Science! with Bookworm Hienrichs (Unedited)

Jimmy Branagh: ‘ell Mr. Linus!
Bookworm Hienrichs: Hello, Sky!
Tepic Harlequin: hi Jimmy 🙂
Sky Netizen: Howdy Book!
blakopal Galicia: hi solace, hi jimmy!
Serafina Puchkina: Welcome Miz Netizen!
Jimmy Branagh: Ya seem prickly today, Nathaniel!
Bela Lubezki: good evening
Jimmy Branagh: Hoy Miss Dar!
PJ Trenton aims his camera at Miss Hienrichs and has a sense of deja vu
Bookworm Hienrichs gets a titch more nervous at the turnout.
Nathaniel Lorefield: lol, av I found in my inventory. DIdn;t know I even had it
blakopal Galicia: hi viv
Rowan Derryth wonders if Miss Book is going to be blinding us…
Jimmy Branagh: Hoy Miss Viv!
Bookworm Hienrichs: Hello, Bela!
Bookworm Hienrichs chuckles at PJ.
Jimmy Branagh: Hoy Miss Bela! Miss LillieJay!
Jimmy Branagh: Miss Rhia!
Jimmy Branagh: Frau Lowey!
Nathaniel Lorefield: That’s okay, ya didn;t put yer chair in me. Trust me, you;d know if you had, lol
Bela Lubezki: hello
LillieJay Mills: Hello Mr Jimmy !
Viv Trafalgar: Hello Bela!
blakopal Galicia: hehehe
Rhianon Jameson: Hello there, Mr. Jimmy
Viv Trafalgar clears her throat
Serafina Puchkina: Hello Bela
Viv Trafalgar: Hello everyone!
Jimmy Branagh: Hoy Miss Jed! Miss Sky!
Tepic Harlequin: ello Miss!
Viv Trafalgar: Ladies and Gentlemen, Jasper, Serafina, Jed and I are pleased to welcome you to the April edition of the Aether Salon – Science!
Solace Fairlady Hooooooooos!!!
Linus Lacombe: `*.¸.*´ APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´
Viv Trafalgar: I would like to thank each and every one of you for joining us today.
Jimmy Branagh: ‘ello Mr Yang! Hoy Tepic!
LillieJay Mills applauds
KlausWulfenbach Outlander applauds
Jimmy Branagh: Hoy Caspian!
Viv Trafalgar: As many of you know, the Aether Salon meets to discuss steam and Victorian topics on the third Sunday of each month, in Palisades and Academy, New Babbage.
Viv Trafalgar: We have been doing so since October ’08.
Darlingmonster Ember applauds
Viv Trafalgar: This is our 25th salon and I hope you are all as excited about being here today as I am.
Viv Trafalgar: Just a few matters of housekeeping before we get started.
Viv Trafalgar: If you are standing in the back, please move forward onto the maze so that you can be assured of hearing the speaker.
Bookworm Hienrichs: 25? My goodness!
Solace Fairlady nods vigorously
Viv Trafalgar: Please hold your questions until the end, and as a courtesy to all, please turn off everything that feeds the lag: all HUDs, scripts,
KlausWulfenbach Outlander applauds
Viv Trafalgar: Pi shooters,
Viv Trafalgar: AOs,
Viv Trafalgar: and so on.
Satu Moreau: Belated hello, Jimmy!
Jimmy Branagh waves to Miss Gabriell
Viv Trafalgar: Please no weapons, non-Euclidean geometry, inflammatory rhetoric, Time Machines, or bad ties.
Viv Trafalgar: Your cooperation is appreciated.
Gabriell Anatra waves
Bookworm Hienrichs laughs.
Viv Trafalgar: Edited and unedited transcripts will be posted this week on aethersalon.blogspot.com so you can revisit today’s merriment, read transcripts of past salons, and for a laugh, peruse “overheard at the salon.”
Holocluck Henly decides to continue to sit in the chair
Rhianon Jameson mentally goes through that list again.
Viv Trafalgar: Please join the Aether Salon group and receive notifications of future salon events, click the lower right hand corner of the large brown sign by the entrance.
Linus Lacombe hopes my tie is not prohibited
Nathaniel Lorefield wonders if he counts as a weapon
Viv Trafalgar: (oh no, Linus, yours is fine!)
Viv Trafalgar: We sincerely appreciate the support we receive from everyone in the community and we humbly thank you all.
Viv Trafalgar: Many fine people have contributed to today’s salon: We are grateful to Miss Canolli Capalini of Capalini Fine Furnishings for the wonderful salon chairs.
Viv Trafalgar: We appreciate all of you who have contributed to salon. As a reminder, all speakers’ fund jar donations go directly to the speaker.
Jedburgh30 Dagger: Your taste in neckwear is impeccable Linus
Viv Trafalgar: Now I will turn the stage over to Miss Sera for the introduction of today’s speaker.
Viv Trafalgar: Sera?
Linus Lacombe: whew! Thank you
Serafina Puchkina: Thank you! It is my great pleasure and privilege to introduce today’s speaker.
