Page images

Mechanical lantern slide illustrative of the phenomenon the cymometer is then moved until a neon vacuum tube of a total solar eclipse: Mr. W. Shackleton. A white used as an indicator shines most brightly, and thus dedisc representing the sun is projected on a screen; by termines when the cymometer circuit is tuned to the moving an opaque disc representing the moon, this is frequency of the aërial. A pointer moving over a scale gradually obscured, and the preliminary partial phases of then indicates the wave-length of the radiated wave in a total solar eclipse are shown. A moment before com feet or metres.-An oscillation valve for rectifying electrical plete obscuration a twin shutter is opened, which allows oscillations and rendering them measurable on an ordinary the corona and chromosphere to be projected, thus re galvanometer : Prof. J. A. Fleming, F.R.S. The valve producing totality, which inay last as long as desired. consists of a bulb enclosing a carbon filament made like Stereoscopic views of the sun and stars of estimated an incandescence lamp. The filament is surrounded by parallax : Mr. T. E. Heath. The perspective drawings a metal cylinder. The bulb is highly exhausted. When were made from a plan and elevations in which the scale the filament is incandescent, negative electricity can move of stellar distances was ten light-years to 1 inch, and of through the vacuum from the hot filament to the cylinder, stellar discs such that the sun (or a star which gives equal but not in the reverse direction. Hence the arrangement light) was 1/ 50th of an inch in diameter. The magni can separate out the two opposite currents in an electric tudes were made to vary with the varying distance of the oscillation. It can be used in combination with a dead spectator.-(1) Microscope and goniometer stage for ex- | beat galvanometer as a receiver in wireless telegraphy. amining the optical qualities of minute grains of sand; The valve replaces the coherer and other appliances, and (2) set of petrological quartz wedges ; (3) photomicro the signals are given by long and short deflections of the graphic camera, designed by Mr. J. W. Gordon for taking galvanometer.-(1) Resonance induction coil and high small direct photomicrographs while the instrument is in potential apparatus ; (2) resonance electromagnet: Messrs. use after observation without attention to the adjustments : I senthal and Co. Electrolytic condensers of very large Messrs. R. and J. Beck, Ltd.

capacity are charged from the mains through the primary (1) Photomicrographs of section of gun tube showing of a suitably wound induction coil, and the circuit broken change in structure of steel after 2000 rounds; (2) photo- and reversed at zero potential by means of a motor-driven micrographs of alloys of aluminium with nickel ; (3) photo- commutator of special construction. The advantages micrographs of alloy of copper with cobalt and nickel : are :--no motor transformer is required in primary circuit, Dr. Hodgkinson, Captain Playfair, R.A., and Mr. Coote. | no rectifying device in secondary circuit, and there are

(1) Apparatus for polishing and preparing metals for no interruptors to be cleaned. The apparatus enables a microscopic examination ; (2) specimens of steels in the current to be converted sparklessly into pure sine current cast and forged condition containing phosphorus : Mr. suitable for space telegraphy. An electromagnet excited J. E. Stead, F.R.S.-Transverse sections of slip-bands and from a source of this kind exhibits peculiar physical and other microscopic features of metallic surfaces : Mr. W. | physiological phenomena.-(1) High-tension resonance Rosenhain. -A series of alloys of iron and steel tested at transformer ; (2) X-ray stereoscope : Mr. Russell Wright. liquid air temperature: Mr. R. A. Hadfield. The speci. The special form of “ step-up” transformer exhibited mens showed the effect of liquid air (temperature works direct from the alternating current mains, and pro

- 182° C.) upon almost pure iron (Swedish charcoal iron duces an alternating discharge of sufficient tension for * S.C.I.," 0.04 carbon, 99.82 iron) and a large number of X-ray work or high-frequency effluve. By means of a allors of iron with other elements. The well known small revolving shutter, driven by a synchronous motor, ductility of iron disappears, while its tenacity is more between the observer's eye and two X-ray tubes, stereothan doubled. Similar effects occur with nearly all the scopic images could be clearly seen on an X-ray screen. alloys of iron with carbon and other elements, except those High temperature electric furnaces : Director of the containing nickel, which metal appears to modify con

National Physical Laboratory. These furnaces are considerably the embrittling effect of low temperatures upon structed of rare earths such as are used in Nernst lamps. iron.

