University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was founded as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787 on the edge of the American frontier, it developed and was renamed as Western University of Pennsylvania by a change to its charter in 1819. After surviving two devastating fires and various relocations within the area, the school moved to its current location in the Oakland neighborhood of the city. Pitt was a private institution until 1966 when it became part of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education; the university is composed of 17 undergraduate and graduate schools and colleges at its urban Pittsburgh campus, home to the university's central administration and 28,766 undergraduate and professional students. The university includes four undergraduate schools located at campuses within Western Pennsylvania: Bradford, Greensburg and Titusville; the 132-acre Pittsburgh campus has multiple contributing historic buildings of the Schenley Farms Historic District, most notably its 42-story Gothic revival centerpiece, the Cathedral of Learning.
The campus is situated adjacent to the flagship medical facilities of its affiliated University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, as well as the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Schenley Park, Carnegie Mellon University. The university has an annual operating budget of $2 billion; this includes nearly $940 million in research and development expenditures as of 2017, the 16th-highest in the nation. A member of the Association of American Universities, Pitt is the third-largest recipient of federally sponsored health research funding among U. S. universities in 2018 and it is a major recipient of research funding from the National Institutes of Health. It is the second-largest non-government employer in the Pittsburgh region behind UPMC. Pitt is ranked among the top research universities in the United States in both domestic and international rankings and it has been listed as a "best value" in higher education by several publications. Pitt students have access to arts programs throughout the campus and city and can participate in over 400 student clubs and organizations.
Pitt's varsity athletic teams, collectively known as the Pittsburgh Panthers, compete in Division I of the NCAA as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Founded by Hugh Henry Brackenridge as Pittsburgh Academy in 1787, the University of Pittsburgh is one of the few universities and colleges established in the 18th century in the United States, it is the oldest continuously chartered institution of learning in the U. S. west of the Allegheny Mountains. The school began as a preparatory school in a log cabin as early as 1770 in Western Pennsylvania a frontier. Brackenridge obtained a charter for the school from the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on February 28, 1787, just ten weeks before the opening of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. A brick building was erected in 1790 on the south side of Third Street and Cherry Alley for the Pittsburgh Academy; the small two-story brick building, with a gable facing the alley, contained three rooms: one below and two above.
Within a short period, more advanced education in the area was needed, so in 1819 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania amended the school's 1787 charter to confer university status. The school was named the Western University of Pennsylvania, or WUP, was intended to be the western sister institution to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. By 1830, WUP had moved into a new three-story, freestone-fronted building, with Ionic columns and a cupola, near its original buildings fronting the south side of Third Street, between Smithfield Street and Cherry Alley in downtown Pittsburgh. By the 1830s, the university faced severe financial pressure to abandon its traditional liberal education in favor of the state legislature's desire for it to provide more vocational training; the decision to remain committed to liberal education nearly killed the university, but it persevered despite its abandonment by the city and state. It was during this era that the founder of Mellon Bank, Thomas Mellon and taught at WUP.
The university's buildings, along with most of its records and files, were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1845 that wiped out 20 square blocks of Pittsburgh. Classes were temporarily held in Trinity Church until a new building was constructed on Duquesne Way. Only four years in 1849, this building was destroyed by fire. Due to the catastrophic nature of these fires, operations were suspended for a few years to allow the university time to regroup and rebuild. By 1854, WUP had erected a new building on the corner of Ross and Diamond streets and classes resumed in 1855, it is during this era, in 1867, that Samuel Pierpont Langley, inventor, aviation pioneer and future Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, was chosen as director of the Allegheny Observatory, donated to WUP in 1865. Langley was professor of astronomy and physics and remained at WUP until 1891, when he was succeeded by another prominent astronomer, James Keeler. Growing during this period, WUP outgrew its downtown facilities and the university moved its campus to Allegheny City.
The university found itself on a 10-acre site on the North Side's Observatory Hill at the location of its Allegheny Observatory. There, it constructed two new buildings, Science Hall and Main Hall, that were occupied by 1889 and 1890 respectively. During this era, the first
The Allegheny Observatory is an American astronomical research institution, a part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh. The facility is listed on the National Register of Historical Places and is designated as a Pennsylvania state and Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation historic landmark; the observatory was founded on February 15, 1859, in the city of Allegheny, Pennsylvania by a group of wealthy industrialists calling themselves the Allegheny Telescope Association. The observatory's initial purpose was for general public education as opposed to research, but by 1867 the revenues derived from this had receded; the facility was donated to the Western University of Pennsylvania, today known as the University of Pittsburgh. The University hired Samuel Pierpont Langley to be the first director. One of the research programs initiated under his leadership was of sunspots, he drew detailed drawings of sunspots which are still used in astronomical textbooks to this day.