Gabriell Anatra: Some of us may be classifiable as munitions, if one cares to stretch definitions a bit.
Serafina Puchkina: Miss Bookworm Hienrichs first arrived in New Babbage nearly three years ago, after a year of desultory poking around in other, far-flung places of this world.
Serafina Puchkina: She slowly began integrating herself into the community, despite her distinct lack of mechanical prowess, eventually becoming an event photographer for the monthly Piermont Landing balls
and Aether Salons.
Serafina Puchkina: She also joined the New Babbage militia, and is currently one of the liaisons for the Consulate of Europa Wulfenbach.
Serafina Puchkina: From an early age, Miss Hienrichs has had a very deep interest in the physical sciences–though she admits to being much less versed in the life sciences. She studied physics, chemistry, astronomy, and geology during her schooling, and still enjoys reading about the latest discoveries in these fields.
Serafina Puchkina: Please join me in welcoming Miss Bookworm Hienrichs.
Jimmy applauds
Serafina Puchkina applauds
Jimmy Branagh: Yay!
Viv Trafalgar: Yay Book!!!
Jedburgh30 Dagger applauds
Gabriell Anatra smiles
Beq Janus applauds
Viv Trafalgar: oh er,
Solace Fairlady applauds
Rhianon Jameson applauds
Linus Lacombe: *:-.,_,.-:*’´ `*. HoOoOoO!¸.*´`’*:-.,_,.-:*
KlausWulfenbach Outlander smiles
Bookworm Hienrichs smiles.
KlausWulfenbach Outlander applauds
Viv Trafalgar applauds
LillieJay Mills applauds
Darlingmonster Ember applauds
Bookworm Hienrichs: Thank you, one and all.
Annechen Lowey: `*.¸.*´ APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´
Kimika Ying: applauds
Bookworm Hienrichs: Before I start, I just want to say a big thank you to Sera, Viv, Jed, and Jasper for all they’ve done in creating and continuing these monthly Salons.
Linus Lacombe: `*.¸.*´ APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´
Bookworm Hienrichs: They are such a treat, and one of the things I look forward to each month!
Jimmy applauds
Darlingmonster Ember applauds
Rhianon Jameson nods in agreement
Solace Fairlady applauds
KlausWulfenbach Outlander applauds
Holocluck Henly applauds
Jimmy Branagh: Oy get ‘alf me education ‘ere!
Bookworm Hienrichs: I also want to say thank you to Mr. PJ Trenton for filling in on photographic duties today.
Bookworm Hienrichs grins.
Darlingmonster Ember: I get his other half
Jimmy Branagh chuckles
Darlingmonster Ember: grins
Bookworm Hienrichs waves to Breezy.
Satu Moreau chuckles at Darling.
Viv Trafalgar whispers Hello Breezy!
Jimmy Branagh waves to Miss Breezy
Viv Trafalgar: (and returns to paying attention)
Bookworm Hienrichs: In many areas of life, if you want to know where you’re going, it’s a good idea to know where you’re starting from. This is certainly true in the realm of speculative fiction, including Steampunk.
Solace Fairlady waves to Lady breezy
Bookworm Hienrichs: So if you want your ideas on the state of science in a Steampunk setting to be plausible, it’s best to know what the state of science in Victorian times actually was, and then build realistically (so to speak) from there.
Bookworm Hienrichs: I should, I suppose, insert a disclaimer at this point. I’ve not actually read much speculative fiction, nor have I read anything from the Steampunk genre–at least, not yet. So I’m not sure how much authors in this area would agree with me.
Bookworm Hienrichs: But it seems right to me, and, well, it gives me an excuse for this talk.
Bookworm Hienrichs grins.
Darlingmonster Ember: gasp
Rhianon Jameson laughs
Bookworm Hienrichs: Also, as stated in my biography, I haven’t much background in the life sciences, so this discussion will focus on the physical sciences.
Serafina Puchkina smiles
Darlingmonster Ember fans herself to not swoon
Bookworm Hienrichs: And we certainly cannot cover everything–that would probably be an entire year’s worth of Salons. Instead, I’ll hit a few highlights in the areas of physics, chemistry, astronomy, and geology.
Solace Fairlady fans Dimmie also
Bookworm Hienrichs: One of the major developments in physics throughout the 19th century was in the area of electromagnetism. In 1820, Hans Oersted, a professor at Copenhagen University, was conducting electrical and magnetic demonstrations for some of his students.
Linus Lacombe hands over the smelling salts to Ms DME
Bookworm Hienrichs: He noticed that when electrical current from a battery was switched on and off, a nearby compass needle was deflected from pointing toward magnetic north.
Bookworm Hienrichs: This was the first indication to scientists that there is a link between electric and magnetic forces.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Soon afterwards, Michael Faraday began his pioneering work in electromagnetism. In 1821, he created the first demonstration of converting electrical energy into mechanical force by building a homopolar motor.
Linus Lacombe notes that the first scientist on the slide was eating toast
Bookworm Hienrichs: This motor consisted of a free-hanging wire dipped in mercury, on which a magnet was placed. When a current was passed through the wire, a circular magnetic field was created around the wire, and the wire rotated around the magnet.