They are available for temperatures between 800° C. and Clock and chronometer by Thomas Mudge: Mr. A. 2000° C. The apparatus used in a recent determination Mallock, F.R.S. The clock was made about 1776, and

of the melting point of platinum was shown at work, in contains Mudge's moon motion. Mudge's object in making

addition to that for other experiments of a similar this motion was to show that any desired velocity ratio character.-New models of laboratory electric furnaces : could be approximated to very closely with comparatively Mr. R. S. Hutton. The furnaces consist of a carbon tube, few wheels. The train of wheel-work he employed makes rod, or plate heated by an electric current. In the tube the mean lunation 0.03 second less than the actual mean furnaces the carbon is surrounded by some material of lunation, that is, the error is less than 1 in 2 millions. low thermal conductivity, which also serves to protect There are other remarkable features in this clock con the hot tube from oxidation. The substance to be heated nected with the balance wheel, escapement, and tempera

is placed in a carbon boat or crucible inside the tube, and ture correction.-(1) Tangent-micrometer for theodolites, can thus be brought to a very high temperature. The &c. ; (2) endless-tangent screw for sextants : Mr. E. A. method employed for conveying the current to the carbon Rreves. By the addition of a micrometer “ drum," and a by soldering water-jacketed sleeves to the electro-coppered simple arrangement for clamping the outer rim or dial ends of the carbon forms a novel feature of the construccarrying the numbers, combined with a special indicator, tion. à carefully constructed tangent-screw serves also as a Photographs taken in China by the Carnegie expedition micrometer, and renders it possible to read the arc with under Mr. "Baily Willis in 1904, illustrating a presumably the same accuracy as with the usual form of micrometer, Glacial deposit underlying the base of the Cambrian rocks while the instrument need not be larger than the ordinary of the region : Sir Archibald Geikie, Sec.R.S.-Photovrrnier theodolite. The sextant device consists of a graphs, cast, and model of skull of Diplodocus, a Jurassic tangent-screw constructed with an endless thread, by means dinosaur from Wyoming, and other fossils from the middle

which the vernier arm can be made to pass from any west of North America : Dr. W. J. Holland.- Remains of one part of the arc to another. For making rough con fossil mammals from Crete : Miss D. M. A. Bate. taxts the tangent-screw is raised from the arc by means | Numerous mammalian remains were found in 1904 in the uf a Irver pressed by the finger. When the pressure on | Pleistocene cave and fresh-water deposits of Crete. These the lever is released the tangent-screw, actuated by a include remains of the following animals :--antelope, deer, spring. again comes in contact with the arc, and serves elephant, pigmy hippopotamus, shrew, and two species of as a clamp.

rodents.--The great Indian earthquake, April 4: Prof. J. direct reading cymometer for measuring the Milne, F.R.S. Five seismograms of this disturbance were Iragth of the waves used in wireless telegraphy : Prof. | shown from Shide, Isle of Wight. (1-2) Open diagrams J. A Fleming. F.R.S. The instrument consists of a on smoked paper showing north-south and east-west widing tubular condenser and an inductance coil, the motion. (3) Open diagrams of east-west motion on photocapacity and inductance being varied together in the same graphic paper. The instrument was a Milne horizontal proportion by one movement of a handle. The circuit is pendulum. (4-5) Photographic records from a pair of flowed by a copper bar, which is placed alongside the Milne horizontal pendulums vibrated north-south and eastwerial wire indicating the electric waves. The handle of | west. The exhibit also included seismograms of east-west motion from Edinburgh, Paislev, Beirut, and Toronto.-| be cut into four pieces that may be re-assembled to form Charts of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, showing the co-tidal a square, with some examples of a general method for lines at mean time of Quebec : Captain Tizard, C.B., transforming all rectilinear triangles into squares by disF.R.S.--Photographs of the “ Cullinan " diamond : Sir section. William Crookes, F.R.S.

