards. (The curve is a conic section—an hyperbola in these regions.) At the moment when it crosses the arc AB, mark the point A; AP is then the direction of the sun, and, as AH is horizontal, the angle PAH is the altitude of the sun. In the afternoon mark the point B where it crosses the same arc; then the angle PBH is the altitude. But the right-angled triangles PHA, PHB are obviously equal; and the sun has therefore the same altitudes at those two instants, the one before, the other after noon. It follows that, if the sun has not changed its declination during the interval, the two positions will be symmetrically placed one on each side of the meridian. Therefore, drawing the chord AB, and bisecting it in M, HM will be the meridian line.

Each of the other concentric arcs, CD, EF, &c., will furnish its meridian line. Of course these should all coincide, but if not, the mean of the positions thus found must be taken.

The proviso mentioned above, that the sun has not changed its declination, is scarcely ever realized; but the change is slight, and may be neglected, except perhaps about the time of the equinoxes, at the end of March and at the end of September. Throughout the remainder of the year the change of declination is so slow that we may safely neglect it. The most favourable times are at the end of June and at the end of December, when the sun's declination is almost stationary. If the line HM be produced both ways to the edges of the table, then the two points on the ground vertically below those on the edges may be found by a plummet, and, if permanent marks be made there, the meridian plane, which is the vertical plane passing through these two points, will have its position perfectly secured.

To place the Style of a Dial in its True Position.—Before giving any other method of finding the meridian plane, we shall complete the construction of the dial, by showing how the style may now be accurately placed in its true position. The angle which the style makes with a hanging plumb-line, being the co-latitude of the place, is known, and the north and south direction is also roughly given by the mariner's compass. The style may therefore be already adjusted approximately—correctly, indeed, as to its inclination—but probably requiring a little horizontal motion east or west. Suspend a fine plumb-line from some point of the style, then the style will be properly adjusted if, at the very instant of noon, its shadow falls exactly on the plumb-line,—or, which is the same thing, if both shadows coincide on the dial.

This instant of noon will be given very simply, by the meridian plane, whose position we have secured by the two permanent marks on the ground. Stretch a cord from the one mark to the other. This will not generally be horizontal, but the cord will be wholly in the meridian plane, and that is the only necessary condition. Next, suspend a plummet over the mark which is nearer to the sun, and, when the shadow of the plumb-line falls on the stretched cord, it is noon. A signal from the observer there to the observer at the dial enables the latter to adjust the style as directed above.

Other Methods of finding the Meridian Plane.—We have dwelt at some length on these practical operations because they are simple and tolerably accurate, and because they want neither watch, nor sextant, nor telescope—nothing more, in fact, than the careful observation of shadow lines.

The Pole star, or Ursae Minoris, may also be employed for finding the meridian plane without other apparatus than plumb-lines. This star is now only about 1 deg. 14' from the pole; if therefore a plumb-line be suspended at a few feet from the observer, and if he shift his position till the star is exactly hidden by the line, then the plane through his eye and the plumb-line will never be far from the meridian plane. Twice in the course of the twenty-four hours the planes would be strictly coincident. This would be when the star crosses the meridian above the pole, and again when it crosses it below. If we wished to employ the method of determining the meridian, the times of the stars crossing would have to be calculated from the data in the Nautical Almanac, and a watch would be necessary to know when the instant arrived. The watch need not, however, be very accurate, because the motion of the star is so slow that an error of ten minutes in the time would not give an error of one-eighth of a degree in the azimuth.

The following accidental circumstance enables us to dispense with both calculation and watch. The right ascension of the star [eta] Ursae Majoris, that star in the tail of the Great Bear which is farthest from the "pointers," happens to differ by a little more than 12 hours from the right ascension of the Pole star. The great circle which joins the two stars passes therefore close to the pole. When the Pole star, at a distance of about 1 deg. 14' from the pole, is crossing the meridian above the pole, the star [eta] Ursae Majoris, whose polar distance is about 40 deg., has not yet reached the meridian below the pole.

