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BIBLI0GRAPHV

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Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 337 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BIBLI0GRAPHV.—Bibliographical and historical information relating to tables is collected in Brit. Ass. Rep. for 1873, p. 6. The principal works are:—J. C. Heilbronner, Historia Matheseos (Leipzig, 1742), the arithmetical portion being at the end . J. E. Scheibel, Einleitung zur mathematischen Biicherkenntniss (Breslau, 1771—84) ; A. G. Kastner, Geschichte der Mathematik (Gottingen, 1796—1800), vol. iii. ; F. G. A. Murhard, Bibliotheca Mathematica (Leipzig, 1797—1804), vol. ii.; J. Rogg, Bibliotheca Mathematica (Tubingen, 1830), and continuation from 183o to 1854 by L. A. Sohnke (Leipzig and London, 1854) ; J. de Lalande, Bibliographic astronomique (Paris, 1803), a separate index on p. 96o. A great deal of information upon early tables is given by J. B. J. Delambre, Histoire de l'astronomie moderne (Paris, 1821), vol. i.; and in Nos. xix. and xx. of C. Hutton's Mathematical Tracts (1812). For lists of logarithmic tables of all kinds see De Haan, Verslagen en Mededeelingen of the Amster-dam Academy of Sciences (Abt. Natuurkunde) 1862, xiv. 15, and Verhandelingen of the same academy, 1875, xv. separately paged. De Morgan's article " Tables," which appeared first in the Penny Cyclopaedia, and afterwards with additions in the English Cyclopaedia, gives not only a good deal of bibliographical information, but also an account of tables relating to life assurance and annuities, astronomical tables, commercial tables, &c. Reference should also be made to R. Mehmke's valuable article " Numerisches Rechnen " in vol. i. pt. ii. pp. 941—1079 of the Encyk. der math. Wiss. (Leipzig, 1900—4), which besides tables includes calculating machines, graphical methods, &c. (J. W. L. G.) beauty. The view from the summit overlooking Table Bay is also one of much grandeur. The south-east winds which sweep over Table Mountain frequently cause the phenomenon known as " The Table-cloth." The summit of the mountain is then covered by a whitish-grey cloud, which is being constantly forced down the northern face towards Cape Town, but never reaches the lower slopes. The clouds (not always caused by the south-easter) form very suddenly, and the weather on the mountain is exceedingly changeable. The rainfall on the summit is heavy, 72.14 inches a year being the average of twelve years' observations. This compares with an average of 54.63 inches at Bishop's Court, Newlands, at the foot of the mountain on the east and with 25.43 inches at Cape Town at the northern foot of the mountain. The relative luxuriance of the vegetation on the upper part of the mountain, compared with that of its lower slopes, is due not only to the rainfall, but to the large additional moisture condensed from clouds. The result of experiments conducted by Dr Marloth (Trans. S. Afrn. Phil. Soc. for 1903 and 1905) goes to show that during cloudy weather the summit of the mountain resembles an immense sponge, and that this condensation of moisture considerably influences the yield of the springs in the lower part of the mountain. TABLE-TURNING. When the movement of modern spiritualism first reached Europe from America in the winter of 1852-3, the most popular method of consulting the " spirits " was for several persons to sit round a table, with their hands resting on it, and wait for the table to move. If the experiment was successful the table would rotate with considerable rapidity, and would occasionally rise in the air, or perform other movements. Whilst by many the movements were ascribed to the agency of spirits, two investigators—count de Gasparin and Professor Thury of Geneva—conducted a careful series of experiments by which they claimed to have demonstrated that the movements of the table were due to a physical force emanating from the bodies of the sitters, for which they proposed the name " ectenic force." Their conclusion rested on the supposed elimination of all known physical causes for the movements; but it is doubtful from the description of the experiments whether the precautions taken were sufficient to exclude unconscious muscular action or even deliberate fraud. In England table-turning became a fashionable diversion and was practised all over the country in the year 1853. Dr John Elliotson and his followers attributed the phenomena to mesmerism. The general public were content to find the explanation of the movements in spirits, animal magnetism, odic force, galvanism, electricity, or even the rotation of the earth. James Braid, W. B. Carpenter and others pointed out, however, that the phenomena obviously depended upon the expectation of the sitters, and could be stopped altogether by appropriate suggestion. And Faraday devised some simple apparatus which conclusively demonstrated that the movements were due to unconscious muscular action. The apparatus consisted of two small boards, with glass rollers between them, the whole fastened together by indiarubber bands in such a manner that the upper board could slide under lateral pressure to a limited extent over the lower one. The occurrence of such lateral movement was at once indicated by means of an upright haystalk fastened to the apparatus. When by this means it was made clear to the experimenters that it was the fingers which moved the table, not the table the fingers, the phenomena generally ceased. The movements were in fact simply an illustration of automatism. But Faraday's demonstration did little to stop the popular craze. By believers the table was made to serve as a means of communicating with the spirits; the alphabet would be slowly called over and the table would tilt at the appropriate letter, thus spelling out words and sentences. Some Evangelical clergymen discovered by this means that the spirits who caused the movements were of a diabolic nature, and some amazing accounts were published in 1853 and 1854 of the revelations obtained from the talking tables. Table-turning is still in vogue amongst spiritualist circles. The device was employed with success by Professor Charles Richet and others in thought-transference experiments. See A. E. de Gasparin, Des Tables tournantes, du Surnaturel, &c. (Paris, 1854) ; Thury, Des Tables tournantes (Geneva, 1855) ; Faraday's letter on Table-turning in The Times, 3oth June 1853. Quarterly Review, Sept. 1853—article by Carpenter on Spiritualism, &c. ; Mrs De Morgan, From Matter to Spirit (London, 1863) ; Ch. Richet, Proceedings S.P.R., vol. v. F. Podmore, Modern Spiritualism (London, 1902), ii. 7-21, gives an account of the movement in 1853, with references to contemporary pamphlets and newspaper articles. (F. P.)
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