Oil painting, a Friday evening lecture at the Royal Microscopic preparations illustrating the development of Institution : Mr. H. J. Brooks. calcareous spicules in various invertebrate animals : Prof. E. A. Minchin and Mr. W. Woodland. Calcareous spicules are small skeletal elements to be found in most ATMOSPHERIC ELECTRICITY OBSERVED of the lower animals. These spicules assume varied and

FROM BALLOONS. often beautiful forms, those of sponges and “ sea cucumbers" (Cucumariidæ and Synaptidæ) being especially IT is now some years since attempts were first made to striking in this latter respect, and are built up in all investigate the electrical conditions of the upper atmoinstances by the agency of scleroblasts—small nucleated sphere by aid of manned balloons; but it is only within the protoplasmic masses which deposit the lime. The causes last three years that the difficulties of the observations and underlying the production of the curious forms which these

the proper methods to be used have been anything like spicules assume (triradiates, perforated plates, wheels and understood. anchors, &c.) are not by any means yet understood, but

· Measurements of the normal potential gradient were are probably several in number, some being purely first attempted. The early observers worked very much mechanical in nature, others, perhaps, being those which in the dark, Linke being the first, in 1901, to investigate give rise to crystals.-Cellular constituents peculiar to

the errors due to the mere presence of the balloon itself. cancerous and reproductive tissues : Prof. J. B. Farmer,

He found that for the influence of an uncharged balloon F.R.S., Mr. J. E. S. Moore, and Mr. C. E. Walker. In to be small enough to be neglected, the upper of the two the cells of malignant tumours, structures known as collectors used must be at least 10 metres below the basket. “ Plimmer's bodies" are present in most cases. These Linke also investigated the efficiency of different forms structures have been regarded as parasitic organisms or

of collectors. The original form of collector used in as specific cellular peculiarities confined to such malignant

balloon work was a modification of Kelvin's drop collector. tissues. They have recently been identified as also being A wire was lowered from an insulated vessel out of which present in normal reproductive tissues. They form a water flowed and ran down the wire; the drops forming definite organ of the cell during its conversion to a sper on the end of the wire and then falling off brought the matozoon, and they also can be identified in the two pre whole wire to the potential of the air at its end. There ceding divisions. They are absent from other cells of the are many objections to this form of collector; it is very body.—The simplest kind of protoplasm : Dr. Charlton slow in action, uses a large quantity of water, and will Bastian, F.R.S. One drop of a 'fluid swarming with not work when the temperature falls below freezing. common bacteria had been introduced into one ounce of Flame collectors are obviously out of the question for distilled water containing ten grains of neutral ammonic balloon work on account of their danger, and, much to the tartrate in solution. The bacteria grow freely in this regret of the experimenters, radium did not come up to fluid, and as the constitution of the ammonia salt is expectation. The difficulty with radium collectors is that 2NH,O, C,H,000+ 2HO, they must fashion their proto the radium ionises a large volume of air, which, on account plasm in some way from C, H, O, and N only, though of the absence of relative motion between the balloon and sulphur and phosphorus, one or both, are commonly re

the surrounding air, travels along with the balloon and garded as necessary constituents of living matter.

