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nity of exceptional definition has been embraced. Further-
more, the objective has been fitted with an exterior iris
diaphragm, conveniently operated from the eye-end ; and the
absolute necessity of such an appliance in all telescopic work
requiring fine definition has been proved beyond a doubt. The
pupil of the eye automatically opens and closes, in adaptation
to the strength of illumination of the object toward which it is
turned ; and the addition of a great objective to the optical
system requires further adaptation of tne amount of light it
gathers to that particular magnifying power which the special
condition of the always turbulent air will allow.

The weather conditions of the peculiar autumn of 1911 gave
many opportunities when resolution of the Satumian ringnearits
extremities was suspected ; but not until the perfectly quiescent
nights of October 28 and 29 was there a near approach to that
serenity and entire atmospheric calm which I had before
experienced but twice: on the summit of Fuji-san in 1887, and
in the desert of Tarapacd in northern Chile twenty years later.
The power on this occasion was pushed nearer to the limit than
I had ever found it possible to do before at Amherst. The
sky, too, was absolutely clear of haze, so that a power of 950
gave only very slightly scattered illumination in the field. In
moments of best definition a power of 1400 was found to per-
form satisfactorily with an aperture of 16 inches.

Near the extremities of trie inner bright ring there was a
lenticular shading, as drawn by Proctor, (1837-88), and less
pronouncedly by Sarnard ; and it was in this especial region that,
m moments of the best vision, a certain sparkling flocculence
was more or less steadily glimpsed ; scintillant much as fine
snowflakes sun-illumined at the close of a storm. There was
no longer in the writer's mind any doubt that the separate
component satellites of the ring had been seen, at least in that

Am. Jour. Soi.— Fourth Series, Vol. XXXIIT, No. 194.— February, 1912.
11



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154 Todd — Optical Resolution of the Saturnian Ring.

part of the inner Hnygenian ring which is adjacent to the
extremities of its major axis. The degree of amplification
seemed too great for resolution of the dusky* ring; in fact,
with the highest powers it was very difficult to discern this
ring at all. The accompanying sketch of the critical region of
the planet is a crude attempt to show approximately the area
of the resolution in the following ansa^ though it was by no
means so regular either in character or outline as the engraver
has represented it. It should be viewed not less than eight
feet from the eye.

Through November, December, and early January every
favorable opportunity of observing Saturn was embraced, but
at no time did the seeing approach the excellence of late Octo-



FoUowing Ansa of Saturn, Oct. 28, 29, 1911.

ber. Usual winter conditions having evidently set in for a
permanency, no further opportunity for verification of the res-
olution appeared likely to offer during the current presentation.
A Latin dispatch was therefore framed, with the assistance of
my colleague. Dr. Houghton, and forwarded to Sir David Gill,
as follows : Satxirni anulorum clarorum exte riorum que axium
maiorum prope extrema^ me adiuvaritibus validissimis tele-
scopiis^ quanaam jlooculentiaTn sciniillanterrh ohsei'vavi^ quam
oculorum dUsipationem anuli esse interpretatus sum.

By a like fatality that rendered Scliiaparelli's canali into
canals, oculorum dissipatio became, not optical resolution^ its
true English equivalent, but dissipation^ — a simple translitera-
tion which implied a breaking up or dissolution of the ring :
an idea wholly foreign to the writer, who is no friend o catas-
trophic theories of the Saturnian ring.

Amherst College Observatory, Jannary 16, 1912.



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Clhemistry and Physics. 155



SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE.

