On the Movements of Air in Fissures and the Barometer


I SHOULD be glad to add to my article “On the Movements of Air in Fissures and the Barometer” (NATURE, vol. xxvii. p. 375) a reference to an instrument devised by Mr. Whitehouse, and described in 1871 before the Royal Society (Proc. Roy. Soc. vol. xix. p. 491). The apparatus, which was intended to record minute variations of atmospheric pressure, consisted of two hydraulic chambers, connected by a tube or siphon, and buried in the ground. One of the chambers was left open at the top and exposed to atmospheric pressure, the other was closed and removed from such pressure; the difference in the level of the water in the two was a measure of the variation in the atmospheric pressure. This instrument reproduces those conditions to which the oscillation of the water-level in certain chalk-wells, coincident with the barometic changes, has been attributed. It was believed by the inventor that by its aid he had been able to detect atmospheric waves or pulsations at a distance from a storm-centre; it has not however come into scientific use.


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