completely alters the electrical conditions of the atinosphere The parasite of “kala azar”: Brevet Lieut.-Colonel in its neighbourhood. By a simple device Linke has W. B. Leishman. This protozoal organism is found in finally overcome all difficulties connected with the colthe spleen and other organs in cases of “ kala azar," an lectors. A vessel containing spirits is insulated on a extremely fatal disease occurring in epidemic form in shelf fastened to the outside of the basket. From this Assam, and also, in endemic form, in other parts of India vessel hangs a long thin lead or other flexible pipe. At and the tropics. Nothing is yet known as to the mode of the lower end of the pipe is a nozzle which forms the infection or as to the life of the parasite outside its human collector proper. As stated above, the collector must be host. In artificial cultures it develops into a flagellated 10 metres below the balloon; thus there is at least a organism closely resembling a trypanosome. Specimens 10-metre head of liquid acting at the nozzle. The pressure and sketches were shown of the parasites as they occur due to this causes a very fine jet to escape from a pinin the tissues, and of the flagellated forms into which hole in the nozzle. As the jet breaks up into exceedingly they develop in artificial cultures. The isolation of B. fine drops, a very rapid collector action takes place. Coltyphosus from water by means of alum precipitation : Mr. | lectors of this form have acted splendidly, and their use H. S. Willson. Alum is added to the infected water in makes it possible to measure the potential gradient with the proportion of 0.5 gram to the litre. When the pre accuracy and ease. cipitate of aluminium hydrate has fully formed, the water. The rate of dissipation of electricity from a charged is centrifugalised and the sediment containing most of the body, and the degree of jonisation of the air, have also bacteria present in the water is spread on plates of suit been made subjects for investigation in the upper atmoable media, and incubated at 42° C. The precipitate, sphere. Ebert and Linke have devoted several ascents to which is known to be destructive to many water and measurements of the dissipation, and Ebert designed the sewage organisms, has no germicidal action on B. first instrument to measure the natural ionisation of the typhosus.

air; but the ionisation has been most carefully investigated (1) Stone adze heads in various stages of manufacture, and by Gerdien, who improved Ebert's instrument so that it chips from the neighbourhood of Suloga, Woodlark Island, measures not only the ionisation, but the conductivity of British New Guinea ; (2) photographs of straight-haired in the air also. dividuals from Nara district central division, British New It was when making these latter investigations that a Guinea; (3) wood carvings and drawings, principally from number of difficulties connected with the casting of ballast Massim district, British New Guinea : Mr. C. G. Selig were first observed. Ebert found that the pouring of sand mann. Specimens of cross-bred maize illustrating inheritance from the ballast bags so highly charged the balloon with in accordance with Mendel's law : Mr. R. H. Lock.–Living friction electricity that electrical observations became imrepresentatives of the Plymouth marine fauna: Marine possible. Gerdien found that after sand had been cast Biological Association. Material obtained with the dredge the balloon remained for some minutes in an atmosphere from certain typical grounds in the neighbourhood of filled with fine sand dust, which greatly affected the Plymouth was shown, together with representatives of the measurements of the ionisation. Linke also found that on animals living on each ground.-Photographs illustrating account of the sudden upward acceleration given to the young cuckoo in the act of ejecting egg and young bird balloon after sand had been cast the position of the electrofrom nest of foster-parent: Mr. W. Percival Westell. scope leaves changed without any change of voltage.

A new problem on superposition: Mr. H. E. Dudeney. | Gerdien was the first to overcome these difficulties. This was a demonstration that an equilateral triangle can | Besides sand, he took two large watertight sacks filled

with water. By having pipes and taps fitted to the sacks sirability of establishing in the university a diploma in water could be discharged as desired.' Sand still remained forestry, and to draw up, if it thinks fit, a scheme of inthe ordinary ballast; but when electrical measurements struction and examination in forestry; that it be emwere being made water only was used. In order to prevent powered to consult with any persons or bodies; and that it the water freezing in the cold upper atmosphere, Gerdien report to the Senate before the end of the Lent term, 1906. filled the sacks with boiling water, which, experience The next combined examination for sixty-two entrance proved, kept sufficiently warm to prevent freezing before it scholarships and various exhibitions at Pembroke, Gonwas all used. This method was found to be entirely satis- ville and Caius, King's, Jesus, Christ's, St. John's and factory, for it not only got over all difficulties connected | Emmanuel Colleges will be held on Tuesday, December 5, with the sand, but by regulating the flow of the water 1905, and following days, commencing at 9 a.m. on much greater control could be exercised over the balloon Tuesday, December 5. Mathematics, classics, and natural than had before been possible with sand.

