The properties of bodies were investigated by several distinguished French mathematicians on the hypothesis that they are systems of molecules in equilibrium. The somewhat unsatisfactory nature of the results... produced... a reaction in favour of the opposite method of treating bodies as if they were... continuous. This method, in the hands of Green, Stokes, and others, has led to results the value of which does not at all depend on what theory we adopt as to the ultimate constitution of bodies.
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