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Unpublished section of a paper which was published by Rankine in volume 160 of Philosophical Transactions as 'On the thermodynamic theory of waves of finite longitudinal disturbance'. The aim of Rankine's investigation is to determine the relations which must exist between the laws of the elasticity and heat of any substance, gaseous, liquid, or solid, and those of the wave-like propagation of a finite longitudinal disturbance in that substance. In this unpublished section, Rankine writes on the expression of the adiabatic condition, the adiabatic condition in a perfect gas, dynamic conditions with variable type, the effect of variation of type on bulkiness and pressure and variation of type in adiabatic waves.

Note on front reads 'Sections 14 to 19 - not printed with the paper in [Philosophical Transactions] p 2 1870'. Annotations in pencil and ink throughout.

Subject: Physics

Written by Rankine in Glasgow [Scotland].

Reference number
Earliest possible date
11 April 1869
Physical description
Ink and graphite pencil on paper
Page extent
12 pages

Creator name

William John Macquorn Rankine

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William John Macquorn Rankine, Unpublished extract, 'On the thermodynamic theory of waves of finite longitudinal disturbance' by W J [William John] Macquorn Rankine, 11 April 1869, AP/51/10, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 25 July 2024

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    Dates: 1768-1989

    The 'Archived Papers' collection is comprised of original manuscript scientific papers and letters submitted to the Royal Society which remained unpublished or were abstracted in the journal 'Proceedings of the Royal Society' published from 1830 onwards.

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