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Lombard writes: 'The question of the precise degree of the conductivity for heat of the tissues lying between the surface of the brain and the outer surface of the integument is, of course, of the first importance in studying the possible effects on the exterior of the skin of changes of temperature occurring in the superficial layers of the cerebrum; and the question of the degree of conductivity of brain-tissue itself is of great importance with reference to the extent to which propagation through the cerebral mass of thermal changes occurring in a single point or tract of the brain may take place. Many years ago the writer made a few (not, however, very exact) experiments on the conductibility of bone, which did not lead him to anticipate any serions obstacle in the skull to the outward transmission of heat from the brain. Moreover, the experiments of Professor Tyndall on conduction in elephant’s tusk, whalebone, cow’s horn, &c. pointed to tissues of this nature as being better conductors than sealing-wax and bees’-wax, on both of which substances the writer had made many experiments, and which he knew would conduct sufficiently well to enable one, with delicate apparatus, to appreciate a slight change of temperature through a thickness of them greater than the average thickness of the skull.'

Annotations in pencil and ink.

Subject: Physiology

Received 1 October 1882. Read 17 November 1882. Communicated by Charles Edward Brown-Sequard.

A version of this paper was published in volume 34 of the Proceedings of the Royal Society as 'Experimental researches on the propagation of heat by conduction in bone, brain-tissue, and skin'.

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Ink and graphite pencil on paper
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43 pages

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J S Lombard

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J S Lombard, Paper, 'Experimental researches on the propagation of heat by conduction in bone, brain-tissue, and skin' by J S Lombard, 1882, PP/2/21, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 20 May 2024

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  • Proceedings Papers

    Dates: 1882 - 1894

    The archival collection known as 'Proceedings Papers' is comprised of manuscripts and occasional proofs of scientific papers sent to the Royal Society which were read before meetings of Fellows and printed in full in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

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