Bookworm Hienrichs: In 1831, Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction, by discovering that a moving magnetic field generates an electric field.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Building on this, he soon discovered the property of mutual induction – a charge of current in one electric coil creates a current in another nearby coil.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Late in his career, Faraday developed the concept of field lines (he called them lines of force). This is a visualization of the actions of electromagnetic forces, and are used and taught today.
Satu Moreau‘s typist has a pair of scissors that got magnetized just sitting on his desk.
Bookworm Hienrichs: However, Faraday was not a mathematician. He made many discoveries in electromagnetism, but through experimentation and observation. He wasn’t able to take the next step and explain these systematically.
Bookworm Hienrichs: That was left to James Maxwell, who, in 1873, published a series of mathematical laws and equations that explained Faraday’s discoveries and provided a complete description of the interactions among charges, currents, electric fields, and magnetic fields
Bookworm Hienrichs: (These equations were later simplified by Oliver Heaviside into four equations, now called Maxwell’s Laws.)
Bookworm Hienrichs: Maxwell had also, in 1864, determined that light consists of electromagnetic waves.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Now–ever wonder why Aether (or Ether) is such a prevalent word in our realm? Well, let me give you a bit of background.
LillieJay Mills wonders if he used a silver hammer
Linus Lacombe: 🙂
Bookworm Hienrichs: In Classical time (the Greeks, in other words), the aether was regarded as the pure essence the gods lived and breathed in.
Solace Fairlady chuckles having wondered that herself
Bookworm Hienrichs: For the more scientific/philosophical Greeks, such as Plato and Aristotle, aether was the “fifth element.”
Viv Trafalgar nods
Bookworm Hienrichs: (No, not the cheesy Bruce Willis vehicle.)
Rhianon Jameson laughs
Jimmy chuckles
Linus Lacombe: hehe
Gabriell Anatra: He did know something of Maxwell’s Demon.
Bookworm Hienrichs: The other four elements–earth, air, fire, and water–had specific properties, and were subject to change.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Aether, however, was the pure element; it had no qualities–heat, moisture, etc.–at all, and was incapable of change.
Bookworm Hienrichs: The concept of the ether (or aether) carried down through the years in various forms, and was used to explain various phenomena.
Bookworm Hienrichs: By the 19th century, we have the Luminerferous Aether, which was viewed as a space-filling substance of field.
Bookworm Hienrichs: It was believed to occupy every point in space, and acted as an absolute frame of reference for the universe.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Once Maxwell showed that light was an electromagnetic wave, the aether was seen as the medium through which such waves could propagate.
Bookworm Hienrichs: There seemed to be an easy–well, relatively easy–way to prove this. The motion of the aether past the Earth as the Earth orbited the Sun would create an “aether wind,” which would affect the speed of light.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Light would travel slower going “upwind” as it, in a sense, fought against that wind, and would travel faster going “downwind,” as it added the speed of that wind to its own speed.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Throughout the 1880’s, Albert Michelson and Edward Morley conducted a series of experiments using an interferometer, which could compare the time for light to reflect from mirrors in two directions.
Bookworm Hienrichs: If the light was propagating through a luminiferous aether, there would be a change in phase of the light after it was split to head to the two mirrors.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Can you all see the diagram?
Linus Lacombe: Yes
Viv Trafalgar: not quite yet
Jimmy Branagh: Yep
Rhianon Jameson nods
LillieJay Mills: almost
Bookworm Hienrichs waits a bit, so it’ll rez.
LillieJay Mills sees it now
Bookworm Hienrichs: One light beam is split into two, and sent in two different directions, then reflected back to hit the same detector.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Since the light beams are traveling in two different directions for a time, they should be traveling at *slightly* different speeds, and they’ll be out of phase with each other when they reach the detector.
Rhianon Jameson: Clever chaps
Darlingmonster Ember: rather
Solace Fairlady nods
Bookworm Hienrichs: In 1887, Michelson and Morley published their results–one of the most important *negative* results ever obtained. They found that the speed of light was unchanged, no matter its direction.
Holocluck Henly nods silently
Nathaniel Lorefield: my apologies but I must go: (
Bookworm Hienrichs: This was the first nail in the coffin for aether (or ether). This result also goes on to form part of the framework for a certain theory by one A. Einstein. (General Relativity – 1905).
Bookworm Hienrichs: ((Bye, Nathaniel–you can read the transcript later!))
Gabriell Anatra: Ah, yes, I recall something of this.
Bookworm Hienrichs: The main developments in chemistry during the 19th century involve atomic theory and the periodic table. In 1808, John Dalton published an account of his atomic theory.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Now, atoms themselves were nothing new–the ancient Greeks had first developed the idea of matter being made up of atoms, and had coined the term.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Dalton, however, was the one to develop the idea of considering the relative weights and characteristics of atoms, and seeing how those fit together.
Linus Lacombe: three cheers for the periodic table!
