'sGravesande's Apparatus
Willem Jacob 'sGravesande (1688-1742) started his career as a lawyer in The Hague, Netherlands, but by 1715 had become well enough versed in Natural Philosophy to be elected to the Royal Society of England. In 1717 he became the Professor of of Mathematics and Astronomy at the University of Leiden. In his 1727 and 1736 textbooks he expounded the mathematical approach of Newton, and also supported his philosophy of experimental physics.

At the left is the ball-and-ring apparatus at Amherst College, made by E. Ducretet & Cie. of Paris, and listed at 
20 francs in the 1879 catalogue.

The apparatus at the right is from Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

'sGravesande's lectures at Leiden included demonstrations of scientific principles, and it is reasonable to assume that he developed the ball and ring device below to illustrate the idea of thermal expansion. A surprising number of students assume that when the ring is heated, it will expand inward toward the center of the hole. Much to their amazement, the ring actually gets larger, and the ball passes through it. 

The apparatus at the left is in the lecture demonstration room at the University of Cincinnati, and was made by Queen of Philadelphia. In the 1881 catalogue it is listed at $3.00, including an alcohol lamp.

At the right is a demonstration from Washington and Jefferson College, ca. 1900.

   The example of 'sGravesande's apparatus at the right is at the University of Texas, where it is in regular use for lecture demonstrations. The University opened in 1890, and this apparatus probably dates from its early years.
   In the twentieth century 'sGravesande's apparatus lost its name, and became the simpler apparatus shown at the left. This unmarked ball-and-ring is in the collection at Dartmouth College. 

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