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Principiae Philosphiae by R.Descartes

Principiae Philosphiae by R.Descartes

V515/0004

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Illustration of the Vortical Theory by Rene Descartes from Principiae Philosphiae, part 4, The Earth, published in 1644. This is a vortical explanation of the Earth's magnetic field. In the top illustraton the Earth is represented by the letters A, B, C & D, with the south pole placed at A and the north at B. The smaller circles (N,M,L,K & I) correspond to the magentic field on a compass as it would effect the Earth from the different positions. The screw shaped particles, which correspond to the magnetic lines of force, travel in a vortical motion through pores in the Earth's surface. The lower image is an explanation of the attraction of magnetic opposite poles.

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