Reference numberRR/15/281
TitleReferee's report by George Gabriel Stokes, on a paper 'On a suggested relation between the refractive indices of pure metals and their molecular constants' by W Williams
Date17 April 1901
DescriptionSectional committee: [Physics and chemistry]

This papers is outside of his usual work and he does not feel confident reporting on it. The paper is highly speculative and he feels the want of a more precise definition of the meaning of the terms employed. There seems to be a want on the part of the author, of a clear conception of the physical meaning of the terms employed by this or that physicist and he provides an example of this concerning the meaning of the term 'refractive index of a metal'. He briefly discusses work by MacCullah, Cauchy, and Gladstone concerning this term.

He discusses the figure on page eight where the author has plotted the results for ten metals which fall upon a curve, indicating an actual or approximate functional relation between the coefficient of expansion by heat of the actual metal on the one hand, and the refractive index on the other. The evidence of the figure leaves the functional relation open and is not therefore to be taken as any evidence of the particular functional relation to which the author was led. That there should be any such functional relation between two such different things, supposing such relation to exist, is certainly remarkable, and it seems that the indication of such a relationship is worthy of publication. At the same time, the paper as a whole is hardly suitable for publication by the Royal Society. If it were published in some other journal the same objection would not occur and on its being 'digested' by the scientific public, something useful may come of it. If published the figure ought certainly be given, but might be considerably reduced.

[Not published]

Endorsed on verso as received 18 April 1901.
Physical descriptionReport on paper
Digital imagesView item on Science in the Making
Access statusOpen
Related records in the catalogueRR/15/282
Fellows associated with this archive
NA8283Stokes; Sir; George Gabriel (1819 - 1903)1819 - 1903
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