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is not a direct one, for Dixon has shown that traces of moisture
are indispensable for the reaction even at high temperatures, and
Remsen has found even at 300"^ ozone is incapable of oxidizing
the gas. However, moist palladium-black, even at ordinary tem-
perature, causes carbon monoxide and oxygen to combine.
Traube has attempted to explain these facts by assuming an
intern^ediate formation of hydrogen peroxide as follows :

CO + H.O. = CO, + H,0

WiELAND now presents a new view of the matter. He has found
that moist palladium -black, in absence of oxygen, causes the oxi-
dation of carbon monoxide, apparently according to the equation
CO + H,0 = CO, -f H„ and he has shown that a first product of
the reaction is formic acid : CO + H^O = HCOOH. Then, since
palladium-black rapidly decomposes formic acid, as is well known,
the final result is :

HCOOH = C0,4-H, (combined with Pd).

Wieland has been able to show further, that formic acid is pro-
duced also in the combustion of carbon monoxide at a high tem-
perature, by directing the fiarae against ice and examining the
resulting water. Therefore, it appears that the mechanism of
the carbon monoxide combustion under* all conditions consists in
its combination with water and the splitting off of hydrogen
from the resulting formic acid. In the presence of oxygen this
hydrogen oxidizes at once to produce water for further reaction,
and it is in this combination of hydrogen with ox3^gen that the
traces of hydrogen peroxide observed by Traube are produced. —
Berichte, xlv, 079. ii. l. w.

4. The Puritij of Coiiwiercial Jletals. — F. Mylius has made
analyses of a number of very ])ure metals obtained from Kahl-
baum. Determinations were made of the metallic impurities by
the use of samples of 100 grams or more. In most cases the
analysis was facilitated by the fractional crystallization of a large
j)art of the metal in the form of a pure salt which left the impuri-
ties in the mother-liquor. The zinc, cadmium, tin and lead each

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ChernUiry and PhysicH, 587

contained less than 0*01 per cent of impuritieSy which is a very
satisfactory result. The zinc and cadmium had been purified by
distillation, the tin by electrolysis, and the lead by the reduction
of a pure salt. The author classifies commercially pure metals
into grades of purity, a maximum of 10 per cent impurity repre-
senting the first grade, while maxima of 1 per cent, 0*1 per cent,
and 0-01 per cent represent the second, third and fourth grades,
respectively. He remarks that technical products of the fourth
grade, that is with less than O'OI per cent of impurities, may be
obtained at present in the cases of gold, silver, platinum, mer-
cury, copper, tin, lead, cadmium and zinc. This does not take
into account the possible presence of small amounts of oxygen in
the more oxidizable metals. — Zeitschr, analyt. Chem., Ixxiv, 407.

H. L. w.

6. The Effect of Temperature upon Radio-active Disintegra-
tion. — That high temperature has no detectable influence on the
intensity and nature of y-rays from various radio active sub-
stances has been conclusively demonstrated by the investigations
of Bronson, Engler, Schmidt and others. Perhaps the severest
test was that applied by Rutherford and Petavel, who showed
that the y-radiation from radium emanation exposed momentarily
to a pressure of about 1200 atmospheres and a temperature at
least as high as 2500° C, produced by an explosion of cordite,
was not altered at the instant of explosion. A temporary reduc-
tion of 9 per cent in the activity, observed after the explosion,
was due to a change of distribution of radium C within the bomb,
caused by its volatilization and subsequent condensation, and was
in complete agreement with the decrease calculated theoretically.
On the other hand, the results obtained with )8-rays have been
very discordant, save in one respect, namely, that high tempera-
ture seems to have some effect on the emission of rays of this
kind. Since the question is of great theoretical importance, it is
worthy of note that the matter has been finally settled by the
systematic investigation of Alexander S. Russell, who under-
took the work at the request of Professor Rutherford.

The furnace used consisted of a silica tube 12*5*^™ lo"gj 2-2^'"
internal diameter, open at both ends, and wound with a helix of
platinum wire. The whole was jacketed with " Kieselguhr " for
thermal insulation. The temperatures were measured with a
platinum rhodium thermo-couple. A value of 1 15T)'' C. was easily
attained but usually not exceeded. The radio-active materials
studied were sealed in quartz tubes which were suspended cen-
trally in the furnace by means of thin nickel wire. When thus
mounted there was a clear path between every point of the tube
and the lead electroscope, the distance being from 40 to 60^"".