He had the building expanded to include dark rooms, class rooms, a lecture hall. In 1869, Langley created income for observatory by selling subscription service to time, determined by astronomical measurements and transmitted over telegraphs to customers; the Pennsylvania Railroad was the most influential subscriber to the "Allegheny Time" system. The Allegheny Observatory's service is believed to have been the first regular and systematic system of time distribution to railroads and cities as well as the origin of the modern standard time system. By 1870, the Allegheny Time service extended over 2,500 miles with 300 telegraph offices receiving time signals. On November 18, 1883, the first day of railroad standard time in North America, the Allegheny Observatory transmitted a signal on telegraph lines operated by railroads in Canada and the United States; the signal marked noon, Eastern Standard Time, railroads across the continent synchronized their schedules based on this signal. The standard time that began on this day continues in North American use to this day.
The revenues from the sale of time signals covered the bills. Allegheny Observatory continued to supply time signals until the US Naval Observatory started offering it for free in 1920. More George Gatewood began using the Allegheny Observatory to search for extrasolar planets as well as to follow up on claims of extrasolar planets, starting in 1972; this is done using astrometry, the practice of measuring the position of stars. In addition to studying the positions of stars on the thousands of photographic plates in the vaults of the observatory, George Gatewood designed the Multichannel Astrometric Photometer for use with the Thaw telescope to measure the position of a target star and its close neighbors on images taken 6 months apart; this technique takes advantage of parallax. If the target star has a companion it will wobble due to the gravitational pull of the unseen companion; the size of the companion can be measured by the size of the wobble. MAP is no longer in use and the Thaw telescope is in the process of rewiring and upgrading.
A model of the original observatory can be found in the Miniature Railroad & Village exhibit at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh and in 2012 a documentary film was released covering the observatory's history. Langley was the director when he returned home in Allegheny City on July 8, 1872 following a conference. Observatory staff advised him that the lens of the 13 inch Fitz Telescope had been taken for ransom which Langley refused to pay, it has been speculated that Langley knew the identity of the lens-napper, his or her identity is still a mystery. The lens-napper thought that with the involvement of the newspapers investigating the incidents his identity may be discovered so told Langley he could have back the lens. No clue was given as to its location but it was found in a Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania hotel wastepaper basket, it being scratched made it useless so it was re-ground by lens maker Alvan Clark. When it was reinstalled the clarity was improved. In gratitude, Langley added Clark's name to the telescope.
Langley researched heavier-than-air flight behind the observatory. To study the aerodynamic behavior of different forms traveling at high speeds he built a large spring "whirling arm" to which stuffed birds and wings he made were attached. After leaving Allegheny Observatory to become secretary of the Smithsonian in 1888, he continued his flight research and flying the first, aircraft capable of stable continuously powered flight from a houseboat on the Potomac River, his full-size manned Aerodrome was funded by the U. S. Army. Two well-publicized crashes of the Aerodrome in 1903 ended his flight research; the original observatory building was replaced by the current structure, shown in the photograph above. It was designed in the Classic Revival style by Thorsten E. Billquist; the cornerstone was laid in 1900, the new structure was completed in 1912. It is located four miles north of downtown Pennsylvania at Riverview Park; the building is a tan brick and white terra cotta hilltop temple whose Classical forms and decoration symbolize the unity of art and science.
The L-shaped building consists of a library, lecture hall, laboratories and three hemispherical domed telescope enclosures. Two were reserved for research; the core of the building is a small rotunda, housing an opalescent glass window depicting the Greek muse of astronomy, Urani
James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell was a Scottish scientist in the field of mathematical physics. His most notable achievement was to formulate the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, bringing together for the first time electricity and light as different manifestations of the same phenomenon. Maxwell's equations for electromagnetism have been called the "second great unification in physics" after the first one realised by Isaac Newton. With the publication of "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field" in 1865, Maxwell demonstrated that electric and magnetic fields travel through space as waves moving at the speed of light. Maxwell proposed that light is an undulation in the same medium, the cause of electric and magnetic phenomena; the unification of light and electrical phenomena led to the prediction of the existence of radio waves. Maxwell helped develop the Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution, a statistical means of describing aspects of the kinetic theory of gases, he is known for presenting the first durable colour photograph in 1861 and for his foundational work on analysing the rigidity of rod-and-joint frameworks like those in many bridges.