Bookworm Hienrichs: His theory, basically, stated that all matter is made of atoms, which cannot be divided or destroyed. (Well, *we* know they can, but not by chemical means, which was the only thing Dalton could consider at the time.)
Bookworm Hienrichs: All atoms of a given element are identical in mass and properties. (Also not true, as we now know of isotopes.)
Bookworm Hienrichs: Chemical compounds, he determined, are formed by the combination of two or more types of atoms.
Bookworm Hienrichs: He also estimated atomic weights by the mass ratios in which they combined. However, his equipment was crude, so his estimates weren’t very accurate.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Yes, lots of caveats and howevers in there. But at the time, this was rather revolutionary, and it laid the groundwork.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Just three years later, one inaccurate aspect of Dalton’s work, the atomic weight estimates, was improved by Lorenzo Romano Amadeo Carlo Avogadro di Quaregna e di Cerreto, Count of Quaregna and Cerreto. (*There’s* a name for ya!)
Linus Lacombe: goodness
Darlingmonster Ember: sue that portraitist….
Eva Bellambi smiles
Jedburgh30 Dagger: Avogadro!
Rhianon Jameson: Indeed, Miss Ember.
Holocluck Henly: the man was crushed by his own name
Bookworm Hienrichs chuckles.
Jimmy Branagh: ‘ee’s got chameleon oyes.
Rhianon Jameson: Wasn’t he in Lord of the Rings?
Bookworm Hienrichs: Avogadro discovered equal volumes of gases of any time, if held at the same pressure and temperature, contain the same number of molecules.
Jimmy Branagh: Bet they move in all directions on they’re own.
Jimmy Branagh: their
Serafina Puchkina: Jimmy!
Bookworm Hienrichs goes back and amends “time” to “kind.”
Holocluck Henly tries to suppress a snicker at the nobleman’s revelation
Jimmy chuckles
Bookworm Hienrichs: Differences in the masses of those gases, therefore, are related to their differing molecular weights. This discovery meant that one could gain more accurate measures of atomic sizes and weights.
Darlingmonster Ember: ah
Bookworm Hienrichs: Unfortunately, this discovery wasn’t well known for nearly 50 years. This is partly because Avogadro was a rather private, retiring person.
Bookworm Hienrichs: But it’s also due to the fact that chemistry, as an organized science, wasn’t that old at that point, and there were few opportunities to disseminate information.
Holocluck Henly: I’m not surprised.
Bookworm Hienrichs: As a result of this, not just news, but common conventions, such as nomenclature, symbology, and organization of elements, were slow to arise in chemistry.
Linus Lacombe: I can practically hearing him yell at the kids to get off his %*%$* lawn
Beq Janus: By the time they’d annoucned his arrival at the ball everyone else was on their way home
Tepic Harlequin: i’t very interesting, Miss, friad i have to go feed the kittens…
Darlingmonster Ember smiles
Bookworm Hienrichs: Hence the welcome given to Dmitri Mendeleyev (or Mendeleev) in 1869, when he first presented his periodic table of the elements.
Jimmy Branagh: Oy geus it wos all very hit or miss.
Bookworm Hienrichs waves to Tepic.
Jimmy Branagh whisper bye Tep!
Bookworm Hienrichs: Mendeleyev actually wasn’t the first to try this. Just a few years earlier, an amateur English chemist named John Newlands had made the suggestion that a certain arrangement of the elements would show a repeating of properties.
Holocluck Henly: Take care Tepic
Bookworm Hienrichs: He arranged them in a pattern of eight, and actually called it the Law of Octaves. Not, perhaps, the wisest idea, as the idea was not only not accepted, but even mocked.
Bookworm Hienrichs: (Wags in the audience at gatherings would ask him if he could get his elements to play them a tune.)
Rhianon Jameson snickers
Darlingmonster Ember: snerks
Bookworm Hienrichs: Newlands eventually gave up on trying to get the idea accepted.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Mendeleyev used the same principle as John Newlands, but grouped the elements in patters of seven.
Linus Lacombe: Law of Octaves…has a musical ring to it
Bookworm Hienrichs: He listed the elements in rows in order of their atomic weight, and would start a new row when the chemical properties of the elements began to repeat earlier elements.
Bookworm Hienrichs: His improvements over Newlands included leaving gaps on the chart for undiscovered elements, and, when necessarily, ignoring the order suggested by atomic weight in order to better line up the chemical properties.
Bookworm Hienrichs: (Later discoveries showed that he was ordering the elements by atomic number, which differs some from atomic weight, as it is based on the number of protons in the nucleus of the atom.)
Bookworm Hienrichs: In astronomy, a major development was in the area of spectroscopy. Spectroscopy is the process of studying the properties of an object by studying the light it emits.
Bookworm Hienrichs: When a material is headed to incandescence, it emits light characteristic of the composition of that material. For instance, sodium, when it burns, emits a very characteristic yellow light.
Bookworm Hienrichs: That material will also absorb light of the same wavelength, so if a light source is, in a sense, emitted behind a material, the spectrum of the light source will have dark lines that align with the properties of the material.
