Mirror, Mirror (In Death, Book 37.5)

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They have been reinterpreted again and again in poems, books, and films. If fairytales are a way of confronting social or psychological fears, as has often been suggested, then what is the Pied Piper about? Mass death of children, a charismatic figure, rats, disease…. And it also explains the version of the Pied Piper that has the children reappearing to populate Transylvania.

The Royal Society's Journal Book for its meeting of 12 January records in characteristically florid style that:. Mr Hadley was pleased to show the society his reflecting telescope, made according to our President's [Newton's] directions in his Opticks, but curiously executed by his own hand, the force of which was such, as to enlarge an object near two hundred times, though the length thereof scarce exceeds six feet [1.

Suddenly, here was a telescope of the same pattern as Newton's, but of a size that made the great man's handiwork look like a toy. It had a mirror whose diameter—some 6 inches 15 cm —was the same as the length of Newton's telescope. Moreover, when it was tested alongside a refracting telescope ft True, the refractor gave a brighter image, but the mirror telescope offered similar definition and, when it came to convenience and manoeuvrability, won hands down. As was usual for contemporary aerial telescopes, the Huygens instrument was supported from a tall mast. Hadley's reflector, on the other hand, was mounted on a compact wooden stand.

Hadley's reflecting telescope of With a mirror 6 inches 15 cm in diameter, it dwarfed the instrument on which it was based—Newton's little telescope of It seems that the stand was not part of the gift to the Royal Society, however, for soon afterwards, Hadley was 'entreated to lend Dr Halley this apparatus, to have one like it made at the Society's charge, to be used with his noble present'.

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Nevertheless, the Royal Society must have been well pleased with the high-performing new telescope. Not only did it boast an excellent concave mirror, but its handsome octagonal wooden tube was fitted with a screw-focusing mechanism and a small 'finder' telescope to make it easy to point the instrument towards objects of interest.

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Who was this munificent telescope-maker? John Hadley was a mathematician and scientific mechanist of some note, who had turned his hand to mirror-grinding in his mid-thirties. His brother George who is remembered today for his work on atmospheric circulation worked with him on his first mirror, along with a third brother, Henry. Unlike some other contemporary opticians, John Hadley did not conduct exhaustive tests on suitable alloys for metal mirrors specula but he did advance the techniques of mirror grinding and polishing far beyond Newton's see Chapter 8.

Like the lens-grinders of the previous century, Hadley became obsessed with the need to produce a non-spherical surface for his concave telescope mirrors. The surface must be paraboloidal, departing subtly in shape from a segment of a sphere. Mirror-makers, even today, begin by producing a spherical surface of the right focal length, which they then change to a paraboloid by a process called 'figuring'.

It was Hadley who pioneered this technique, introducing the means to reduce local high spots on the mirror's surface with polishing tools he aptly named 'bruisers'. Moreover, Hadley seems to have been the first person to test by optical means the shape of the surface he had produced.

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