In the case of pure radium C, deposited on nickel by von
Lerch's method, the decay of the radiations during three hours
was measured, the containing quartz tube being maintained at
1150° C. for the first 90 minutes, and at room temperature for the
rest of the time. The /S-rays were studied over the entire inter-

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688 Sciefitific InteUigenee.

val and the y-rays only at the high temperatare. This experi-
ment agreed with subsequent tests in showing that neither the
fi- nor the y-rays of radium C are affected by high temperatures.
Under all conditions both radiations decayed exponentially, fall-
ing to half value in about 10*4 minutes.

Experiments with the active deposit gave the following results.
The /8-ray activity decayed at the theoretical rate both at 11 60** C.
and at 200° C, and the amount of activity was unaltered by the
temperature changes. Of the 35 points determined, 2 were
within 3 per cent, 2 within 2 per cent, and 31 were within 1
per cent of the theoretical values. In like manner, the y-ray
points fell on a smooth curve without abnormalities at the high
temperatures ; 29 points agreed within 1 per cent with the theo-
retical values, and the remaining 4 points within 2*5 per cent.

The rest of the investigation deals with the volatilization of
radium C inside quartz tubes, with experiments on the radiam
emanation, and with the partition of homogeneously disiributed
activity. The conclusions drawn by Russell from the entire
research may now be quoted.

"(a) The effect of temperature upon the rate of decay, and
the amount of fi- and y-ray activity, of radium emanation, active
deposit, and radium C have been investigated," "The results
are entirely negative."

** (b) Radium B and radium C, and very probably radium A,
may be completely volatilised inside sealed quartz tubes at a tem-
perature of 650°." " Radium B commences to volatilise at room

" (c) All abnormalities of activity of /8-rays obtained by pre-
vious authors, and by the author of this paper, can be completely
explained on two simple grounds, a change of distribution and a
change of partition, of radium C inside quartz tubes, produced by
changes of temperature." — Proc, Roy. JSoc, Ixxxvi, p. 240, Feb.
1912. H. B. u.

6. Das moffnetische Spektrum der P-Strahlen dea Thoriums, —
The investigation of the J3-rays from mesothorium 2 and its disinte-
gration products has been successfully continued by von Babyer,
Hahn and Mbitner. The advance is due primarily to an im-
proved process of electrolytic deposition, devised by Meitner,
which makes it])08sible to obtain very fine wires of higher activ-
ity and consequently to take much sharper photographs of the
magnetic spectra than formerly.

A strong preparation of mesothorium, which had been freed
from radio- thorium about a day earlier, was used in the electro-
lytic process. Only mesothorium 2 and a trace of the newly-
formed radio-thorium were deposited on the silver cathode. The
negatives were taken in the same manner as for the /3-rays of
radium (see this Journal, vol. xxxiii, page 281). In general, the
deviating field amounted to 138 gauss. The time of exposure
was one-half hour in the case of a wire which was o*!™™ in diam-
eter and which was covered with mesothorium 2 having an activ-

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Chemistry and Physics, 589

ity corresponding, by the y-ray method, to 6 mg. of radium
bromide. The negative shows six strong spectral lines, one
(undeviated) for the a-ray pencil and live for the j8-ray pencils.
The line for the slowest jS-rays is resolved into two distinct com-
ponents, a fact which the earlier work did not bring out. A
photograph taken with a stronger magnetic field showed two addi-
tional but weak lines, and this leads the authors to remark : " It
is probable that, with stronger preparations and greater resolving
power, the existence of still other weak j8-rays could be demon-
strated." On the other hand, the improved experimental con-
ditions did not essentially change the continuity of the broad,
diffuse band produced by the swifter jS-rays.

Since, as is well known, mesothorium 2 has a half-value
period of 6*2 hours, the authors thought that it ought to be
possible to show photographically the growth of thorium X,
thorium emanation, and the resulting active deposit. In order to
test this point, a second exposure was made, 24 hours later, to
the same active wire mentioned above. A new line, ascribed to
thorium X, shows very distinctly on this negative, whereas the
spectrum of mesothorium 2 is appreciably fainter. A third expo-
sure of twelve hours duration was made eight days after the iirst.
It contains no lines of mesothorium 2, it verifies the second neg-
ative, and it shows a second, less-deviated, fainter line of thorium
X. Also, a still less deviated line of thorium A may be seen in
the reproduction. The photographs of this set are scientifically
beautiful and very instructive.