Bookworm Hienrichs: In 1816, Joseph von Fraunhofer, a glassmaker and manufacturer of optical instruments, invented a much improved spectroscope. When he used the spectroscope on the sun, he found hundreds of dark lines in the spectrum.
Gabriell Anatra: That is still one of the foundations of astronomy.
Bookworm Hienrichs nods.
Bookworm Hienrichs: John Herschel, in 1823, was one of the first people to suggest that chemical analysis could be done by means of spectral analysis.
Holocluck Henly: indeed
Bookworm Hienrichs: However, he, and others, were hampered by the fact that they didn’t realize that minute sodium impurities in their experiments were skewing their results.
Linus Lacombe: oops
Darlingmonster Ember: darn
Bookworm Hienrichs: William Swan, in 1856, finally got the right amount of purity needed.
Darlingmonster Ember: hate when that happens
Bookworm Hienrichs chuckles.
Jimmy Branagh: Th’ old fly in th’ teleporter problem …
Rhianon Jameson laughs
Linus Lacombe: like having salt in a would
Linus Lacombe: wound*
Solace Fairlady: I told you to stop buying your Sodium on the street corner my love…
Bookworm Hienrichs: In the 1850’s, Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff conducted more detailed experiments, analyzing spectra of various elements.
Viv Trafalgar: I rather admire Mr. Bunsen.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Kirchhoff then made a detailed study of the spectrum of the sun, comparing it to the elemental spectra.
PJ Trenton: Honeydew?
Sky Netizen chuckles
Viv Trafalgar shoots Mr. Trenton a Look.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Based on this, he concluded that the outer layers of the sun must contain iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, nickel, and chromium.
PJ Trenton hopes it wasn’t “The Look”
Rowan Derryth taps Mr Trenton with her parasol.
Bookworm Hienrichs: In 1864, William Huggins turned spectral analysis to other bodies in the sky. He discovered that nebulae and galaxies were different things entirely–nebulae have spectra of gases, while galaxies emit spectra of stars.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Then, in 1868, both Pierre-Jules Janssen and Joseph Norman Lockyer discovered absorption lines in the sun’s spectrum of an entirely unknown element.
Bookworm Hienrichs: This new element, called helium, wouldn’t be discovered on Earth for 30 years!
Linus Lacombe: How did they make their voices sound all high and squeeky before that?
Kimika Ying: Practice
Holocluck Henly: You dont really want to know
Solace Fairlady: wlking into fence posts
Rhianon Jameson grimaces
Solace Fairlady: *walking
Linus Lacombe winces
Jimmy Branagh: ((Castrata))
Bookworm Hienrichs: Another important astronomical event in Victorian times was the discovery of Neptune, based on pure mathematical prediction.
Darlingmonster Ember: ah, lovely
Bookworm Hienrichs: ((A pity the Clockwinder isn’t here for this part. *grin*))
Breezy Carver smiles charming photo of him
Bookworm Hienrichs: A Frenchman named Alexis Bouvard made detailed observations of the planet Uranus, and detailed discrepancies in its orbital path, compared to what Newtonian physics predicted.
Bookworm Hienrichs: He hypothesized that there must be another planet beyond Uranus, which was affecting its orbit.
Bookworm Hienrichs: In 1846, Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier spent months in complex calculations based on Bouvard’s observations, and on August 31, announced to the French Academy his prediction of the position of this unknown planet.
Bookworm Hienrichs: In September, he sent a letter about this to Johann Galle at the Berlin Observatory, and on September 23rd, Galle and Heinrich d’Arrest discovered Neptune within one degree of Le Verrier’s predicted location.
Holocluck Henly: Uranus travels on its side as I recall
Darlingmonster Ember: oooh, good math
Breezy Carver smiles
Bookworm Hienrichs: Now, there’s a rather interesting wrinkle in this. An Englishman named John Couch Adams was working on the same problem at the same time.
Bookworm Hienrichs: However, he privately mailed his results to the Royal Greenwich Observatory two days *after* Le Verrier announced his prediction in France. Adams was also 12 degrees off in his prediction.
Beq Janus: (a wrinkle in uranus?)
Serafina Puchkina laughs
Brother Lapis: At least someone in this town appreciates math.
Darlingmonster Ember: coughs
Rhianon Jameson: Darn math errors!
Bookworm Hienrichs: But consider–if Charles Babbage had actually built his Difference Engine, and Adams had had access to such a device…Well, things might have turned out differently.
Linus Lacombe: he forgot to put down two and carry the four
Bookworm Hienrichs: (See what I mean about looking for plausible changes? *grin*)
Viv Trafalgar nods
Darlingmonster Ember: I got my first kiss based on pure mathematical prediction.
Rhianon JamesonRhianon Jameson grins at Miss Ember. “Well done!”
Bookworm Hienrichs: In the field of geology–which I really couldn’t skip–the story in the 19th century is more about debates over fundamental viewpoints rather than specific discoveries.
Bookworm Hienrichs: The main debates were over the origin of rock strata–the look of the Earth–and over the age of the Earth.
