The Origin of the Earth

The Origin of the Earth

The Origin of the Earth

The Origin of the Earth

Excerpt

This book had its origin in a series of lectures delivered to members of the three fighting services during the last year of the Second World War and to various audiences on subsequent occasions. Preoccupations of many kinds have delayed the transmutation of the spoken word into the printed page but, undoubtedly, considerable advantage has accrued thereby since several topics of great importance, the fruits of post-war research, can now be included in the general discussion.

The book is intended to be, primarily, a record of scientific investigations in a subject of enthralling interest and we describe in the following pages the contributions of astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology and biology to the main theme inherent in the title of the book. That Science has not yet attained complete success in the field appropriate to its activities is not surprising; nevertheless, in the scientific story there are achievements which would have appeared incredible half a century ago.

Care has been taken to concentrate on the principal features of each particular topic and to resist the temptation to include details which, however important in themselves to the scientist, only serve to distract attention from the general argument.

The first nine chapters were completed in August 1948, but unavoidable delay in printing has allowed me to include in the final chapter brief references to new developments, some of a revolutionary character.

I am indebted to the Directors of the Lick Observatory, Mt Wilson Observatory, the Royal Greenwich Observatory and the Warner and Swasey Observatory for their kindness . . .

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