I. Chkmibtey and Physios.

1. Canadium^ an Alleged New Element of the Platinum
Group. — The announcement is made by A. G. French, a metal-
Inrgist of the Nelson district in British Columbia, that he has
discovered a new noble metal and has named it canadium in honor
of the Dominion. It was found in the dike rocks in the Nelson
district, occurring associated with platinum metals in quantities
from a few pennyweights to three ounces per ton. It occurs pure
in semi-crystalline grains, and in short rods about half a milli-
meter in length and one-tenth of a millimeter in thickness. It
has been found also in the foi*m of scales in platinum-bearing
ores. These particles, which have a bluish -white color, contain
the metal alloyed with a volatile substance which may be osmium,
as it is dispelled by the blowpipe, leaving a brilliant bead of "cana-
dium.'' The new metal is not platinum, ruthenium, pallaidium,
nor osmium, as it is much softer than these and is more fusible,
being quite readily melted by the blowpipe. It is not oxidized
by long heating in the oxidizing blowpipe flame. It is soluble in
nitric and hydrochloric acids, and in mixtures of the two acids with-
out residue, and the solution in nitric acid gives no precipitate
with sodium chloride solution. Therefore it is not silver, a fact
which is also indicated by the circumstance that the metal is not
blackened by alkaline sulphides. The metal is not colored by
tincture of iodine, and the nitrate solution gives no precipitate
with potassium iodide. These tests show that it is not palladium.
Its melting-point is somewhat lower than that of gold or silver,
and very much lower than that of palladium. It is electro-neg-
ative to silver. When it is alloyed with gold and silver in " part-
ing *' proportions, dilute nitric acid dissolves the silver first and
then the new element, leaving gold and the usual brown form,
but if the action is stopped when the silver is all dissolved, and
the dark residue is then dried and pressed with a knife-blade, the
color is a most beautiful and brilliant white. The new metal
may then be dissolved by further treatment with nitric acid, pre-
cipitated by zinc, and cupelled with lead to a white bead which
is not colored by alkaline sulphides.

If the description given is accurate, a new metal would seem
to be indicated, and a more thorough chemical examination on a
larger scale, which is intended to be made soon, will be awaited
with much interest. — Chem, NewSy civ, 283. h. l. w.

2. The Alleged Complexity of Tellurium, — The anomalous posi-
tion of the atomic weight of tellurium in the Periodic System has
led to many attempts in recent years to separate it into elements
of higher and lower atomic weights, and many such efforts have
led to negative results. However, some recent work has indi-
cated that the fractional decomposition of tellurium tetrachloride



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156 Scientific Intelligence,

by means of hot water gave a product which showed a lower atomic
weight for tellariam than the one usually accepted. In fact an
atomic weight as low as 124*32 was obtained by Flint from such
fractionated material in one case, in place of the usual atomic
weight, 127-5. Since Baker and Bennett had previously failed
to find any change in tellurium by this same method, as well as
by six other methods, Ha.rcourt and Bakes have repeated the
work. Starting with some very pure telluric acid, they made four
fractional precipitations in series from solutions of the tetrachlo-
ride by pouring them into boiling water. The tellurium of the
final product was carefully purified and its atomic weight was
determined by converting it into the tetrabromide. Five results
gave the numbers 12'7-55, 127-55, 127*53, 127-63, and 127-53, while
determinations on material similarly purified, but without the
attempted fractionation, gave a mean result of 127*53. Since the
results showed no evidence of the slightest change by means of
the fractional precipitation, the operation was not carried further.
The authors believe that the low results previously mentioned
were due to contamination of the dioxide with trioxide, which
was shown to give a precipitate with an orange color. It is evi-
dent, at all events, that no fractionation of tellurium into dif-
ferent elements has as yet been effected. — Chem. News^ civ, 260.

II. L. w.

3. A Neio Quantitative Separation of Iron from Manganese, —
J. A. Sanchez has found that when pyridine is added to a neu-
tral or slightly acid solution of ferric and manganous salts, all the
iron is precipitated as hydroxide, while the manganese remains in
solution. It is stated that in this way it is possible to separate
0-0005 g. of manganese from 1 g. of iron. Neutralization of nearly
all the free acid by caustic soda or potash, adding pyridine, boil-
ing for 10 minutes, and washing the precipitate first with hot
water saturated with pyridine, then with hot water alone, are
recommended. No test analyses are given, nor is any statement
made in regard to the behavior of nickel and cobalt in the sepa-
ration, but it is stated that zinc goes partly into the precipitate
and partly into solution. — BuUetin^ ix, 8 SO. h. l. w.

