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BOOK II., OF REPULSION, AND THE POWERS BY WHICH IT IS PRODUCED. 1
He attractions which arc exerted between the minute particles of
matter, are counteracted by certain forces of repulsion, and by
these the arrangements and combinations to which the former give
rise are modified or subverted. Their operation, therefore, is
important in the production of chemical phenomena. Of these
repulsive forces, the most general in its agency is the power of
Heat, or what chemists denominate Caloric. This power is present in
all bodies: it is capable of being increased or diminished, and
this increase and diminution are accompanied with corresponding
changes in the distances at which the particles of bodies are
placed, Galvanism, a principle lately discovered, likewise exerts a
repulsive agency, and is even more powerful than heat in subverting
chemical combination. With these agents, Light has an intimate
connection. Its materiality is indeed more decidedly established,
yet still it is doubtful if it exert any chemical affinities; its
particles are mutually repellent, and it is not improbable, that in
producing chemical changes, it operates by the repulsion
it'comjnuni- cates to the particles of bodies. The materiality of
all these agents has been maintained. The question, however, as it
relates to some of them, is far from being determined, and they arc
so far peculiar, that their gravity cannot be ascertained; they can
scarcely be procured insulated, nor can their combinations, if they
enter into chemical union, be traced. They may therefore, without
impropriety of arrangement, be regarded as general forces producing
repulsion. CHAP. I. OF CALORIC. Of the sensations we experience,
none are more familiar than those of heat and cold. These are
excited by bodies applied to ...
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