When [eta] Ursae Majoris reaches the meridian, which will be within half an hour later, the Pole star will have left the meridian; but its slow motion will have carried it only a very little distance away. Now at some instant between these two times—much nearer the latter than the former—the great circle joining the two stars will be exactly vertical; and at this instant, which the observer determines by seeing that the plumb-line hides the two stars simultaneously, neither of the stars is strictly in the meridian; but the deviation from it is so small that it may be neglected, and the plane through the eye and the plumb-line taken for meridian plane.

In all these cases it will be convenient, instead of fixing the plane by means of the eye and one fixed plummet, to have a second plummet at a short distance in front of the eye; this second plummet, being suspended so as to allow of lateral shifting, must be moved so as always to be between the eye and the fixed plummet. The meridian plane will be secured by placing two permanent marks on the ground, one under each plummet.

This method, by means of the two stars, is only available for the upper transit of Polaris; for, at the lower transit, the other star [eta] Ursae Majoris would pass close to or beyond the zenith, and the observation could not be made. Also the stars will not be visible when the upper transit takes place in the daytime, so that one-half of the year is lost to this method.

Neither could it be employed in lower latitudes than 40 deg. N., for there the star would be below the horizon at its lower transit;—we may even say not lower than 45 deg. N., for the star must be at least 5 deg. above the horizon before it becomes distinctly visible.

There are other pairs of stars which could be similarly employed, but none so convenient as these two, on account of Polaris with its very slow motion being one of the pair.

To place the Style in its True Position without previous Determination of the Meridian Plane.—The various methods given above for finding the meridian plane have for ultimate object the determination of the plane, not on its own account, but as an element for fixing the instant of noon, whereby the style may be properly placed.

We shall dispense, therefore, with all this preliminary work if we determine noon by astronomical observation. For this we shall want a good watch, or pocket chronometer, and a sextant or other instrument for taking altitudes. The local time at any moment may be determined in a variety of ways by observation of the celestial bodies. The simplest and most practically useful methods will be found described and investigated in any work on astronomy.

For our present purpose a single altitude of the sun taken in the forenoon will be most suitable. At some time in the morning, when the sun is high enough to be free from the mists and uncertain refractions of the horizon—but to ensure accuracy, while the rate of increase of the altitude is still tolerably rapid, and, therefore, not later than 10 o'clock—take an altitude of the sun, an assistant, at the same moment, marking the time shown by the watch. The altitude so observed being properly corrected for refraction, parallax, &c., will, together with the latitude of the place, and the sun's declination, taken from the Nautical Almanac, enable us to calculate the time. This will be the solar or apparent time, that is, the very time we require. Comparing the time so found with the time shown by the watch, we see at once by how much the watch is fast or slow of solar time; we know, therefore, exactly what time the watch must mark when solar noon arrives, and waiting for that instant we can fix the style in its proper position as explained before.

We can dispense with the sextant and with all calculation and observation if, by means of the pocket chronometer, we bring the time from some observatory where the work is done; and, allowing for the change of longitude, and also for the equation of time, if the time we have brought is clock time, we shall have the exact instant of solar noon as in the previous case.

In former times the fancy of dialists seems to have run riot in devising elaborate surfaces on which the dial was to be traced. Sometimes the shadow was received on a cone, sometimes on a cylinder, or on a sphere, or on a combination of these. A universal dial was constructed of a figure in the shape of a cross; another universal dial showed the hours by a globe and by several gnomons. These universal dials required adjusting before use, and for this a mariner's compass and a spirit-level were necessary. But it would be tedious and useless to enumerate the various forms designed, and, as a rule, the more complex the less accurate.

Another class of useless dials consisted of those with variable centres. They were drawn on fixed horizontal planes, and each day the style had to be shifted to a new position. Instead of hour-lines they had hour-points; and the style, instead of being parallel to the axis of the earth, might make any chosen angle with the horizon. There was no practical advantage in their use, but rather the reverse; and they can only be considered as furnishing material for new mathematical problems.