His discoveries helped usher in the era of modern physics, laying the foundation for such fields as special relativity and quantum mechanics. Many physicists regard Maxwell as the 19th-century scientist having the greatest influence on 20th-century physics, his contributions to the science are considered by many to be of the same magnitude as those of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. In the millennium poll—a survey of the 100 most prominent physicists—Maxwell was voted the third greatest physicist of all time, behind only Newton and Einstein. On the centenary of Maxwell's birthday, Einstein described Maxwell's work as the "most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton". James Clerk Maxwell was born on 13 June 1831 at 14 India Street, Edinburgh, to John Clerk Maxwell of Middlebie, an advocate, Frances Cay daughter of Robert Hodshon Cay and sister of John Cay, his father was a man of comfortable means of the Clerk family of Penicuik, holders of the baronetcy of Clerk of Penicuik.
His father's brother was the 6th Baronet. He had been born "John Clerk", adding Maxwell to his own after he inherited the Middlebie estate, a Maxwell property in Dumfriesshire. James was a first cousin of both the artist Jemima Blackburn and the civil engineer William Dyce Cay. Cay and Maxwell were close friends and Cay acted as his best man when Maxwell married. Maxwell's parents married when they were well into their thirties, they had had one earlier child, a daughter named Elizabeth. When Maxwell was young his family moved to Glenlair, in Kirkcudbrightshire which his parents had built on the estate which comprised 1,500 acres. All indications suggest. By the age of three, everything that moved, shone, or made a noise drew the question: "what's the go o' that?" In a passage added to a letter from his father to his sister-in-law Jane Cay in 1834, his mother described this innate sense of inquisitiveness: He is a happy man, has improved much since the weather got moderate. He investigates the hidden course of streams and bell-wires, the way the water gets from the pond through the wall....
Recognising the potential of the young boy, Maxwell's mother Frances took responsibility for James's early education, which in the Victorian era was the job of the woman of the house. At eight he could recite the whole of the 119th psalm. Indeed, his knowledge of scripture was detailed, his mother was taken ill with abdominal cancer and, after an unsuccessful operation, died in December 1839 when he was eight years old. His education was overseen by his father and his father's sister-in-law Jane, both of whom played pivotal roles in his life, his formal schooling began unsuccessfully under the guidance of a 16 year old hired tutor. Little is known about the young man hired to instruct Maxwell, except that he treated the younger boy harshly, chiding him for being slow and wayward; the tutor was dismissed in November 1841 and, after considerable thought, Maxwell was sent to the prestigious Edinburgh Academy. He lodged during term times at the house of his aunt Isabella. During this time his passion for drawing was encouraged by his older cousin Jemima.
The 10 year old Maxwell, having been raised in isolation on his father's countryside estate, did not fit in well at school. The first year had been full, obliging him to join the second year with classmates a year his senior, his mannerisms and Galloway accent struck the other boys as rustic. Having arrived on his first day of school wearing a pair of homemade shoes and a tunic, he earned the unkind nickname of "Daftie", he never seemed bearing it without complaint for many years. Social isolation at the Academy ended when he met Lewis Campbell and Peter Guthrie Tait, two boys of a similar age who were to become notable scholars in life, they remained lifelong friends. Maxwell was fascinated by geometry at an early age, rediscovering the regular polyhedra before he received any formal instruction. Despite winning the school's scripture biography prize in his second year, his academic work remained unnoticed until, at the
National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences is a United States nonprofit, non-governmental organization. NAS is part of the National Academies of Sciences and Medicine, along with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine; as a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Election to the National Academy is one of the highest honors in the scientific field. Members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation" on science and medicine; the group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code. Founded in 1863 as a result of an Act of Congress, approved by Abraham Lincoln, the NAS is charged with "providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. … to provide scientific advice to the government'whenever called upon' by any government department. The Academy receives no compensation from the government for its services."
