In the present state of our knowledge we are unable to determine whether light

In the present state of our knowledge we are unable

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In the present state of our knowledge, we are unable to determine whether light be a modification of caloric, or if caloric be, on the contrary, a modification of light. This, however, is indisputable, that, in a system where only decided facts are admissible, and where we avoid, as far as possible, to suppose any thing to be that is not really known to exist, we ought provisionally to distinguish, by distinct terms, such things as are known to produce different effects. We therefore distinguish light from caloric; though we do not therefore deny that these have certain qualities in common, and that, in certain circumstances, they combine with other bodies almost in the same manner, and produce, in part, the same effects. What I have already said may suffice to determine the idea affixed to the word caloric ; but there remains a more difficult attempt, which is, to give a just conception of the manner in which caloric acts upon other bodies. Since this subtile matter penetrates through the pores of all known substances; since there are no vessels through which it cannot escape, and, consequently, as there are none which are capable of retaining it, we [Pg 4] [Pg 5] [Pg 6]
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  • Summer '20
  • 80°, 32°, 212°, Mr Lavoisier, Mr de  Morveau, Mr de Fourcroy

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