Portable Dials.—The dials so far described have been fixed dials, for even the fanciful ones to which reference was just now made were to be fixed before using. There were, however, other dials, made generally of a small size, so as to be carried in the pocket; and these, so long as the sun shone, roughly answered the purpose of a watch.

The description of the portable dial has generally been mixed up with that of the fixed dial, as if it had been merely a special case, and the same principle had been the basis of both; whereas there are essential points of difference between them, besides those which are at once apparent.

In the fixed dial the result depends on the uniform angular motion of the sun round the fixed style; and a small error in the assumed position of the sun, whether due to the imperfection of the instrument, or to some small neglected correction, has only a trifling effect on the time. This is owing to the angular displacement of the sun being so rapid—a quarter of a degree every minute—that for the ordinary affairs of life greater accuracy is not required, as a displacement of a quarter of a degree, or at any rate of one degree, can be readily seen by nearly every person. But with a portable dial this is no longer the case. The uniform angular motion is not now available, because we have no determined fixed plane to which we may refer it. In the new position, to which the observer has gone, the zenith is the only point of the heavens he can at once practically find; and the basis for the determination of the time is the constantly but very irregularly varying zenith distance of the sun.

At sea the observation of the altitude of a celestial body is the only method available for finding local time; but the perfection which has been attained in the construction of the sextant enables the sailor to reckon on an accuracy of seconds. Certain precautions have, however, to be taken. The observations must not be made within a couple of hours of noon, on account of the slow rate of change at that time, nor too near the horizon, on account of the uncertain refractions there; and the same restrictions must be observed in using a portable dial.

To compare roughly the accuracy of the fixed and the portable dials, let us take a mean position in Great Britain, say 54 deg. lat., and a mean declination when the sun is in the equator. It will rise at 6 o'clock, and at noon have an altitude of 36 deg.,—that is, the portable dial will indicate an average change of one-tenth of a degree in each minute, or two and a half times slower than the fixed dial. The vertical motion of the sun increases, however, nearer the horizon, but even there it will be only one-eighth of a degree each minute, or half the rate of the fixed dial, which goes on at nearly the same speed throughout the day.

Portable dials are also much more restricted in the range of latitude for which they are available, and they should not be used more than 4 or 5 m. north or south of the place for which they were constructed.

We shall briefly describe two portable dials which were in actual use.

Dial on a Cylinder.—A hollow cylinder of metal (fig. 7), 4 or 5 in. high, and about an inch in diameter, has a lid which admits of tolerably easy rotation. A hole in the lid receives the style shaped somewhat like a bayonet; and the straight part of the style, which, on account of the two bends, is lower than the lid, projects horizontally out from the cylinder to a distance of 1 or 1 1/2 in. When not in use the style would be taken out and placed inside the cylinder.

A horizontal circle is traced on the cylinder opposite the projecting style, and this circle is divided into 36 approximately equidistant intervals.[2] These intervals represent spaces of time, and to each division is assigned a date, so that each month has three dates marked as follows:-January 10, 20, 31; February 10, 20, 28; March 10, 20, 31; April 10, 20, 30, and so on,—always the 10th, the 20th, and the last day of each month.

Through each point of division a vertical line parallel to the axis of the cylinder is drawn from top to bottom. Now it will be readily understood that if, upon one of these days, the lid be turned, so as to bring the style exactly opposite the date, and if the dial be then placed on a horizontal table so as to receive sunlight, and turned round bodily until the shadow of the style falls exactly on the vertical line below it, the shadow will terminate at some definite point of this line, the position of which point will depend on the length of the style—that is, the distance of its end from the surface of the cylinder—and on the altitude of the sun at that instant. Suppose that the observations are continued all day, the cylinder being very gradually turned so that the style may always face the sun, and suppose that marks are made on the vertical line to show the extremity of the shadow at each exact hour from sun-rise to sun-set-these times being taken from a good fixed sun-dial,—then it is obvious that the next year, on the same date, the sun's declination being about the same, and the observer in about the same latitude, the marks made the previous year will serve to tell the time all that day.