Linus Lacombe: The age of the earth question, still debated in some circles
Bookworm Hienrichs: In the late 18th century, one aspect of the debate over rock strata had developed–the Neptunists vs. the Plutonists.
Breezy Carver: ah the good earth .. 🙂 always prevails ..
Bookworm Hienrichs: The Neptunists, with their main proponent Abraham Werner, believe that all of the rock layers of the Earth formed by the precipitation of material in a world-covering ocean.
Bookworm Hienrichs: The Plutonists, led by James Hutton, believed the Earth and its rock layers formed through gradual cooling and solidification of molten masses.
Bookworm Hienrichs: A related argument that developed in the 19th century was catastrophism vs. uniformitarianism.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Those who favored catastrophism said that the Earth’s formation and history were a result of the accumulated effects of catastrophic events over a relatively short period of time.
Bookworm Hienrichs: The key to uniformitarianism, which was popularized by Charles Lyell in the 1830’s, is the phrase, “The present is the key to the past.”
Bookworm Hienrichs: Changes arise from slow-moving forces that are still at work today and can be studied, and the structure and appearance of the Earth today resulted from the steady accumulation of minute changes.
Bookworm Hienrichs: A book by Lyell containing this theory was given to a certain young man who was setting out on a survey mission on the HMS Beagle. (More about that certain young man in a bit.)
Jimmy Branagh: Mr. Darwin.
Bookworm Hienrichs grins.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Attempts to settle these arguments led to extensive work throughout the 19th century studying the stratigraphy–the layering–of rocks.
Holocluck Henly: I was thinking of another Charlie
Bookworm Hienrichs: Several scientists, for instance, used fossils to distinguish between rock layers, and tie rock layers together over distance. All of this work created the stratigraphic column, and relative dating of rocks and fossils.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, attempts were made to determine the age of the Earth through scientific means.
Bookworm Hienrichs: The Comte de Buffon, a natural scientist in the 18th century, studied the cooling rate of iron, and based on that, estimated the age of the Earth at 75,000 years.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz, one of the founders of thermodynamics in the 19th century, estimated the age of the sun (and therefore the Earth), based on luminosity and energy output from gravitational contraction, to be 20-40 million years.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Lord Kelvin, in 1862, also studied cooling rates of materials, and came up with an estimate of about 100 million years, though he later revised that down to 20-40 million years.
Viv Trafalgar: not a large margin of error…
Bookworm Hienrichs: None of this, though, satisfied the geologists who favored uniformitarianism. Their more observational theories led them to estimate that it would take at least hundreds of millions of years to create all of the rock strata seen in the Earth.
Bookworm Hienrichs: This debate wouldn’t be settled until the discovery of radiation, and the development of radiometric dating of rocks in the early 20th century.
Bookworm Hienrichs: This debate wouldn’t be settled until the discovery of radiation, and the development of radiometric dating of rocks in the early 20th century.
Bookworm Hienrichs thwaps things.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Now, of course, this talk wouldn’t be complete without at least touching on one particular scientist–Charles Darwin. He actually made his name, though, as a geologist and natural scientist long before publishing _On the Origin of Species._
Bookworm Hienrichs: (Quite the stutter there, eh? A whole sentence!)
Bookworm Hienrichs: ((Beat that, Porky!))
Gabriell Anatra grins
Rhianon Jameson chuckles
Jimmy chuckles
Serafina Puchkina pats Miss Book’s hand
Bookworm Hienrichs: When he went on the voyage of the Beagle, it was as a gentleman naturalist and companion to the captain, Robert FitzRoy.
Bookworm Hienrichs: It was Captain FitzRoy who gave him a copy of the first volume of Charles Lyell’s _Principles of Geology_, which had a profound effect on him.
Holocluck Henly: Naturalist eh?
Bookworm Hienrichs: Darwin conducted geological and natural history surveys during the voyage. He developed a theory on the formation of coral atolls that supported Lyell and uniformitarianism.
Bookworm Hienrichs: He found a treasure trove of mammal fossils in Patagonia. He saw stepped plains of shingle and seashells as raised beaches, meaning the land had been elevated numerous times.
Bookworm Hienrichs: He did also observe biological specimens, including finches and tortoises in the Galapagos islands, and rheas in South America, and noted their differences.
Bookworm Hienrichs: But Darwin wasn’t as trained in biology or zoology, so these observations received somewhat shorter shrift.
Bookworm Hienrichs: (He neglected, for instance, to note which finches and which tortoises came from which islands–he later had to rely of Captain FitzRoy’s notes for that information.)
Satu Moreau chuckles softly.
Bookworm Hienrichs: When he returned from the voyage, he concentrated on other writings–the coral atolls, observations showing that the South American landmass was slowly rising, and classifying the barnacles he’d collected on the voyage.
Bookworm Hienrichs: A theory of evolution was coming to him in fits and starts, and he did work on it off and on, as other work, and health, permitted…
Bookworm Hienrichs: but it wasn’t until he learned that another naturalist, Alfred Wallace, had a draft paper outlining a similar theory that Darwin dusted off his notes and published the theory we all know so well.
