Reference numberRR/15/387
TitleReferee's report by George James Burch, on a paper 'The properties and theory of the capillary electrometer, with reference to Professor Hermann's observations on the same subject' by Henry Sessions Souttar
Date21 April 1902
DescriptionSectional Committee: not stated.

Does not definitely state whether he thinks the paper should be published or not. The author is obviously a staunch believer in the capillary electrometer, but does not in the least realize how complex the problem is. If the equation had been so simple, he would have given it himself in 1890. Notes that Hermann's difficulty is that he cannot make such instruments. The paper reads like an essay or lecture rather than as a contribution to research and spends too much time expounding views already known. The author does not seem to have grasped the literature very thoroughly and has not contributed any experiments of his own. He read Larmor's Philosophical Magazine paper of 1885, which fits in with the ideas as to the capillary electrometer, but either he is 'stupid', or the authorr's notions are not the same as Larmor's.

The author has misunderstood Hermann. The author's equation must represent a theoretically simplified case, omitting conditions which, according to his original paper, were found to affect the time relations of the movement. It is therefore doubtful Hermann and Gildemeister could accept it in answer to their objections, more especially as the author admits that the first term of his equation might be too large to neglect at points where there is a sudden change of motion. The list of his papers on page 14 of the manuscript is 'obviously incomplete'.

[Not published]

Endorsed on recto as received 23 April 1902.
Physical descriptionLetter on paper
Digital imagesView item on Science in the Making
Access statusOpen
Related records in the catalogueRR/15/384
Fellows associated with this archive
NA1360Burch; George James (1852 - 1914); professor of physics1852 - 1914
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