sciences will be the subjects of examination at all the These and other difficulties have been so recently recog- above-mentioned colleges, and certain colleges examine in nised and overcome that trustworthy results have as yet history, modern languages, and Hebrew. hardly been obtained, but the observations appear to justify Oxford.—Dr. Henry Wilde, F.R.S., has presented 100l. ifre following conclusions :

to the Hope Department of Zoology for the purchase and The normal potential gradient remains positive to the

preparation of specimens illustrating mimicry and prohighest point yet investigated (5900 metres by Gerdien), but

tective resemblance. decreases in magnitude as the height increases. This

The Romanes lecture for 1905 will be delivered by Prof. points to the lower regions of the atmosphere containing Ray Lankester. F.R.S., in the Sheldonian Theatre on Weda positive charge equal to the negative charge on the

nesday, June 14, at 2.30. The subject of the lecture will earth's surface, so that the globe as a whole is not charged.

be “ Man and Nature." The number of ions in a cubic metre of air is the same

Mr. R. de J. Fleming Struthers has been elected to a at all heights.

senior scholarship in chemistry at Exeter College. Electricity is dissipated more rapidly from a charged

The Junior Scientific Club will hold a conversazione at body the higher it is in the atmosphere, this being, no

the Museum on Tuesday, May 30. doubt, due to the greater ease with which ions move in rarified air.

MR. E. P. CULVERWELL has been elected to the proThese results require further verification before they can fessorship of education founded by the Board of Trinity be accepted as final, and it is to be hoped that facilities

College, Dublin, for a period of five years. will be forthcoming for the investigations to be followed

A REUTER telegram from Toronto reports that the up in this country. It is a strange fact that no Englishman has yet devoted himself to a study which combines

Ontario Government has announced a provisional grant

of 100,000l. to the University of Toronto toward the proscience and sport in such an attractive manner.

posed new buildings which, it is estimated, will cost GEORGE C. SIMPSON.


It has been announced, Science states, that the trustees UNIVERSITY AND EDUCATIONAL

of Columbia University have received 100,000l. from an INTELLIGENCE.

anonymous donor for the construction of a new college

| hall; and that the Legislature of Minnesota has made CAMBRIDGE.-The syndicate the proposals of which with direct appropriations for the University of Minnesota for regard to the previous examinations were thrown out by the the next two vears amounting to 142,000l.. besides 12.000l. Senate last term, was elected to consider the studies and derived from the insurance on the old main building, examinations of the University, and, although it has so destroyed by fire last September. far considered but one examination, a determined attempt

AN International Exhibition of Pedagogy, under the is being made to bring its deliberations to a close. The

patronage of H.M. the King of Spain and of H.M. Queen period for which the syndicate was appointed lapses at

Maria Christina, will be held in Barcelona from May to the end of this term, and the grace which authorises its

October. Particulars as to the scope of the exhibition re-appointment will to-day be " non-placetted " in the Senate. A short time ago four members were added to

and the conditions attaching to exhibits are given in the

official programme, a limited number of copies of which the syndicate. Their nomination was not objected to, though

can be obtained on application to the Director of Special the action of the council in appointing them was termed

Inquiries and Reports, Board of Education Library, St. inespedient. It seems a strange piece of courtesy to

Stephen's House, Cannon Row, Whitehall, London, S.W. acquiesce in the appointment of men like the master of Gonville and Caius, Mr. S. H. Butcher, late professor of

PRESIDING at the annual meeting of the British and Greek in Edinburgh, Dr. Adam, and Mr. Hardy to a syn

Foreign School Society, Mr. A. H. D. Acland moved the dicate which the opponents of change intended, so far as adoption of the report on the year's work of the associlay within their power, to render moribund.

ation. During the course of his speech, he remarked that The natural sciences tripos continues to increase. There in many schools too much is done for the brain and too are 140 candidates entered for part i. and 30 candidates little for the body. If hygiene, instead of being merely ior part ii., both of which began this week. In the first a special subject, were made part of the teacher's general part of the mathematical tripos there are 57, and in the

outfit, much would be done for the health of the nation. first part of the classical tripos there are 102 candidates,

Mr. Acland said he hopes also that by degrees the pest in the second part 12. The entrances for the mechanical

of examinations will be modified and got rid of-a matter sciences tripos, part i., are 45

in which the old universities are among the greatest The Board of Agricultural Studies reports a continuous

sinners. Whoever could wipe out two-thirds of the exincrease both in the number of students attending the

aminations would be one of the greatest benefactors of the agricultural courses and in the number presenting them human species. selves for the examinations. The number of students is THE question of the concentration of the teaching of the now close upon fifty, and shows an increase of seven within preliminary and intermediate subjects of the medical currithe last twelvemonth.