Rhianon Jameson: Nothing like a little competition to spur publication.
Darlingmonster Ember: grins
Holocluck Henly nods
Viv Trafalgar grins
Bookworm Hienrichs: Well! In this 50 minutes, I’ve managed to give you a quick introduction to just a small sample of Victorian scientific advances in the real world.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Granted, the science of our world is more advanced in some cases–and downright mad, in other cases.
Darlingmonster Ember smiles
Rhianon Jameson: Indeed.
Beq Janus: ((If you are ever in the UK. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/home-of-charles-darwin-down-house/ ))
Viv Trafalgar – “Thank you Book! Marvelous presentation!”
Bookworm Hienrichs: But all of it, I think, still needs to be built on this basic framework. Move too far outside that framework, and the results become less and less plausible.
Linus Lacombe: `*.¸.*´ APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´
Kimika Ying: applauds!
Darlingmonster Ember applauds
Rhianon Jameson applauds
Jimmy applauds
Darlingmonster Ember: wonderful
Serafina Puchkina applauds
Sky Netizen applauds
Jimmy Branagh: Yay!
KlausWulfenbach Outlander applauds
Beq Janus applauds
Breezy Carver: ✰·.·´` Claps Very Loudly!! ´`·.·✰
Darlingmonster Ember applauds
Satu Moreau applauds.
Gabriell Anatra applauds
Holocluck Henly applauds
Jimmy applauds
Solace Fairlady applauds
Breezy Carver: YAY!
Kimika Ying: Well done!
LillieJay Mills applauds
Breezy Carver: Book
Viv Trafalgar: EEEEP ! She’s not finished ladies and gents!
Bookworm Hienrichs: ((Eep! Got a bit more to go…))
Jimmy applauds
Rowan Derryth: Great talk!!
Annechen Lowey: `*.¸.*´ APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´
Viv Trafalgar facepalms
Satu Moreau: Oops!
Darlingmonster Ember: grins
Jimmy Branagh laughs
Bookworm Hienrichs: But all of it, I think, still needs to be built on this basic framework. Move too far outside that framework, and the results become less and less plausible.
Rhianon Jameson nods
Bookworm Hienrichs: One can, instead, know the framework, and then consider how that changes because of the event or events that create the Steampunk genre.
Bookworm Hienrichs: I’ve given you one example of that, with the discovery of Neptune.
Bookworm Hienrichs: A built and working Difference Engine would, conceivably, have sped calculations and results in a variety of discoveries in physics and astronomy.
Viv Trafalgar: that would have been a thing to see
Bookworm Hienrichs: What other changes there might be–well, those I leave to you to figure out. And I look forward to reading about your discoveries.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Thank you!
Viv Trafalgar: A science fair!
Holocluck Henly: 🙂
Jimmy applauds
Bookworm Hienrichs: (Yes–now I’m done. *grin*)
Rhianon Jameson applauds again. 🙂
Beq Janus: thank you Book, brilliant.
Viv Trafalgar: Oh thank you so much Book – even more wonderful than before!
Darlingmonster Ember scribbles a note to publish discoveries soon
Solace Fairlady applauds
Darlingmonster Ember applauds
Jimmy Branagh: Thanks Miss Book!
Sky Netizen cheers
Jimmy applauds
Satu Moreau chuckles, applauding.
Serafina Puchkina: Yes, thank you so much, Book!
Darlingmonster Ember applauds
Rowan Derryth applauds more
Viv Trafalgar is a little red faced. mutters “must be getting old…”
Viv Trafalgar: Ladies and gentlemen, if you have questions for Book, please IM me
Bookworm Hienrichs waves a hello to those who came in after she started.
Jimmy Branagh: Thet wos really great. Oy’m gonna need th’ tanscript on it though.
Viv Trafalgar: there are quite a few of you here, and we’d like to keep it orderly. no rushing the stage, no tossing petticoats… this is not the new world.
Beq Janus: The laws of physics suggest that we are all weighed down with heavy Linden coinage. Take the opportunity to lighten your load and drop a few coins in the Salon collection box outside this building (and in Miss Book’s collection pot too)
Bookworm Hienrichs laughs.
Rhianon Jameson coughs gently at the “New World” remark. 🙂
Viv Trafalgar: Holocluck Henly has the first question, please go ahead Holocluck
Breezy Carver smiles
Viv Trafalgar: (Darlingmonster, you’re next)
Holocluck Henly: Thank you
Holocluck Henly: Question: about this 19th century battery. when did we start to harness electricity this way which people could use for experiments?
Jimmy Branagh: ((RL has been pestering me for 15 minutes. Gotta run. Thanks again Miss Book!. Byeee all!))
Rhianon Jameson waves goodbye to Jimmy
Serafina Puchkina: Bye Jimmy
Solace Fairlady: Sage travels Master Jimmy!
Linus Lacombe: Bye Jimmy
Holocluck Henly waves bye to jimmy
Solace Fairlady: *safe
Viv Trafalgar: (bye Jimmy!)