What we have said above was merely to make the principle of the instrument clear, for it is evident that this mode of marking, which would require a whole year's sunshine and hourly observation, cannot be the method employed.

The positions of the marks are, in fact, obtained by calculation. Corresponding to a given date, the declination of the sun is taken from the almanac, and this, together with the latitude of the place and the length of the style, will constitute the necessary data for computing the length of the shadow, that is, the distance of the mark below the style for each successive hour.

We have assumed above that the declination of the sun is the same at the same date in different years. This is not quite correct, but, if the dates be taken for the second year after leap year, the results will be sufficiently approximate.

When all the hour-marks have been placed opposite to their respective dates, then a continuous curve, joining the corresponding hour-points, will serve to find the time for a day intermediate to those set down, the lid being turned till the style occupy a proper position between the two divisions. The horizontality of the surface on which the instrument rests is a very necessary condition, especially in summer, when, the shadow of the style being long, the extreme end will shift rapidly for a small deviation from the vertical, and render the reading uncertain. The dial can also be used by holding it up by a small ring in the top of the lid, and probably the vertically is better ensured in that way.

Portable Dial on a Card.—This neat and very ingenious dial is attributed by Ozanam to a Jesuit Father, De Saint Rigaud, and probably dates from the early part of the 17th century. Ozanam says that it was sometimes called the capuchin, from some fancied resemblance to a cowl thrown back.

Construction.—Draw a straight line ACB parallel to the top of the card (fig. 8) and another DCE at right angles to it; with C as centre, and any convenient radius CA, describe the semicircle AEB below the horizontal. Divide the whole arc AEB into 12 equal parts at the points r, s, t, &c., and through these points draw perpendiculars to the diameter ACB; these lines will be the hour-lines, viz. the line through r will be the XI ... I line, the line through s the X ... II line, and so on; the hour-line of noon will be the point A itself; by subdivision of the small arcs Ar, rs, st, &c., we may draw the hour-lines corresponding to halves and quarters, but this only where it can be done without confusion.

Draw ASD making with AC an angle equal to the latitude of the place, and let it meet EC in D, through which point draw FDG at right angles to AD.

With centre A, and any convenient radius AS, describe an arc of circle RST, and graduate this arc by marking degree divisions on it, extending from 0 deg. at S to 23 1/2 deg. on each side at R and T. Next determine the points on the straight line FDG where radii drawn from A to the degree divisions on the arc would cross it, and carefully mark these crossings.

The divisions of RST are to correspond to the sun's declination, south declinations on RS and north declinations on ST. In the other hemisphere of the earth this would be reversed; the north declinations would be on the upper half.

Now, taking a second year after leap year (because the declinations of that year are about the mean of each set of four years), find the days of the month when the sun has these different declinations, and place these dates, or so many of them as can be shown without confusion, opposite the corresponding marks on FDG. Draw the sun-line at the top of the card parallel to the line ACB; and, near the extremity, to the right, draw any small figure intended to form, as it were, a door of which a b shall be the hinge. Care must be taken that this hinge is exactly at right angles to the sun-line. Make a fine open slit c d right through the card and extending from the hinge to a short distance on the door,—the centre line of this slit coinciding accurately with the sun-line. Now, cut the door completely through the card; except, of course, along the hinge, which, when the card is thick, should be partly cut through at the back, to facilitate the opening. Cut the card right through along the line FDG, and pass a thread carrying a little plummet W and a very small bead P; the bead having sufficient friction with the thread to retain any position when acted on only by its own weight, but sliding easily along the thread when moved by the hand. At the back of the card the thread terminates in a knot to hinder it from being drawn through; or better, because giving more friction and a better hold, it passes through the centre of a small disk of card—a fraction of an inch in diameter—and, by a knot, is made fast at the back of the disk.