culum in London at a few centres has long occupied the The honorary degree of M.A. will to-day be conferred on attention of those interested in medical education, as it Mr. Robert Stephenson, late chairman of the Cambridge- | has been felt that this step must result in greater efficiency shire County Council, in recognition of his services to in teaching, as well as economy in expenditure. The education, and especially to the promotion of agricultural Westminster Hospital Medical School has been the first education in the university

to take definite action in the matter, and has just comThe Rede lecture will be delivered on Saturday, June 10, pleted negotiations with King's College by which arrangeat 11.30 am., by Sir Francis Younghusband, K.C.I.E. His ments have been made for the teaching of physics, subject is " Our True Relationship with India."

chemistry, biology, anatomy, physiology, and materia The council of the Senate has promulgated a grace pro-medica (that is to say, the subjects of the preliminary posing that a syndicate be appointed to consider the de- and intermediate examinations) to Westminster students



of King's College. Students will enter Westminster Christchurch they are invariably dry and hot, being of the Hospital Medical School as in the past, and will remain nature of “ Foehn” winds, and have a depressing effect Westminster men; they will not become matriculated upon most people. students of King's College, but they will be taught the Though the above days are the only two of the class earlier subjects of study at that institution. The scheme upon which, so far, the author has taken dissipation will come into effect at the commencement of next winter observations, yet potential observations indicate that the session in October. At the same time, the teaching of winds are negatively charged relatively to the earth, which the subjects of the final examination is being completely is contrary to the usual condition. On both days the dissi. re-organised. It is believed that this commencement of a pation curves show marked peculiarities. The earliest probably more general concentration of the teaching of

observation. at 11.15 a.m. on February 18, gave q=0-4. the preliminary and intermediate subjects of the curriculum with a negative potential difference between water dropper cannot but promote the best interests of medical education and earth of - 300 volts at 10.20 a.m., - 150 volts at in London.

11.40 a.m., and - 50 volts at 12.45 p.m. Corresponding with this rise of potential there is also a marked rise in


On March 16 the whole history is apparent. At LONDON.

7.30 a.m. the wind was light south-west, q=1.3, potential Royal Society, March 9.-"On some Continuous Observ.

+90 volts. At 9.45 a.m., wind north-west, strong. ations of the Rate of Dissipation of Electric Charges in

q=0.7, potential -- 250 volts. At 10.30 a.m., wind norththe Open Air." By Dr. C. Coleridge Farr. Communi

west, strong, q=1:1, potential -- 100 volts approximately.

The north-west wind seemed then to have thoroughly cated by Dr. C. Chree, F.R.S.

established itself. The values of a became less and less, During part of 1902 and 1903 the author resolved to take as many observations of the rates of dissipation of

the curves indicating the conductivity of the air for positive electric charges as possible, and to continue them

and negative charges diverging rapidly, that for positive

over the whole day, and, when opportunity offered, over longer

reaching a high value, whilst the negative curve reached periods.

remarkably low values. Corresponding with the extremely The observations were made on the Canterbury Plains

low value for q the potential reached its greatest negative of New Zealand, about 20 feet above sea-level, and five

value, - 1885 volts. After this increased and the miles due west from the sea coast. The apparatus used

negative potential decreased, until at 4.30 p.m. q=0-94. was Elster and Geitel's' Zerstreuungsapparat. Corre

potential –30 volts. sponding observations were made of the direction and in March 30.--"On a New Type of Electric Furnace with tensity of the wind (Beaufort), the humidity, and the a Re-determination of the Melting Point of Platinum." potential difference between a point about 10 feet above | By Dr. J. A. Harker. Communicated by Dr. R. T. the ground and the earth. This was determined by a Glazebrook, F.R.S. Kelvin portable electrometer and a water-dropper.

