CONTRIBUTIONS OF HELMHOLTZ TO PHYSICAL SCIENCE, ESPECIALLY WITH REFERENCE TO PHYSIOLOGICAL OPTICS, INCLUDING THE DYNAMICS OF EYEBALL MOVEMENTS AND OF ACCOMMODATION

ARTHUR W. GOODSPEED
1902 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)  
the fundamental principles and proceeded by experiment and deduction to build up a rounded science of acoustics. He filled out the many gaps in the observation of phenomena until the bulk of the observations were really his own, and then linking these with all otherwise discovered, he made them the coherent parts of general laws. So complete was his study that he could not only explain the known facts and point out the lines of new discovery, but could also define the probable limitations to
more » ... e limitations to practical advance in the dependent arts. Physiologist, as well as physicist, he did not stop at the external phenomena, but worked out the transmission of sound through the aural apparatus to the end organ in the labyrinth, himself supplementing the anatomical details of the most advanced investigations; and while his conclusions have been combated, and alternative views have been plausibly presented, the Helmholtz theory still receives predominant acceptance. Nothing more strongly demonstrates the skill of Helmholtz, the teacher, than the matter-of-course acceptance as fundamental of most of his discoveries and the fact that his classical treatises have remained the text-books of the world. Yet the lucidity of the language has made translation almost wholly needless and his desire to simplify the mathematical elements of the problems, has put them in form which tempts many a reluctant student to deeper study than any other contributor to the subject has been able to inspire. Keenly alive to the artistic side of music, he has cleared much with regard to its composition and the musicians in their narrower field of esthetic production are largely indebted to him for his explications, and the physiology of such impressions has been developed to what seems nearly its full limit. It is only indirectly, then, that we, as practicing 1. Popular Lectures, 1881, p. 202.
doi:10.1001/jama.1902.62480090014001e fatcat:vosts2k6hzbr3ocd2ofakf7xey