To complete the construction,—with the centres F and G, and radii FA and GA, draw the two arcs AY and AZ which will limit the hour-lines; for in an observation the bead will always be found between them. The forenoon and afternoon hours may then be marked as indicated in the figure. The dial does not of itself discriminate between forenoon and afternoon; but extraneous circumstances, as, for instance, whether the sun is rising or falling, will settle that point, except when close to noon, where it will always be uncertain.

To rectify the dial (using the old expression, which means to prepare the dial for an observation),—open the small door, by turning it about its hinge, till it stands well out in front. Next, set the thread in the line FG opposite the day of the month, and stretching it over the point A, slide the bead P along till it exactly coincide with A.

To find the hour of the day,—hold the dial in a vertical position in such a way that its plane may pass through the sun. The verticality is ensured by seeing that the bead rests against the card without pressing. Now gradually tilt the dial (without altering its vertical plane), until the central line of sunshine, passing through the open slit of the door, just falls along the sun-line. The hour-line against which the bead P then rests indicates the time.

The sun-line drawn above has always, so far as we know, been used as a shadow-line. The upper edge of the rectangular door was the prolongation of the line, and, the door being opened, the dial was gradually tilted until the shadow cast by the upper edge exactly coincided with it. But this shadow tilts the card one-quarter of a degree more than the sun-line, because it is given by that portion of the sun which just appears above the edge, that is, by the upper limb of the sun, which is one-quarter of a degree higher than the centre. Now, even at some distance from noon, the sun will sometimes take a considerable time to rise one-quarter of a degree, and by so much time will the indication of the dial be in error.

The central line of light which comes through the open slit will be free from this error, because it is given by light from the centre of the sun.

The card-dial deserves to be looked upon as something more than a mere toy. Its ingenuity and scientific accuracy give it an educational value which is not to be measured by the roughness of the results obtained.

The theory of this instrument is as follows:—Let H (fig. 9) be the point of suspension of the plummet at the time of observation, so that the angle DAH is the north declination of the sun,—P, the bead, resting against the hour-line VX. Join CX, then the angle ACX is the hour-angle from noon given by the bead, and we have to prove that this hour-angle is the correct one corresponding to a north latitude DAC, a north declination DAH and an altitude equal to the angle which the sun-line, or its parallel AC, makes with the horizontal. The angle PHQ will be equal to the altitude, if HQ be drawn parallel to DC, for the pair of lines HQ, HP will be respectively at right angles to the sun-line and the horizontal.

Draw PQ and HM parallel to AC, and let them meet DCE in M and N respectively.

Let HP and its equal HA be represented by a. Then the following values will be readily deduced from the figure:—

AD = a cos decl. DH = a sin decl. PQ = a sin alt.

CX = AC = AD cos lat. = a cos decl. cos lat. PN = CV = CX cos ACX = a cos decl. cos lat. cos ACX. NQ = MH = DH sin MDH = sin decl. sin lat. (:. the angle MDH = DAC = latitude.)

And since PQ = NQ + PN, we have, by simple substitution, a sin alt. = a sin decl. sin lat. + a cos del. cos lat. cos ACX; or, dividing by a throughout,

sin alt. = sin decl. sin lat. + cos decl. cos lat. cos ACX ... (1) which equation determines the hour-angle ACX shown by the bead.

To determine the hour-angle of the sun at the same moment, let fig. 10 represent the celestial sphere, HR the horizon, P the pole, Z the zenith and S the sun.

From the spherical triangle PZS, we have cos ZS = cos PS cos ZP + sin PS sin ZP cos ZPS but ZS = zenith distance = 90 deg. - altitude ZP = 90 deg. - PR = 90 deg.- latitude PS = polar distance = 90 deg. - declination, therefore, by substitution

sin alt. = sin decl. sin lat. + cos decl. cos lat. cos ZPS ... (2) and ZPS is the hour-angle of the sun.

