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OR, THE PLAIN
WHY AND BECAUSE.
FAMILIARIZING SUBJECTS OF USEFUL CURIOSITY AND
BY JOHN TIMBS,
“Its beginning is pleasure, its progress knowledge, and its objects truth
and utility.” -Sir Humphry Davy.
LILLY & WAIT, AND CARTER & HENDEE.
NEW-YORK, E. BLISS; PHILADELPHIA, CAREY AND HART;
NEW ORLEANS, M. CARROL; PORTLAND, S. COLMAN.
Why are certain truths termed physical ?
Because they explain the greater part of the phenomena of nature, the term physical being derived from the Greek word signifying nature ; an appellation distinguishing them from chemical truths, which regard particular substances, and from vital truths, which have relation only to living bodies. Arnott.
Why is an atom so called ?
Because of its origin from a Greek word signifying that which cannot be farther divided; or, an exceedingly minute resisting particle.
Why is the term attraction used ?
Because the atoms of which the visible universe is built up, whether separate, or already joined into masses, tend towards all other masses, with force proportioned to their proximity: as, when any body presses or falls towards the great mass of the earth, or when the tides on the earth rise towards the moon.
Why is the term repulsion used ?
Because, under certain known circumstances, as of heat diffused among the particles, their mutual attraction is countervailed or resisted, and they tend to separate with force proportioned to their proximity : as, when heated water bursts into steam, or when gunpowder explodes.