As of 2016, the National Academy of Sciences includes about 2,350 members and 450 foreign associates. It employed about 1,100 staff in 2005; the current members annually elect new members for life. Up to 84 members who are US citizens are elected every year. 190 members have won a Nobel Prize. By its own admission in 1989, the addition of women to the Academy "continues at a dismal trickle", at which time there were 1,516 male members and 57 female members; the National Academy of Sciences is a member of the International Council for Science. The ICSU Advisory Committee, in the Research Council's Office of International Affairs, facilitates participation of members in international scientific unions and serves as a liaison for U. S. national committees for individual scientific unions. Although there is no formal relationship with state and local academies of science, there is informal dialogue; the National Academy is governed by a 17-member Council, made up of five officers and 12 Councilors, all of whom are elected from among the Academy membership.
About 85 percent of funding comes from the federal government through contracts and grants from agencies and 15 percent from state governments, private foundations, industrial organizations, funds provided by the Academies member organizations. The Council has the ability ad-hoc to delegate certain tasks to committees. For example, the Committee on Animal Nutrition has produced a series of Nutrient requirements of domestic animals reports since at least 1944, each one being initiated by a different sub-committee of experts in the field for example on dairy cattle; the National Academy of Sciences meets annually in Washington, D. C., documented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, its scholarly journal. The National Academies Press is the publisher for the National Academies, makes more than 5,000 publications available on its website. From 2004 to 2017, the National Academy of Sciences administered the Marian Koshland Science Museum to provide public exhibits and programming related to its policy work.
The museum's exhibits focused on infectious disease. In 2017 the museum closed and made way for a new science outreach program called LabX; the National Academy of Sciences maintains multiple buildings around the United States. The National Academy of Sciences Building is located at 2101 Constitution Avenue, in northwest Washington, D. C.. S. State Department; the building has a neoclassical architectural style and was built by architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Goodhue engaged a team of artists and architectural sculptors including Albert Herter, Lee Lawrie, Hildreth Meiere to design interior embellishments celebrating the history and significance of science; the building is used for lectures, symposia and concerts, in addition to annual meetings of the NAS, NAE, NAM. The 2012 Presidential Award for Math and Science Teaching ceremony was held here on March 5, 2014. 150 staff members work at the NAS Building. In June 2012, it reopened to visitors after a major two-year restoration project which restored and improved the building's historic spaces, increased accessibility, brought the building's aging infrastructure and facilities up to date.
More than 1,000 National Academies staff members work at The Keck Center of the National Academies at 500 Fifth Street in northwest Washington, D. C; the Keck Center houses the National Academies Press Bookstore. The Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences – located at 525 E St. N. W. – hosted visits from the public, school field trips, traveling exhibits, permanent science exhibits. The NAS maintains conference centers in California and Massachusetts; the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center is located on 100 Academy Drive in Irvine, near the campus of the University of California, Irvine. The J. Erik Jonsson Conference Center located at 314 Quissett Avenue in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, is another conference facility; the Act of Incorporation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln on March 3, 1863, created the National Academy of Sciences and named 50 charter members. Many of the original NAS members came from the so-called "Scientific Lazzaroni," an informal network of phy
San Francisco the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural and financial center of Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, the fourth-most populous in California, with 884,363 residents as of 2017, it covers an area of about 46.89 square miles at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, the fifth-most densely populated U. S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area; as of 2017, it was the seventh-highest income county in the United States, with a per capita personal income of $119,868. As of 2015, San Francisco proper had a GDP of $154.2 billion, a GDP per capita of $177,968. The San Francisco CSA was the country's third-largest urban economy as of 2017, with a GDP of $907 billion.
Of the 500+ primary statistical areas in the US, the San Francisco CSA had among the highest GDP per capita in 2017, at $93,938. San Francisco was ranked 14th in the world and third in the United States on the Global Financial Centres Index as of September 2018. San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asís a few miles away, all named for St. Francis of Assisi; the California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856. San Francisco's status as the West Coast's largest city peaked between 1870 and 1900, when around 25% of California's population resided in the city proper. After three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a major port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater.
It became the birthplace of the United Nations in 1945. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, significant immigration, liberalizing attitudes, along with the rise of the "hippie" counterculture, the Sexual Revolution, the Peace Movement growing from opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, other factors led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of liberal activism in the United States. Politically, the city votes along liberal Democratic Party lines. A popular tourist destination, San Francisco is known for its cool summers, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman's Wharf, its Chinatown district. San Francisco is the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss & Co. Gap Inc. Fitbit, Salesforce.com, Reddit, Inc. Dolby, Weebly, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Pinterest, Uber, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation and Weather Underground.
