By Biman B. Nath
This interesting chronicle of the epoch-making discovery of helium explains why it additionally marked the start of a brand new department of technological know-how known as ‘astrophysics’, and corrects the various historiographical misinterpretations via revealing own accounts.
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Additional resources for The Story of Helium and the Birth of Astrophysics (Astronomers' Universe)
You can additionally use counter-weights, yet, as Tennant famous from his personal event with theodolites, “[T]hey upload to the load of the device; and the place the software travels, they have to be formerly got rid of, of which possibly the inconvenience can in basic terms be liked through those that have needed to dismantle and close up tools overdue at evening, whilst wearied with a protracted day’s paintings. ”2 Tennant even if considered a totally new inspiration, and advised ‘hydraulic reduction’ of the burden of a telescope by means of an oil reservoir. After engaged on it widely, he wrote a paper facing a “method of relieving the burden of the relocating component of an alt-azimuth” telescope. three this technique of balancing the load of a telescope could someday develop into a standard software, particularly with the development of enormous telescopes that may require inventive how you can stability. the difference of hydraulic strain reduction for big telescopes wanted approximately 3 many years of trials, and the 1st profitable end result got here with the development of the 60-in. telescope at Mt. Wilson within the usa in 1908; the load of its relocating components have been relieved by utilizing a mercury flow. even though Tennant’s unique paper has been principally forgotten through now, his paintings was once preferred at the moment. one in all his associates, A. A. universal, used the belief of hydraulic aid whereas developing a 5-foot equatorial telescope. by the way, Tennant used to be nominated and comfortably elected as a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society that yr. (He may turn into its president in 1890. ) Then the Indian Mutiny broke out in the summertime of 1857, whilst Indian squaddies within the East India corporation military revolted. The soldiers—the ‘sepoys’—had introduced that the outdated Mughal emperor at Delhi was once their leader, and Delhi grew to become a battleground of the mutineers and the British forces. Tennant left the surveying paintings, went to Delhi that summer season and participated in skirmishes led by means of Bengal Engineers. He used to be a part of a crew, besides Lieut. Maunsell, who was once assigned the duty of getting into the Lahore Gate on September 12, which ultimately ended in the breakdown of the sepoy’s security. four yet there have been nonetheless issues in other places, specifically in Lucknow, the place hundreds of thousands of sepoys had besieged the British officials and their households, who have been holed up in what used to be known as the ‘Residency. ’ Tennant was once despatched to Lucknow as a Garrison Engineer, and he helped elevate the siege. five It was once changing into transparent to him, notwithstanding, what his ardour was once. Even through the siege, he took an energetic curiosity in astronomical observations from the Lucknow Observatory. He wrote a report back to the Royal Astronomical Society in 1858 at the influence of the mutiny at the observatory tools (which at one time had greater tools than the Madras Observatory, the seat of the govt Astronomer in British India): “I think i used to be the single member of the Society current on the trap and career of Lucknow, and that i imagine in all probability a few account of what has been the destiny of the observatory and tools may perhaps, even though removal just about all wish of the latter ever back being chanced on, be now not boring.