Jimmy Branagh waves and slips out quietly. Sort of …
Satu Moreau: Thank you for the learning, Ms. Hienrichs.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Batteries were actually an older invention.
PJ Trenton: (great talk Miss Book….see everyone later)
Rowan Derryth waves politley
Bookworm Hienrichs: The first one was the Leyden jar, in the mid-1700’s, which “stored” static electricity.
Viv Trafalgar: (thank you PJ!
Linus Lacombe: Good bye Mr Trenton
Serafina Puchkina: bye Rowan!
Beq Janus waves farewell to the departees
Linus Lacombe is now wondering what they did with these batteries
Darlingmonster Ember: Were any discoveries of the 19th centure suppressed?? That would be interesting.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Quite a few things, Mr. Lacombe. *chuckle*
Rhianon Jameson: Primitive MP3 players – Victrolas mounted on shoulders.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Suppression of discoveries? That I don’t know about, Miss Ember.
Darlingmonster Ember: aha, so they were suppressed. Thank you
Solace Fairlady: Well thats because they were supressed
Gabriell Anatra: Some evidence of continenta drift was suppressed, though not very well. They simply didn’t have enough evidence yet.
Bookworm Hienrichs: There is a very amusing anecdote about that, related to Darwin and evolution.
Bookworm Hienrichs: Not quite suppression, but somewhat similar.
Darlingmonster EmberDarlingmonster Ember ears perk
Bookworm Hienrichs: A Scottish gardener named Patrick Matthew had come up with similar prinicples of natural selection the same year Darwin set out on the Beagle.
Gabriell Anatra nods
Bookworm Hienrichs: Unfortunately, he published that work in the appendix of a book called ‘Naval Timber and Arboriculture.’
Viv Trafalgar: oh dear
Darlingmonster Ember: omg
Rhianon Jameson: Not a good choice.
Darlingmonster Ember: poor man
Bookworm Hienrichs: So it was missed not just by Darwin, but really the entire world.
Linus Lacombe: And this was never on the Times best seller list, I assume
Satu Moreau chuckles softly.
Holocluck Henly doesnt fancy the term Matheism
Bookworm Hienrichs chuckles.
Holocluck Henly: Perhaps it was for the best
Viv Trafalgar: Well he must have been a bit frustrated!
Linus Lacombe: I don’t know, Mathewsian sounds like a nice adjective to me.
Bookworm Hienrichs nods. “Yeah, he made a fuss about it. In a letter to the ‘Gardener’s Chronicle.’
Bookworm Hienrichs grins.
Darlingmonster Ember: grins
Rhianon Jameson shakes her head.
Darlingmonster Ember: wonderful
Viv Trafalgar: Oh gosh
Viv Trafalgar: really he had a grand idea of scale
Viv Trafalgar: May I ask if there are other questions for Miss Book?
Bookworm Hienrichs: Darwin did actually apologize.
Darlingmonster Ember: he suppressed himself
Rhianon Jameson giggles
Viv Trafalgar: All right folks!
Viv Trafalgar: Please give your warmest thanks to our fantastic speaker, Miss Book!
Linus Lacombe: `*.¸.*´ APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´
Solace Fairlady Hooooooooos!!!
Rhianon Jameson applauds enthusiastically
KlausWulfenbach Outlander applauds
Darlingmonster Ember applauds
Serafina Puchkina applauds
Sky Netizen applauds
Solace Fairlady cheers
LillieJay Mills applauds
Gabriell Anatra smles
Linus Lacombe: Thank you for an enlightening presentation, Ms Book
Serafina Puchkina: YAY!!!!!
Viv Trafalgar: There’s a small token of our appreciation in front of the stage – scientific equipment for your laboratories
Viv Trafalgar: created by Mr. Jasper Kiergarten, who regrets not being able to be here
Annechen Lowey: `*.¸.*´ APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´
Rhianon Jameson: Oooooh…
KlausWulfenbach Outlander: Oh, splendid.
Gabriell Anatra: Thank you. 🙂
Viv Trafalgar: Please mark your calendars for next month’s Salon! We’ll be posting news about that very soon – it’s very exciting!
Sky Netizen: Excellent!
Viv Trafalgar: Third Sunday in May! 2pm slt
Darlingmonster Ember: !!! SCIENCE !!!
Darlingmonster Ember: Huzzah!
Bookworm Hienrichs: Thank you all–and I’m glad I didn’t bore you.
Viv Trafalgar: Thank you all so much for coming, and thank you Book for teaching us more about Science!
Bookworm Hienrichs smiles
Darlingmonster Ember: not at all
Darlingmonster Ember: fabulous
Solace Fairlady: A wonderfully delivered and very informative talk Miss Hienrichs, thank you so much!
Serafina Puchkina grins: Thank you, Miss Speaker and thank you, gentle audience
Rhianon Jameson: Far from it, Miss Hienrichs
Kimika Ying: Thank you again, this has been most interesting!
Serafina Puchkina: This was great!
Gabriell Anatra nods

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