It is home to a number of educational and cultural institutions, such as the University of San Francisco, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco State University, the De Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the California Academy of Sciences. As of 2019, San Francisco is the highest rated American city on world liveability rankings; the earliest archaeological evidence of human habitation of the territory of the city of San Francisco dates to 3000 BC. The Yelamu group of the Ohlone people resided in a few small villages when an overland Spanish exploration party, led by Don Gaspar de Portolà, arrived on November 2, 1769, the first documented European visit to San Francisco Bay. Seven years on March 28, 1776, the Spanish established the Presidio of San Francisco, followed by a mission, Mission San Francisco de Asís, established by the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza. Upon independence from Spain in 1821, the area became part of Mexico. Under Mexican rule, the mission system ended, its lands became privatized.
In 1835, Englishman William Richardson erected the first independent homestead, near a boat anchorage around what is today Portsmouth Square. Together with Alcalde Francisco de Haro, he laid out a street plan for the expanded settlement, the town, named Yerba Buena, began to attract American settlers. Commodore John D. Sloat claimed California for the United States on July 7, 1846, during the Mexican–American War, Captain John B. Montgomery arrived to claim Yerba Buena two days later. Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco on January 30 of the next year, Mexico ceded the territory to the United States at the end of the war. Despite its attractive location as a port and naval base, San Francisco was still a small settlement with inhospitable geography; the California Gold Rush brought a flood of treasure seekers. With their sourdough bread in tow, prospectors accumulated in San Francisco over rival Benicia, raising the population from 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 by December 1849; the promise of great wealth was so strong that crews on arriving vessels deserted and rushed off to the gold fields, leaving behind a forest of masts in San Francisco harbor.
Some of these 500 abandoned ships were used at times as storeships and hotels.
The Doppler effect is the change in frequency or wavelength of a wave in relation to an observer, moving relative to the wave source. It is named after the Austrian physicist Christian Doppler, who described the phenomenon in 1842. A common example of Doppler shift is the change of pitch heard when a vehicle sounding a horn approaches and recedes from an observer. Compared to the emitted frequency, the received frequency is higher during the approach, identical at the instant of passing by, lower during the recession; the reason for the Doppler effect is that when the source of the waves is moving towards the observer, each successive wave crest is emitted from a position closer to the observer than the crest of the previous wave. Therefore, each wave takes less time to reach the observer than the previous wave. Hence, the time between the arrival of successive wave crests at the observer is reduced, causing an increase in the frequency. While they are traveling, the distance between successive wave fronts is reduced, so the waves "bunch together".
Conversely, if the source of waves is moving away from the observer, each wave is emitted from a position farther from the observer than the previous wave, so the arrival time between successive waves is increased, reducing the frequency. The distance between successive wave fronts is increased, so the waves "spread out". For waves that propagate in a medium, such as sound waves, the velocity of the observer and of the source are relative to the medium in which the waves are transmitted; the total Doppler effect may therefore result from motion of the source, motion of the observer, or motion of the medium. Each of these effects is analyzed separately. For waves which do not require a medium, such as light or gravity in general relativity, only the relative difference in velocity between the observer and the source needs to be considered. Doppler first proposed this effect in 1842 in his treatise "Über das farbige Licht der Doppelsterne und einiger anderer Gestirne des Himmels"; the hypothesis was tested for sound waves by Buys Ballot in 1845.
He confirmed that the sound's pitch was higher than the emitted frequency when the sound source approached him, lower than the emitted frequency when the sound source receded from him. Hippolyte Fizeau discovered independently the same phenomenon on electromagnetic waves in 1848. In Britain, John Scott Russell made an experimental study of the Doppler effect. In classical physics, where the speeds of source and the receiver relative to the medium are lower than the velocity of waves in the medium, the relationship between observed frequency f and emitted frequency f 0 is given by: f = f 0 where c is the velocity of waves in the medium; the frequency is decreased. Equivalent formula, easier to remember: f v w r = f 0 v w s = 1 λ where v w r is the wave's velocity relative to the receiver; the above formula assumes that the source is either directly approaching or receding from the observer. If the source approaches the observer at an angle, the observed frequency, first heard is higher than the object's emitted frequency.