The second division of the paper deals with the j8-rays from
the active deposit of thorium. The details of this section will be
passed over in order to quote the third division, in which are
collected the latest results of this work. Mesothorium 2 gives rise
to swift j8-rays, exceeding 0*7 of the speed of light. In addition
there are two weak lines corresponding to speeds of 0-66 and 0*60,
and five strong j8-ray pencils of speeds 0*57, 0*50, 0-43, 0*39, and
0-37. Thorium X gives 0-51 *'weak" and 047 "strong." Tho-
rium A gives 0'72 weak and 0-63 very strong. Th (B+C+D)
has fast j8-rays over 0*72 of 3 X 10'" '"/^ together with 0*36 weak
and 0-29 strong. — Physikal, Ztschr,, April 1, 1912. h. s. u.

7. Applied Physi^is for Secondary Schools ; V. D. Hawkins.
Pp. ix, 199. New York, 1912 (Longmans, Green & Co.).— The
author is of the opinion that modern text-books on elementary
physics are too mathematical and far too difficult to be mastered
in one year by the average high school pupil. Therefore he has
written a very elementary book which is based on the belief that
the best methods of teaching the subject are as follows : "1. By
a brief text for all of which the pupil will be held responsible,
and, 2. By the addition of many interesting local applications to
be supplied by both teachers and pupils." The diagrams are well
drawn and the topics selected are very interesting. h. s. u.

ft. Die Messung vertikaler Luftstromungen ; by Paul Lude-
wiG. Pp. 30, with 23 text-figures and 4 charts. Leipzig, 1911

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590 Scientific Intelligence,

(S. Hirzel). — The author describes in detail a self-recording
anemometer which he designed especially for the study of verti-
cal currents of air. This instrument, in conjunction with a
Bestelmeyer variometer, was used throughout three free-balloon
trips and the assemblage of apparatus gave very satisfactory
results. H. s. u.

9. The Teaching of Physics for Purposes of General Edu-
cation ; by C. RiBORG Mann. Pp. xxv, 304. New York, 1912
(The Macmillan Co.). — One of the liveliest themes of present
educational discussion is that of the distinction between voca-
tional and cultural work. This volume is the expression of an
effort to show ho'w, in the case of physics, the two points of view
may be amalgamated into one. The subject-matter is divided
into three parts. In the first part the development of the present
situation is traced. The second deals with the origin of physics,
and the attempt is made to establish the leading characteristics
of this branch of science and to define its possibilities as a means
of general education. In the third part the purpose of physics
teaching is stated, and suggestions are made as to how this
object may be attained. The index is immediately preceded by
an alphabetical bibliography of the more important and easily
accessible journal articles which have appeared during the last six
or seven years and which are not mentioned in the main body of
the book. The volume is of such pedagogical importance that it
should, at least, be consulted by every conscientious teacher of
the subject. h. r. u.

10. (jber ZerfaUprozesse in der Natur ; by C. Engler. Pp. 33.
Leipzig, 1911 (S. Hirzel). — This pamphlet is a revised account of
an address made by the author on September 25, 1911 before the
83d convention of German scientists and physicians held in
Karlsruhe. The conclusion finally reached is that, in all proba-
bility, the persistence of solar radiation, and therefore the exist-
ence and maintenance of all terrestrial life, is niade possible by
the disintegration of an " endothermic substance " in the sun and
not to exothermic processes of combination, as was formerly
supposed. H. s. u.

II. Geology.

1. IVie Enolution of the Vertebrates and their Kin; by
William Pattkv. Pp. xxi, 1-486, with 309 illustrations. Phil-
adelphia, 1912 (P. Blakiston's Son ife Co.). — In this work Pro-
fessor Patten sets forth most exhaustively his theory that the
vertebrates arose from aracbnid-like arthropods, basing his evi-
dence upon comparative physiology, anatomy, embryology and
paleontology. The essential features of the better known anne-
lid theory are included in the arachnid theory, because both
arachnids and annelids agree in the fundamental nature of their
nietameric structure, but, as Patten says, " w^hen standing alone,
the annelid theory ceases to be of value as a working hypothe-

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Geology. 591

818 * * * because we find no traces in the annelids of those illumi-
nating modifications of metamerism so characteristic of the arach-
nids, and that afford us the required data for filling in, and
explaining, the enormous gap between the unspecialized meta-
roeres of an annelid and the groups of highly specialized meta-
meres in the head of a vertebrate."