4. Famous Chemiats ; by E. Roberts. 12mo, pp. 247. Lon-
don and New York, 1911 (The Macmillan Company). — The ol)ject
of this little book is to give an account of the chief work of the
most famous chemists, and to indicate briefly the part played by each
in the development of the science. The subjects treated are Stahl,
Boyle, Black, Cavendish, Priestly, Scheele, Lavoisier, Berthollet,
Dalton, Davy, Gay-Lussac, Berzelius, Faraday, Dumas, Wohler,
Liebig, Graham, Bunsen, Hofmann, Pasteur, Williamson, Frank-
land, Kekul^, Mendeleeff, Perkin, and Victor Meyer. The
essays include the impoi-tant biographical facts as well as the
principal achievements of these heroes of chemistry. The arti-
cles are clear, concise, and well written, and the book will
be very useful to those who wish to obtain an outline of the
development of modern chemistry. h. l. w.



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Chemistry and Physics. 157

5. Quantitative Chemical Analysis; by Clowes and Cole-
man. 8vo, pp. 565. Philadelphia, 1911 (P. Blakiston's Son <fe Co.).
This text-book is so well known and widely used, both in Great
Britain, the place of its origin, and in the United States, that the
appearance of the present ninth edition requires no comment
except the statement that the text of the much improved eighth
edition, which appeared two years ago, has been carefully revised
with the result that some additions and improvements have been
made, and errors have been corrected. h. l. w.

6- Photometric Paddle - Wheels, — James R. Milne has
recently described a new form of rotating photometric sector
similar to a paddle-wheel in appearance, and consisting, in one
form, of two flat, triangular vanes fixed to the shaft of a motor
by which they are rotated. The amount of light interrupted
depends on the azimuth of the base, which angular measurement
can be made with a hi^h degree of accuracy. The author gives
a mathematical discussion of this new type of apparatus, in which
are deduced formulae for the intensities of the light transmitted
under different conditions, and for the greatest width of the
beam of light that can be employed ; and a graphical tabulation
of the values of these formulae in different cases is provided.
The mounting and details of an actual instrument are also
described, together with an additional mechanism for the pur-
pose of automatically recording the photometric measurements
obtained. — Proc, Roy. Soc. Edinburgh^ vol. xxxi, pp. 655-683.

Y. A TexUBook of Physics ; by Louis Bevieb Spinney.
Pp. xi, 605. New York, 1911 (The Macmillan Co.).— This vol-
ume is designed primarily for use as a text in courses offered to
engineering and technical students. Hence, special emphasis is
laid on the practical aspects of the subject. Illustrations of phys-
ical laws are drawn as far as possible from familiar phenomena,
and physical principles are exemplified by numerous important
applications. Particular emphasis is placed upon the subject of
Mechanics. Also, it is expected that the book will be used as a
basis for class-room work and that it will be supplemented by a
course of experimentally illustrated lectures and suitable labora-
tory exercises. The text is up to date and includes, of course,
a discussion of ionization and radio-activity. A knowledge of
plane trigonometry and elementary chemistry is assumed. The
figures are large, well-drawn and interesting, and Gothic type
is used for emphasis. 325 problems for solution are distributed
throughout the volume.

As regards minor details the book possesses both satisfactory
and unsatisfactory characteristics. For instance, on page 26 an
acceleration is given as " 2 miles per hour per minute," which is
very helpful to students who find difficulty in grasping the full
meaning of 2 miles per sec. per sec. On the other hand, the term
moment of inertia is introduced symbolically on page 39, but its
physical significance is first brought out on page 81. h. si u.



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158 Soientific Intelligence.

8. Tables of Physical and Chemical Constants and some
Mathematical Functions ; by G. W. C. Kayb and T. H. Laby.
Pp, vi, 153. London, 1911 ^Longmans, Green, A Co.). — The
need of a comparatively small volume of up-to-date tables of
physical and cnemical constants has been felt for some time, not
only by the authors but also by the writer of this notice. Hence
it seems fair to assume that this volume will appeal strongly to
others who are engaged either in giving instruction to laboratory
classes or in original investigations.

The material has been wisely selected and the manner of pre-
sentation is excellent. Thus, in addition to the data incorporated
in the older reference books of this type, fifteen pages are devoted
to ionization and radio-activity. Also a table of e~^ is appended.
The utility of the volume is enhanced by the insertion, in the
case of many of the sections, of a brief r6sum6 containing refer-
ences to such books and original papers as may be profitably
consulted. The authors say in their preface : ^' Every effort has
been made to keep the material up to date ; "

All numbers, units, etc., deserving special emphasis are printed
in bold-faced type and an index to the pages is given. The book
is bound in a flexible cover, so that it will lie open flat or lend
itself to any other convenient position of holding.