Thereafter, there is a monotonic decrease in the observed frequency as it gets closer to the observer, through equality when it is coming from a direction perpendicular to the relative motion, a continued monotonic decrease as it recedes from the observer. When the observer is close to the path of the object, the transition from high to low frequency is abrupt; when the observer is far from the path of the object, the transition from high to low frequency is gradual. If the speeds v s and v r are small compared to the speed of the wave, the relationship between observed frequency f and emitted frequency f 0 is where Δ f = f
James Lick telescope
The James Lick Telescope is a refracting telescope built in 1888. It has a lens 36 inches in diameter- a major achievement in its day; the instrument remains in operation and public viewing is allowed on a limited basis. Called the "Great Lick Refractor" or "Lick Refractor", it was the largest refracting telescope in the world until 1897 and now ranks third, after the 40-inch unit at the Yerkes Observatory and the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope; the telescope is located at the University of California's Lick Observatory atop Mount Hamilton at an elevation of 4,209 feet above sea level. The instrument is housed inside a dome, powered by hydraulic systems that raise and lower the floor, rotate the dome and drive the clock mechanism to track the Earth's rotation; the original hydraulic arrangement still operates today, with the exception that the original wind-powered pumps that once filled the reservoirs have been replaced with electric pumps. James Lick is entombed below the floor of the observing room of the telescope.
Here are some excerpts from an 1894 book describing the telescope: The height of the marble floor of the main building above mean sea level is 4209 feet. On a connected peak half a mile to the east of the Observatory, 50 feet higher, are the reservoirs from which water for household and photographic purposes is distributed. A spring about 350 feet below and one mile to the northeast of the Observatory supplies excellent water. Another peak seven-eighths of a mile to the east is the summit of Mount Hamilton; this system receives its supply from the winter rains falling on the roofs. The movable floor in the dome is the first of the kind to be constructed, it is 60 feet in diameter, can be raised or lowered through a distance of 16 1⁄2 feet, its purpose being to bring the observer within convenient reach of the eye end of the telescope. The fabrication of the two-element achromatic objective lens, the largest lens made at the time, caused years of delay; the famous large telescope maker Alvan Clark was in charge of the optical design.
He gave the contract for casting the high quality optical glass blanks, of a size never before attempted, to the firm of Charles Feil in Paris. One of the huge glass disks broke during shipping, making a replacement was delayed. After 18 failed attempts, the lens was finished, transported safely across country, on December 31, 1887, was installed in the telescope tube; the builders had to wait for three days for a break in the clouds to test it. On the evening of January 3 the telescope saw first light, users found that the instrument couldn't be focused. An error in the estimation of the lens' focal length had caused the tube to be built too long. A hacksaw was procured, the great tube was unceremoniously cut back to the proper length and the star Aldebaran came into focus; these are some of the discoveries made with the Lick telescope, as described in the same 1894 book: Amalthea, the fifth satellite of Jupiter was discovered in September, 1892. The speed of the planetary nebulae in their motions through space is of the same order of magnitude as the speed of the stars.
Twenty-five comets—17 unexpected and 8 periodic—have been discovered. The unequaled Lick series of comet photographs has taught us more as to the structure and dissolution of comets' tails than had been learned in all previous time. About 1300 new double stars have been discovered; the period of revolution of the double star delta Equulei has been shown to be 53⁄4 years, the shortest period known for any double star being 11.4 years. It is therefore in many ways the most interesting double star under observation. Spectroscopic observations have shown that the atmosphere of Mars is of low density—probably much less dense at the surface of Mars than the Earth's atmosphere at the summit of the highest peak in the Himalayas; the average speed of the brighter stars is 21 miles per second. The North Polar Star was found to be a triple star, in 1899, by means of spectroscopic observations. Two of its members are invisible in our largest telescopes; the bright star and one dark companion revolve around each other in four days.
Capella was discovered, in 1899, to be a spectroscopic binary star, period 104 days, the two nearly equal components being inseparable in our largest telescopes. About 40 spectroscopic binaries—that is, stars seen single in ordinary telescopes, but proven to be double by means of the spectroscope—were discovered in 1898–1902. At least one star in seven has an invisible component, observable thus far only by spectroscopic means. About 10,000 nebulae have been discovered in the past at the various observatories; these photographs led to the unexpected discovery that the majority of the nebulae have a spiral form—undoubted evidence of their rotation. The light of the inner portion of the solar corona is inherent, whereas the light of the outer portion is reflected sunlight, as proven at the Sumatra eclipse by means of spectroscopic and polariscopic observations, it has been shown. The extraordinary motion in the nebula surrounding Nova Persei was discovered from the photograph of November 7–8, 1901.
Many thousands of accurate positions of stars have been secured with the meridian circle. Extensive and accurate observations of double st