W.S. James

photo neededIn existographies, W.S. James (c.1883-c.1958), presumably “William James”, was a physicist and science historian, noted for []

Boyle | Mariotte

In 1928, James, in his “The Discovery of the Gas Laws: I. Boyle’s Law”, after giving a review of a number French 19th century science books, which basically “ignore Boyle” or state that Boyle “did not formulate and clear law”, with a number of English 19th century science books, which generally state that Mariotte “plagiarized Boyle’s works”, goes on to compare the actual published texts of both, namely he compares Boyle’s 1662 On the Spring of the Air with Mariotte’s 1676 Discourse on the Nature of the Air, generally finding that, while Mariotte does not cite Boyle, he does use the same apparatus as Boyle, and also uses much of the same terminology that Boyle used, such as:

“The power of the dilation of compressed air can be likened to the power in a dry sponge compressed.”
— Robert Boyle (1662), On the Spring of the Air [1]

“We can understand this difference in air condensation, by the example of several sponges.”
— Edme Mariotte (1676), Discourse on the Nature of the Air [1]

This air as "sponge", however, to note seems to come from Galileo's chapter “First New Science: Treating of the Resistance which Solid Bodies offer to Fracture” of his 1638 Dialogues Concerning the Two New Sciences (§1:1-108), wherein he refers to a "column of air" as being like a long "hemp rope".

James, next, also give the following comparisons:

“This notion may perhaps be somewhat further explained by conceiving the air near the earth as resembling fleece of wool.”
— Robert Boyle (1662), On the Spring of the Air [1]

“To explain in general the rarefaction and the condensation of the air one can conceive that the air is something similar to cotton.”
— Edme Mariotte (1676), Discourse on the Nature of the Air [1]

The following, likewise, have a strong overlapping similarity in terminology:

“There is a ‘spring’ or elastic power in the air we live in. By which ‘έλατηρ’ or ‘spring of the air’, that which I mean is this: that our air either consists of, or at least, abounds with, parts of such a nature, that in the case they be being or compressed by the weight of the incumbent part of the atmosphere, or by any other, body, the do endeavour, as much as in them lieth, to free themselves from that pressure, by bearing against the contiguous bodies that keep them bent; and, as soon as those bodies are removed, or reduced to give them way, by presently unbending and stretching out themselves, either quite, or so far forth as the contiguous bodies that resist them will permit, and thereby expanding the whole parcel of air, these elastical bodies compose.”
— Robert Boyle (1659), ‘Letter to nephew, Lord Dungarvan’ (pg. 8), Dec 20 [3]

Air can be condensed and expanded and has a ‘virtue of spring’.”
— Edme Mariotte (1676), Discourse on the Nature of the Air [1]

“Air condenses in proportion to the weight it is loaded with.”
— Edme Mariotte (1676), Discourse on the Nature of the Air [1]

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Education
In 1928, James subtitled himself as “B.Ss., A.I.C.” and in 1929 as “M.Sc., A.I.C.”, presumably meaning that in 1929, he had completed a science degree, and that by 1929, he had completed a masters degree, presumably in physics.

Quotes | On
The following are quotes on James:

Towneley was the person who first suggested [what is now called] ‘Boyle's law’. Boyle, however, is generally credited with the discovery that the pressure exerted by a gas is inversely proportional to the volume of the space in which it is confined. From Boyle’s point of view, that discovery by itself was insignificant, and though he had provided the experimental evidence for it, he readily admitted that he had not found any general quantitative relation between pressure and volume before Richard Towneley suggested his simple hypothesis. Hooke also provided further experimental confirmation of the hypothesis. This ‘hypothesis’ was long known, on the continent, as ‘Mariotte’s law’, because Edme Mariotte, proposed it in his Essay on the Nature of the Air (1679. There are good reasons (James, 1928/1929) for believing that Mariotte was familiar with Boyle’s work [see: Spring of the Air (1660)] even though he does not mention it, so that he does not even deserve the credit for independent, much less simultaneous, discovery.”
Stephen Brush (2003), Kinetic Theory of Gases (pg. 3) [2]

Quotes | By
The following are quotes by James:

“In searching for the origins of any ‘law’ expressing a quantitative variation, it must be remembered that the qualitative result must necessarily be established before any attempt to discover a numerical relationship is made.”
— W.S. James (1928), “The Discovery of the Gas Laws, Part One: Boyle’s Law” (pg. 263) [1]

References
1. James, W.S. (1928). “The Discovery of the Gas Laws: I. Boyle’s Law” (abs), Science Progress in the Twentieth Century (1919-1933), 23(90):263-72.
2. (a) James, W.S. (1928). “The Discovery of the Gas Laws: I. Boyle’s Law” (abs), Science Progress in the Twentieth Century (1919-1933), 23(90):263-72.
(b) James, W.S. (1929). “The Discovery of the Gas Laws: II. Gay-Lussac’s Law” (abs), Science Progress in the Twentieth Century (1919-1933), 24(93):57-71.
(c) James, W.S. (1930). “The Discovery of the Gas Laws: III. The Theory of Gases and Van der Waals Equation” (abs), Science Progress in the Twentieth Century (1919-1933), 25(98):232-39.
(d) Brush, Stephen. (2003). Kinetic Theory of Gases: an Anthology of Classic Papers with Historical Commentary, Volume One (editor: Nancy Hall) (pgs. 3-4). Imperial College Press.
3. (a) Boyle, Robert. (1660). “The Spring of the Air”, Letter to Charles Lord Viscount.
(b) Boyle, Robert. (1774). The Works of the Honorable Robert Boyle, Volume One (editor: Thomas Birch) (§: Table of Contents of Five Volumes, pg. 145; §:1: New Experiments Physico-Mechanical Touching on the Spring of the Air, pgs. 1-75; §2: Defense of the Doctrine Touching the Spring of the Air, pgs. 75-118; elastical power, pg. 8). Millar.
(c) Brush, Stephen. (2003). Kinetic Theory of Gases: an Anthology of Classic Papers with Historical Commentary, Volume One (§1: Spring of the Air [section of letter to Charles Lord Viscount), pgs. 43-51). Imperial College Press.

Publications
● James, W.S. (1928). “The Discovery of the Gas Laws. I. Boyle’s Law” (abs), Science Progress in the Twentieth Century (1919-1933), 23:261
● James, W.S. (1929). “The Discovery of the Gas Laws. II. Gay-Lussac’s Law” (abs), Science Progress in the Twentieth Century (1919-1933), 24(93):57-71.
● James, W.S. (1930). “The Discovery of the Gas Laws: III. The Theory of Gases and Van der Waals Equation” (abs), Science Progress in the Twentieth Century (1919-1933), 25(98):232-39.

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