In conclusion, the present writer desires to state explicitly that
the book appeals very strongly to him and he hopes that many
other instructors and investigators will not only give the tables
practical trial, but will also take advantage of the prefatory

invitation of the authors, namely, " we shall be very glad

to receive suggestions and to be informed of any mistakes which,
despite every care, have eluded us." If this is done, a very
valuable set of convenient and reliable tables may be produced
in the course of a few years. h. s. u.

9. Elektrochemische Umformer [Oalvanische Elemente^ ;
von Johannes Zach arias. Pp. xii, 262 ; 122 figures. Vienna and
Leipzig, 1911 (A. Hartleben). — ^The author considers the custo-
mary classification of cells, as primary and secondary elements, to
be unsatisfactory and illogical, and hence he bases all of his
discussions on the use, performance and manner of working or
discharging cells. Consequently the title, '' Electrochemical
Transformers," has been selected '^ to comprise all devices which
serve to transform chemical energy into electrical work by the
wet process."

Special attention is given to batteries for furnishing strong
currents and to the so-called '' earth cells." Also, a special section
is devoted to a detailed account of pocket lamps. Accumulators
or secondary batteries are not given prominence. Numerous
tables and curves are distributed throughout the text to illustrate
the behavior of different types of cells under almost every con-
ceivable condition of activity.

The author maintains a practical point of view, so that the
book should appeal primarily to those who desire to select a bat-
tery which is most suitable for fulfilling specified working condi-
tions. H. s. u.



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Geology and Natural History. 169

10. Die Neue Welt der FlUsaigen Kristalle / by O. Leumann.
8vo, pp. 388. Leipzig, 1911 (AkademiBche Verlagsgesellschaft).
— To anyone acquainted only with ordinary crystals, the idea
of a liquid crystal — a substance which, if deformed, will flow back
into crystalline shape—- is hard to grasp. Professor Lehman is
the discoverer of this class of substances and has done more work
in the field than has any other investigator, so he speaks with
authority.

Rather curiously, liquid crystals are hardly mentioned in the
first hundred and fifty pages of the book. Instead various other
subjects are considered which are often only remotely connected
with liquid crystals but which have been investigated by the
author at one time or another. For instance, there is an account
of the author's discovery of the transition temperature and a
description of his crystallization miscroscope. The description of
liquid crystals, their preparation and properties, occupies about
a hundred pages and appears to be very well presented. There
are chapters following which it is difiicnlt to account for in a
book of this character — chapters, for instance, on the growth of
living things, latent life and soul (latentes I^eben und Seele),
atom souls (Atomseelen), and muscle power (Muskelkraft).

Taken as a whole, the book is an account of the author's scien*
tific work rather than an account of liquid crystals. The part
devoted to the latter appears to be very good. The rest may be
excellent, but it is on subjects having little to do with the title
page. H. w. F.



II. Geology and Natural History.

1. Thirty-second Annual Report of the United States Geo-
logical Survey. George Otis Smith, Director. Pp. 143 ;
2 maps. Washington, 1911. — The operations of the Survey
for the year 1910-11 continue the gratifying record made in
previous years. When the value and amount of work is com-
pared with the aggregate cost (11,477,440) it seems evident
that no governmental bureau is yielding greater returns in pro-
portion to the amount expended. It is satisfactory to note that
the Survey is becoming each year more generally useful to the
various departments involved with governmental administration.
More than any other bureau it stands as a scientific adviser to the
government in all matters relating to the development of natural
resources. In the development of plans for wiser distribution
and control of public lands, water supply, irrigation, coal, oil, and
ore deposits, it is essential that some bureau possessing high skill
and freedom from political control should be given charge; and it
speaks well for the reputation of the Survey that this particular
bureau should be relied upon to furnish accurate and unbiased
information as the basis for legislative enactments. Because of
the changes in the Department of the Interior which have placed



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160 ScientiJiG Intelligence,

the administration of public lands on a more scientific basis, the
work of the Land Classification Board has become an important
feature of the Survey's activity, and under the direction of W. C
Mendenhall, the present chairman, is increasing in amount and in
accuracy. Fortunately the past work of the Survey has been
done in such a manner that extensive records and studies cover-
ing a long term of years are available. Without these data public
land legislation would be necessarily unsatisfactory.