A comparison of the two formulae (1) and (2) shows that the hour-angle given by the bead will be the same as that given by the sun, and proves the theoretical accuracy of the card-dial. Just at sun-rise or at sun-set the amount of refraction slightly exceeds half a degree. If, then, a little cross m (see fig. 8) be made just below the sun-line, at a distance from it which would subtend half a degree at c, the time of sun-set would be found corrected for refraction, if the central line of light were made to fall on cm.

LITERATURE.—The following list includes the principal writers on dialling whose works have come down, to us, and to these we must refer for descriptions of the various constructions, some simple and direct, others fanciful and intricate, which have been at different times employed: Ptolemy, Analemma, restored by Commandine; Vitruvius, Architecture; Sebastian Muenster, Horologiographia; Orontius Fineus, De horologiis solaribus; Mutio Oddi da Urbino, Horologi solari; Dryander, De horologiorum compositione; Conrad Gesner, Pandectae; Andreas Schoener, Gnomonicae; F. Commandine, Horologiorum descriptio; Joan. Bapt. Benedictus, De gnomonum usu; Georgius Schomberg, Exegesis fundamentorum gnomonicorum; Joan. Solomon de Caus, Horologes solaires; Joan. Bapt. Trolta, Praxis horologiorum; Desargues, Maniere universelle pour poser l'essieu, &c.; Ath. Kircher, Ars magna lucis et Umbrae; Hallum, Explicatio horologii in horto regio Londini; Joan. Mark, Tractatus horologiorum; Clavius, Gnomonices de horologiis. Also among more modern writers, Deschales, Ozanam, Schottus, Wolfius, Picard, Lahire, Walper; in German, Paterson, Michael, Mueller; in English, Foster, Wells, Collins, Leadbetter, Jones, Leybourn, Emerson and Ferguson. See also Hans Loeschner, Ueber Sonnenuhren (2nd ed., Graz, 1906). (H. G.)

[1] In one of the courts of Queens' College, Cambridge, there is an elaborate sun-dial dating from the end of the 17th or beginning of the 18th century, and around it a series of numbers which make it available as a moon-dial when the moon's age is known.

[2] Strict equality is not necessary, as the observations made are on the vertical line through each division-point, without reference to the others. It is not even requisite that the divisions should go completely and exactly round the cylinder, although they were always so drawn, and both these conditions were insisted upon in the directions for the construction.

DIALECT (from Gr. [Greek: dialektos], conversation, manner of speaking, [Greek: dialegesthai], to converse), a particular or characteristic manner of speech, and hence any variety of a language. In its widest sense languages which are branches of a common or parent language may be said to be "dialects" of that language; thus Attic, Ionic, Aeolic and Doric are dialects of Greek, though there may never have at any time been a separate language of which they were variations; so the various Romance languages, Italian, French, Spanish, &c., were dialects of Latin. Again, where there have existed side by side, as in England, various branches of a language, such as the languages of the Angles, the Jutes or the Saxons, and the descendant of one particular language, from many causes, has obtained the predominance, the traces of the other languages remain in the "dialects" of the districts where once the original language prevailed. Thus it may be incorrect, from the historical point of view, to say that "dialect" varieties of a language represent degradations of the standard language. A "literary" accepted language, such as modern English, represents the original language spoken in the Midlands, with accretions of Norman, French, and later literary and scientific additions from classical and other sources, while the present-day "dialects" preserve, in inflections, pronunciation and particular words, traces of the original variety of the language not incorporated in the standard language of the country. See the various articles on languages (English, French, &c).