''The tunicate, echinoderm, balanoglossud, amphioxus, etc.,
theories have similar inherent weaknesses, indicating that they
must be subordinated to some larger view." These groups are
therefore considered but degenerate offshoots of a common
arthropod-vertebrate stock. One naturally looks on the arthro-
pods as the probable ancestors of the vertebratCvS, because they
are the most highly organized of segmented invertebrates and
because the histological structure of their muscles, nerves, sense
organs, cartilages, etc., closielv resembles that of the vertebrates.

The problem Patten considers a perfectly simple one in princi-
ple although involving an enormous amount of detail in its appli-
cation. " We have merely to strip off the superficial disguise of
our hypothetical arachnid ancestors," he says, " and see whether
either their underlying structure, their mode of growth, the
general direction and historic sequence of their evolution, does or
does not harmonize with the assumption that they are the ances-
tors of the vertebrates. We venture to state at the outset, that
in our judgment they do harmonize with this assumption, and so
fully and in such detail as to leave no other conclusion open than
that the vertebrates arose from arachnid-like arthropods."

The nature of the evidence presented includes : A, cephalogene-
sis in arthropods ; B, embryology ; C, arachnid cephalogenesis
prophetic of the vertebrate head ; D, paleontology ; and the
range in its complexity can readily be understood by the follow-
ing chapter headings : Outline of the arachnid theory ; Evolution
of the nervous system in segmented animals ; Subdivisions of the
brain ; Minute structure of brain and cord of arachnids ; Periphe-
ral nerves and ganglia; General and special cutaneous sense
organs ; Larval ocelli and the parietal eye : The compound eyes
of arthropods and the lateral eyes of vertebrates ; The olfactory
organs of arthropods and vertebrates ; The functions of the
brain ; The heart ; Early stages of arthropod and vertebrate
embryos ; The old mouth and the new, locomotor and respira-
tory appendages ; Variation and monstrosities ; The dermal skele-
ton ; Endocranium, branchial and neural cartilages ; The middle
cord, the lemmatochord and the notochord ; Ostracoderms and
the marine arachnids ; The ostracoderms ; The vertebrates.

Part II discusses the zoological position of the Acraniata,
including a contrast of eraniates and acraniates ; the Cirripedes,
tunicates and echinoderms ; the Enteropneusta, Pterobranchia,
Polyzoa, Brachiopoda, Phoronida and Chaatognatha ; summary
and conclusion.

The illustrations are beautifully done, being based upon mar-
vellously detailed preparations as well as upon numerous models
representing transition«al stages and upon various specimens and<

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592 Scientijic Intelligence.

restorations of the extinct ostracoderms, which the author consid*
ers as representing an annectant bat ''entirely distinct class
lying between the arthropods and vertebrates, and having
some of the characteristics of each, but not truly belonging to
either. Their supreme interest lies in the force they give to the
sufiTgestion that the vertebrates sprang from the arthropods."

Professor Patten has done a brilliant, painstaking piece of
work, which will prove of great value as a contribution to the
morphology and embryology of arachnids, ostracoderms, and ver-
tebrates, whether his main thesis receives general acceptance or
not. ^^ R. s. L.

2. Die Wirbeltiere ; eine Ubersicht ilher die fossilen und leben-
den Formen ; von Dr. Otto Jabkel. Pp. viii, 252 ; 280 text
figures. Berlin, 191 1 (GebrUder Borntraeger). — Perhaps the most
remarkable feature of this book is the taxonomic scheme which
the author presents, in parts the most radical departure from the
generally accepted classifications which we have seen. Briefly,
Jaekel divides the Vertebrata into three " Unterstamme," Prote-
trapoda, £otetrapoda, and Tetrapoda : the first including the
tunicates, the second the fishes, and the third the higher forms.

The third Unterstamm, Tetrapoda, includes no fewer than
seven classes with some curious transpositions of groups, such,
for instance, as the inclusion in the class Paratheria of such
orders as the Therapsidi, Testudinati, Anomodontia, Therio-
dontia, and monotremes !

This classification, extreme as it is, will find few supporters, as
it implies phylogenies much at variance with the best opinion.
Many of the illustrations, which are from various sources, are
excellent, though very few were specially prepared for the book
under review. Some of the author's original restorations, most
of which have appeared elsewhere, are grotesque to say the least.