The general value of the Survey to the country is indicated by
the growing demand for its publications. During the year under
consideration the number of reports and maps issued reached
the enormous total of 1,208,797 (488,930 books, 84,117 folios,
684,129 maps). Of this amount half a million maps were sold,
an increase of 16 per cent over the previous years. The demand
in some instances is so great that second editions were required of
five Bulletins, twelve Water-Supply Papers, and of the Mineral
Resources of the United States.

An examination of the outline map showing the area covered
by topographic surveys indicates substantial progress during the
year. The maps of six states have been completed ; 50 per cent
of nine other states has been covered ; and only five states show
less than 10 per cent of their area represented by maps.

The organization of the Bureau of Mines, relieving the Survey
of a portion of its economic work, which was only remotely
related to it, seems on the whole to have been a satisfactory
arrangement ; it allows for the enlargement of its work along
scientific lines as well as of basal studies in conservation.

It is an interesting indication of the growth of interest in scien-
tific studies and the appreciation of expert scientific knowledge as
a basis of legislation that various new bureaus have from time to
time been created from sections in the Survey, without decreas-
ing the staff or scope of the work of the parent organization.

H. E. G.

2. The Granites of Connecticut ; by T. Nelson Dale and
H. E. Gbegory. Bull. 484, U. S. Geol. Survey, pp. 137, pi. vi.
Washington, 1911. — This is a continuation of the very useful
reports on the granite industry in the eastern states published in
recent years by the Survey. The subject is treated both from
the scientific and economic standpoint, but in such a manner as
to make the more purely scientific parts quite intelligible to the
general reader.

In part one, which is devoted to the scientific portion of the
work. Professor Gregory first treats in a broad, concise way of
the salient features of the geology of the state with especial ref-
erence to the origin, nature, and classification of the rocks, the
distribution of the bodies of granite being shown on a colored
geologic map on the scale of 1-500,000. Professor Dale follows
with a discussion of various features of the granites, such as their
structure, rock variations, weathering and discoloration. The
treatment of rift and grain and of sheeting is interesting, though



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Geology and Natural HisUyry. 161

no new views are advanced, but the author suggests that the
dome structure may, perhaps, be due to anticlinal arches in the
strata that originally overlaid the granites.

The second part of the work, by Dale, is devoted to a descrip-
tion of the various quarnes in the state and to their products.
In many instances their location is shown by small maps and the
geologic features are described in detail with the aid of diagrams.
In nearly all cases the result of a study of the rocks in thin
section are briefly given, and where available, chemical analyses
are added.

While the main value of the work is on the economic side
and it should prove itself technically useful to those engaged in
the industry, there is nevertheless much of interest and impor-
tance to the geologist and petrographer that is not merely local,
but general, in its application. l. y. p.

3. 7%€ Mount McKinley Megiofiy Alaska; by Alfred H.
Brooks. With Descriptions of the Igneous Hocks and of the
Bonnijield and Kantishna Districts ; by L. M. Prindlb, Prof.
Paper 70, U. S. Geol. Surv., 4°, pp. 234, pis. 18, 3 maps. Washing-
ton, 1911. — In his preface Mr. ^brooks, who has long been known
for his explorations and pioneer geologic work in Alaska, states
that the object of the volume is to give to geologists an epitome
of its stratigraphy, structure, and geologic history, and to furnish
the prospector with a concise summary of present knowledge of
its mineral wealth. Available information regarding the climate,
vegetation, agricultural land, wild animals, and means of commu-
nication is added for the benefit of intending hunters and settlers.
It would be impossible in a brief notice to give any adequate
account of the large amount of information which this volume
contains in succinct form. It represents a compendium of the
labors in the field of a number of workers, chief of whom has
been the senior author. The results of the reconnaissances here
given will be of great value in the future when more detailed
work is undertaken. l. v. p.

4. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. — The
Fourth number of volume I, recently issued, contains among
other articles, one on the California earthquake of July i, 1911^



Online LibraryJohn Elihu HallThe American journal of science → online text (page 16 of 61)