The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society is a scientific journal published by the Royal Society. It was established in 1665, making it the first journal in the world exclusively devoted to science. It has remained in continuous publication ever since, the world's longest-running scientific journal.
The description of the way Laputa works is a satirical imitation of papers published in The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Swift manages to make something quite impossible sound very plausible by using the scientific terminology of his day.