R. s. I..

3. American Permian Vertebrates ; by Samubl W. Willis-
ton. Pp. 145, with frontispiece, pis. i-xxxviii, and 32 text figures,
University of Chicago Press, Chicago, III., 1911.— This book, as
the author says, "comprises a series of monographic studies,
together with briefer notes and descriptions, of new or little-known
amphibians and reptiles from the Permian deposits of Texas and
New Mexico." The collections upon which the studies are based
are mainly three : that of the University of Chicago made in
recent years by field parties under the charge of Mr. Paul Miller
or the author, earlier collections of the University of Texas made
by Professor E. C. Case, and the great Marsh collection in the
Peabody Museum at Yale, which proves an increasingly fruitful
field for research as its varied treasures are brought to light.
Professor Williston's work is offered more as a contribution to
our knowledge of ancient reptiles and amphibians, with such sum-
maries and definitions, based chiefly upon American forms, as our
present knowledge permits, than as a final classification of these
ancient forms. The illustrations of the work throughout were
made by the author. r. g. i,.

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Geology, 593

4. Maryland Oeological Survey (Lower Cretaceous); Balti-
morC) 1911. 8vo, pp. 622 and 117 plates. — The fine series of
reports on the Greology and Paleontology of Maryland, of which
the volumes on the Eocene, the Miocene, and the Plto-Pleistocene
have hitherto appeared, is here continued in a handsome fourth
volume on the Lower Cretaceous, or Potomac Group, of the
Maryland- Virginia area. The work forms one of the primary
units in the elaboration of the continental geology, dealing fully
and thoroughly as it does with the type sections for the Lower
Cretaceous of the Atlantic border at their maximum of lithologic
and paleontologic differentiation.

The Potomac Group is described physiographically by Messrs.
Clabk, Bibbins and Berry as a series of some 600 to 700 feet
of estuarine fluviatile deposits resting on the old crystalline floor
or "Weverton peneplain" on which important present-day drain-
age lines were already established. In general harmony with the
continental border warp of the floor, the Potomac surface has a
lessening slope to the southeastward. Three subdivisions each
clearly separated by nonconformity are finally established, the
Patuxent, the Arundel and the Patapsco ; Patuxent- Arundel time
being equivalent to the Neocomian and Barremian, and Patapsco
time to the Albian following an Aptian hiatus.

The Arundel reptilia, mainly including the series of dinosaurians
collected by Hatcher and studied by Marsh, are revised and re-
illustrated by Professor R. S. Lull, of Yale L^^niversity, who
finds a distinct correlation with the Morrison of the West.

The limited invertebrate fauna of the Arundel and Patapsco is
described by Professor Clark ; while the main body of the
volume is occupied by Dr. E. W. Berry in a restudy and illustra-
tion of the Potomac flora.

Following a survey of the Lower Cretaceous florse of the world
the Potomac plants are given a far more usable treatment than
has hitherto been available to paleobotanists. For the Cyca-
deoidea types of the Patuxent (?) the diagnoses of Ward are con-
veniently retained. But it is held that the view of Wieland and
others that such plants are very near the angiosperm (Ranales,
etc.) line of descent "overlooks the wide difference in structure
throughout the vegetative body, where the characters are much
more conservative, and furnish a much safer cine to filiation than
do the reproductive parts, especially when of the indicated plas-
ticity of those of the Cycadophytes." The text is throughout
illustrated by clear figures, and the excellent heliotj'pes of the
early dicotyls of the Patapsco, the oldest of the continent, must
hold high interest for botanists. g. r. w.

5. A Method of Kemoviug Tests from Fossils; by S. S.
BucKMAN (communicated).— A note under this title appeared in this
Journal, August, 1911 (vol. xxxii, p. 163). By some accident, in
the second line of the second paragraph the epithet "close-grained"
was printed " coarse-grained." The present note is designed to
call attention to this small error. A coarse-grained core is not at all

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594 Scientific TnteUigeyiee,

desirable for the process of removing tests by heat ; in fact, a
hard internal core which gives the best results has a grain of fine
and close texture. A grain that is coarse is found in the cores of
fossils from some of the Lower Oolites, when the rocks are truly
oolitic ; and such cores do not yield good muscle impressions, the
core being only too apt to crumble away with the test. A coai-se-
grained core is found in fossils from some of the siliceous sands,
like the Greensand ; it may be coarse-grained and incoherent, so
that when the test is removed the whole core crumbles and
nothing remains. On the other hand, calcareous sands, and also
clays, often yield specimens (Brachiopods) with good cores of
close texture ; it does not follow that, because the external

Online LibraryJohn Elihu HallThe American journal of science → online text (page 59 of 61)