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AT THE SIGN OF THE WOODEN SPOON:

Physical Science and Mathematics Problem-Sets from the Long Nineteenth Century

If one can't be Senior Wrangler, one might still earn this ...

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This page features compilations of theoretical problems in pure and applied mathematics, physics, astronomy, chemistry, and engineering. Published in the Long Nineteenth Century, they range widely in intended audience. The page as it now appears (2015 March) is a first attempt at what we hope will eventually become a comprehensive collection. The classification scheme leaves much to be desired, and we have not had time to look through every compilation in detail. We have so far included only English-language sources. Please contact the editors at *redingtn [at] mit [full stop] edu* with any suggestions.
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All links are to the Internet Archive and are in the public domain in the United States. A few texts are marked with an
asterisk; these were scanned for the Archive by Google. It is our observation that Google scans are much more likely to contain errors, such as missing or unreadable pages or
figures, than those from other sources, and we have tried to avoid them whenever possible.
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**THE MATHEMATICAL TRIPOS:**The intensely competitive traditional examination system at Cambridge had an overwhelming influence, both positive and negative, on scientific education in the English-speaking world and beyond, an influence continuing long after the Tripos itself was reformed beyond recognition. Many of the problem-sets elsewhere on this page were intended as preparation for the Tripos; the term "coach" was originally applied to professional trainers of Cambridge examination-takers, and only later diffused into athletics. The collections in this section contain actual Tripos problems, arranged, for the most part, chronologically. As of 2015 March, we have not had time to sort them out by topic except in the few cases where the Nineteenth Century publisher already did so. There are numerous gaps in the chronology; possibly scanned editions of collections covering these gaps exist on the Archive, but we not been able to locate them.PURE MATHEMATICS:

**ALGEBRA:**Mainly at what would now be considered undergraduate or even high-school level.- Bland, 1812
- Cambridge Senate-House, 1821-1836
- Hirsch & Grund, 1831*
- Wright, 1831
- Cambridge Senate-House, 1848-1851
- Jameson, 1851
- Morgan, 1858
- Dodd, 1859*
- Young, 1859
- Cambridge Senate-House, 1860
- Wrigley, 1865*
- Wolstenholme, 1867
- Ficklin, 1874*
- Wolstenholme, 1878
- Wentworth, 1889
- Ellwood, 1892
- Clay, 1905*
- Finkel, 1909

- Special Topic: DIOPHANTINE EQUATIONS:

**GEOMETRY:**Almost entirely Euclidean, and often directly dependent on Euclid. Reform of geometry education was a source of intense controversy in the later part of the century. Some descriptive geometry and analytic geometry texts have found their way into the first part of this section, and will be sorted out later.- Bland, 1819*
- Cambridge Senate-House, 1821-1836
- Wright, 1831
- Cambridge Senate-House, 1848-1851
- Jameson, 1851
- Morgan, 1858
- Cambridge Senate-House, 1860
- Robinson, 1868
- Hallowell, 1872*
- Martin, 1876
- Spencer, 1877
- Wentworth & Hill, 1884
- Waldo, 1888
- Ellwood, 1892
- Estill, 1897
- Hopkins, 1902
- Bartlett, 1905*
- Finkel, 1909
- Slaught & Lennes, 1911
- Sykes, 1912
- Hall, 1922

- Special Topic: CONIC SECTIONS:
- Cambridge Senate-House, 1821-1836
- Gaskin, 1847*
- Latham, 1848*
- Cambridge Senate-House, 1848-1851
- Jameson, 1851
- Morgan, 1858
- Cambridge Senate-House, 1860
- Wolstenholme, 1867
- Frost, 1880
- Taylor, 1881
- Roberts, 1882*

- Special Topic: SOLID GEOMETRY:
- Cambridge Senate-House, 1821-1836
- Cambridge Senate-House, 1860
- Wolstenholme, 1867
- Robinson, 1868
- Martin, 1876
- Wolstenholme, 1878
- Edgar & Pritchard, 1880
- Wentworth & Hill, 1884
- Finkel, 1909
- Slaught, 1911
- Slaught & Lennes, 1911

**Special Topic: ANALYTIC GEOMETRY:****Special Subtopic: TRILINEAR CO-ORDINATES:**A very popular subject in the Nineteenth Century, now almost forgotten.

**TRIGONOMETRY:****CALCULUS:**- Cambridge Senate-House, 1821-1836
- Cambridge Senate-House, 1848-1851
- Morgan, 1858
- Ramchundra, 1859
- Cambridge Senate-House, 1860
- Wolstenholme, 1867
- Wolstenholme, 1878
- Byerly, 1895*
- Leib, 1915

- Special Topic: DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS:
- Special Topic: CALCULUS OF FINITE DIFFERENCES:
- Special Topic: CALCULUS OF VARIATIONS:

**STATISTICS:****PUZZLES:**ASTRONOMY:

**PLANE AND SPHERICAL ASTRONOMY:****ASTROPHYSICS (including, for now, CELESTIAL MECHANICS):****PHYSICS:**Level varies widely in almost every section.**BASIC MECHANICS and GENERAL PHYSICS:****ADVANCED CLASSICAL MECHANICS:****ELASTICITY:****FLUID MECHANICS:****ACOUSTICS:****OPTICS:****THERMAL PHYSICS:**CHEMISTRY

**GENERAL:****INORGANIC:****ORGANIC:****PHYSICAL:**ENGINEERING:

**ENGINES:****ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING:**As it stands, this section includes a mix of very basic (even high-school physics) problems with advanced problems for professional engineers. It will be sorted later.**STRENGTH OF MATERIALS:****MECHANICAL DRAWING:****HEATING SYSTEMS:****MILITARY ENGINEERING:**Apparently a topic of surging interest immediately*after*World War One.