DIALECTIC, or DIALECTICS (from Gr. [Greek: dialektos], discourse, debate; [Greek: e dialektike], sc. [Greek: techne], the art of debate), a logical term, generally used in common parlance in a contemptuous sense for verbal or purely abstract disputation devoid of practical value. According to Aristotle, Zeno of Elea "invented" dialectic, the art of disputation by question and answer, while Plato developed it metaphysically in connexion with his doctrine of "Ideas" as the art of analysing ideas in themselves and in relation to the ultimate idea of the Good (Repub. vii.). The special function of the so-called "Socratic dialectic" was to show the inadequacy of popular beliefs. Aristotle himself used "dialectic," as opposed to "science," for that department of mental activity which examines the presuppositions lying at the back of all the particular sciences. Each particular science has its own subject matter and special principles ([Greek: idiai archai]) on which the superstructure of its special discoveries is based. The Aristotelian dialectic, however, deals with the universal laws ([Greek: koinai archai]) of reasoning, which can be applied to the particular arguments of all the sciences. The sciences, for example, all seek to define their own species; dialectic, on the other hand, sets forth the conditions which all definitions must satisfy whatever their subject matter. Again, the sciences all seek to educe general laws; dialectic investigates the nature of such laws, and the kind and degree of necessity to which they can attain. To this general subject matter Aristotle gives the name "Topics" ([Greek: topoi], loci, communes loci). "Dialectic" in this sense is the equivalent of "logic." Aristotle also uses the term for the science of probable reasoning as opposed to demonstrative reasoning ([Greek: apodeiktike]). The Stoics divided [Greek: logike] (logic) into rhetoric and dialectic, and from their time till the end of the middle ages dialectic was either synonymous with, or a part of, logic.

In modern philosophy the word has received certain special meanings. In Kantian terminology Dialektik is the name of that portion of the Kritik d. reinen Vernunft in which Kant discusses the impossibility of applying to "things-in-themselves" the principles which are found to govern phenomena. In the system of Hegel the word resumes its original Socratic sense, as the name of that intellectual process whereby the inadequacy of popular conceptions is exposed. Throughout its history, therefore, "dialectic" has been connected with that which is remote from, or alien to, unsystematic thought, with the a priori, or transcendental, rather than with the facts of common experience and material things.

DIALLAGE, an important mineral of the pyroxene group, distinguished by its thin foliated structure and bronzy lustre. The chemical composition is the same as diopside, Ca Mg (SiO{3}){2}, but it sometimes contains the molecules (Mg, Fe") (Al, Fe"'){2} SiO{6} and Na Fe"' (SiO{3}){2}, in addition, when it approaches to augite in composition. Diallage is in fact an altered form of these varieties of pyroxene; the particular kind of alteration which they have undergone being known as "schillerization." This, as described by Prof. J. W. Judd, consists in the development of a fine lamellar structure or parting due to secondary twinning and the separation of secondary products along these and other planes of chemical weakness ("solution planes") in the crystal. The secondary products consist of mixtures of various hydrated oxides—opal, goethite, limonite, &c—and appear as microscopic inclusions filling or partly filling cavities, which have definite outlines with respect to the enclosing crystal and are known as negative crystals. It is to the reflection and interference of light from these minute inclusions that the peculiar bronzy sheen or "schiller" of the mineral is due. The most pronounced lamination is that parallel to the orthopinacoid; another, less distinct, is parallel to the basal plane, and a third parallel to the plane of symmetry; these planes of secondary parting are in addition to the ordinary prismatic cleavage of all pyroxenes. Frequently the material is interlaminated with a rhombic pyroxene (bronzite) or with an amphibole (smaragdite or uralite), the latter being an alteration product of the diallage.

Diallage is usually greyish-green or dark green, sometimes brown, in colour, and has a pearly to metallic lustre or schiller on the laminated surfaces. The hardness is 4, and the specific gravity 3.2 to 3.35. It does not occur in distinct crystals with definite outlines, but only as lamellar masses in deep-seated igneous rocks, principally gabbro, of which it is an essential constituent. It occurs also in some peridotites and serpentines, and rarely in volcanic rocks (basalt) and crystalline schists. Masses of considerable size are found in the coarse-grained gabbros of the Island of Skye, Le Prese near Bornio in Valtellina, Lombardy, Prato near Florence, and many other localities.

