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F. I. C.'s "Éléments de Mécanique" (S373: 1884)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A brief book review printed on page 78 of the 27 November 1884 issue of Nature. To link directly to this page connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S373.htm

Éléments de Mécanique, avec de nombreux Exercices. Par F. I. C. Pp. 282. (Paris: Poussielgue Frères.)

     This is the concluding volume of a series of elementary class-books on pure and applied mathematics issued by l'Institut des Frères Écoles chrétiennes, a French Society which showed in the Technical Schools at the recent Health Exhibition a noteworthy collection of specimens of work done in their schools, along with the educational apparatus used therein.

     The character of the book before us harmonises with the evident sympathy of the Society with the manufacturing industries of the districts in which their schools are situated. We are furnished with an introduction to applied as well as to theoretical mechanics. There are good diagrams and descriptions of weighing-machines, cranes, and other lifting-tackle in the section on statics; the longest chapter in kinematics is concerned with the simpler forms of mechanism; and in dynamics there is a full discussion of the principle of work and its application to mechanics.

     The text is clear, as far as it goes; but we think the general exposition of the theory too concise, many important points being relegated to the exercises at the end of each chapter.

     There is a good collection of problems filling the last fifty pages of the book, but no examples are worked out in the text, and there are no results given to any of the exercises. Clearly, pupils using the book would require a good teacher at hand, who could devote ample time to the subject.

     We should wish to see a book like this with a few select students, but, having regard to general class instruction, we do not think the mode of treatment a happy one. We feel called upon, however, to give a cordial recognition to the expansion in the direction of technical instruction, to the liberal supply of diagrams, and to much freshness of treatment, both in text and examples, in the work before us.

A. R. W.

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