The name diallage, from diallage, "difference," in allusion to the dissimilar cleavages and planes of fracture, as originally applied by R. J. Hauey in 1801, included other minerals (the orthorhombic pyroxenes hypersthene, bronzite and bastite, and the smaragdite variety of hornblende) which exhibit the same peculiarities of schiller structure; it is now limited to the monoclinic pyroxenes with this structure. Like the minerals of similar appearance just mentioned, it is sometimes cut and polished for ornamental purposes. (L. J. S.)

DIALOGUE, properly the conversation between two or more persons, reported in writing, a form of literature invented by the Greeks for purposes of rhetorical entertainment and instruction, and scarcely modified since the days of its invention. A dialogue is in reality a little drama without a theatre, and with scarcely any change of scene. It should be illuminated with those qualities which La Fontaine applauded in the dialogue of Plato, namely vivacity, fidelity of tone, and accuracy in the opposition of opinions. It has always been a favourite with those writers who have something to censure or to impart, but who love to stand outside the pulpit, and to encourage others to pursue a train of thought which the author does not seem to do more than indicate. The dialogue is so spontaneous a mode of expressing and noting down the undulations of human thought that it almost escapes analysis. All that is recorded, in any literature, of what pretend to be the actual words spoken by living or imaginary people is of the nature of dialogue. One branch of letters, the drama, is entirely founded upon it. But in its technical sense the word is used to describe what the Greek philosophers invented, and what the noblest of them lifted to the extreme refinement of an art.

The systematic use of dialogue as an independent literary form is commonly supposed to have been introduced by Plato, whose earliest experiment in it is believed to survive in the Laches. The Platonic dialogue, however, was founded on the mime, which had been cultivated half a century earlier by the Sicilian poets, Sophron and Epicharmus. The works of these writers, which Plato admired and imitated, are lost, but it is believed that they were little plays, usually with only two performers. The recently discovered mimes of Herodas (Herondas) give us some idea of their scope. Plato further simplified the form, and reduced it to pure argumentative conversation, while leaving intact the amusing element of character-drawing. He must have begun this about the year 405, and by 399 he had brought the dialogue to its highest perfection, especially in the cycle directly inspired by the death of Socrates. All his philosophical writings, except the Apology, are cast in this form. As the greatest of all masters of Greek prose style, Plato lifted his favourite instrument, the dialogue, to its highest splendour, and to this day he remains by far its most distinguished proficient. In the 2nd century a.d. Lucian of Samosata achieved a brilliant success with his ironic dialogues "Of the Gods," "Of the Dead," "Of Love" and "Of the Courtesans." In some of them he attacks superstition and philosophical error with the sharpness of his wit; in others he merely paints scenes of modern life. The title of Lucian's most famous collection was borrowed in the 17th century by two French writers of eminence, each of whom prepared Dialogues des morts. These were Fontenelle (1683) and Fenelon (1712). In English non-dramatic literature the dialogue had not been extensively employed until Berkeley used it, in 1713, for his Platonic treatise, Hylas and Philonous. Landor's Imaginary Conversations (1821-1828) is the most famous example of it in the 19th century, although the dialogues of Sir Arthur Helps claim attention. In Germany, Wieland adopted this form for several important satirical works published between 1780 and 1799. In Spanish literature, the Dialogues of Valdes (1528) and those on Painting (1633) by Vincenzo Carducci, are celebrated. In Italian, collections of dialogues, on the model of Plato, have been composed by Torquato Tasso (1586), by Galileo (1632), by Galiani (1770), by Leopardi (1825), and by a host of lesser writers. In our own day, the French have returned to the original application of dialogue, and the inventions of "Gyp," of Henri Lavedan and of others, in which a mundane anecdote is wittily and maliciously told in conversation, would probably present a close analogy to the lost mimes of the early Sicilian poets, if we could meet with them. This kind of dialogue has been employed in English, and with conspicuous cleverness by Mr Anstey Guthrie, but it does not seem so easily appreciated by English as by French readers. (E.G.)

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6     Next Part
Home - Random Browse