The first part of the paper deals with a description of a The dissipation apparatus was read by a telescope, and new type of electric furnace for the attainment in absence at night it was illuminated by a bull's-eye lantern, but of noxious gases of temperatures between 800° C. and only during the actual time of reading.

2200° C. The conductor conveying the electric current The conductivity of the air is very irregular, but on an is a tube of solid electrolytes similar in composition to average negative electricity is dispersed more rapidly than

the filament of a Nernst lamp. An essential feature is positive.

that, for many purposes, the usefulness and life of a conductivity of air for – ve electricity. furnace constructed in this way may be much increased Taking q=40 conductivity of air for +ve electricity

by adopting a “cascade" system of heating. That is,

the energy supplied may be divided, so that only sufficient six ordinary days, embracing several hundreds of observ is put through the tubular conductor itself to raise its ations, gave an average of q=1:16.

temperature, say 1000° C. above its surrounding, the Yet on several occasions for some hours together during surrounding itself being maintained at 1000° C., thus these six days, positive electricity was dissipated the more enabling a temperature of 2000° C. to be attained in the rapidly. The examples considered apparently indicate that tube without straining it unduly. a low value for q is, as might be expected, accompanied The regulation of temperature in small furnaces of this with a reversal of sign of the atmospheric charge. On type is so perfectly under control that very well defined one occasion, however, the potential became – 185 volts | melting points may be taken with very small quantities with q about unity.

of substance. Again, considering the six days only, as more typical of The second half of the paper deals with a re-determinordinary conditions than two others to be referred to, there ation of the melting point of platinum by the thermois distinct evidence of a double maximum and minimum electric method in these furnaces, the highest value found value for the conductivity throughout the day for charges being 1713° C., the lowest 1702° C., and the mean result of both signs.

of the experiments 1710° C. 15° C. Of two other days, viz. February 1 and 2 and December

May 11.-" The Effect of Plant Growth and of Manures 15 and 16, the former exhibits no distinct maxima and minima, but a strong south-west gale was blowing ; the

upon the Soil : the Retention of Bases by the Soil." By

A. D. Hall and N. H. J. Miller. Communicated by Prof. latter day is incomplete. Observations on February 1 and 2, and on March 1

H. E. Armstrong, F.R.S. and 2, during south-west gales gave a much higher value

The investigation deals first with the variations in the for the conductivity for both positive and negative charges

amount of calcium carbonate--the only basic substance than usual. Since the wind on these two days was in the

usually available in soils-in the experimental plots at same direction, there is only a slight amount of evidence

Rothamsted. In four of the fields which have been unthat the excessive conductivity is due to the strength rather

manured during a long period, the loss of calcium carthan to the direction of the wind.

bonate amounts to about 1000 lb. per acre per annum. Two days not vet mentioned, viz. February 18 and

This rate of loss is much increased on some of the manured March 16, may now be referred to. On the first of these a

plots; the use of ammonium sulphate and chloride, as strong gale from the north-west was blowing when the

sources of nitrogen, causes an increased loss of calcium observations were begun. On the latter, at 6.30 a.m.,

carbonate which is equivalent to the amount required to it was calm ; at 8 a.m. there was a light south-west

neutralise the acid of the salts applied.

When sodium nitrate is used as a manure the rate of wind, and at 9.30 it was blowing strongly from the north

removal of calcium carbonate is lower than on the unwest with a characteristic falling barometer. These “nor'westers” blow over a range of mountains reaching

manured plots. Farmyard manure has also a similar con7000 feet, and deposit their moisture on the western slopes,

serving effect on the calcium carbonate in the soil.

Evidence is also brought forward showing that many soils though the rain often extends to the eastern side. In which are initially very poor in calcium carbonate retain 1 Elster and Geitel, “Terrestrial Magnetism," vol. iv., p. 213 et seg. I their fertility unimpaired for many years, and even show

no decline in the small amount of base they contain, depends upon the signs of the coefficients of a certain cubic although nitrification is always going on and requires a | equation, one root of which can be interpreted, when all supply of base from the soil. The authors show, from the intersections are real, as the area of the quadrilateral ( speriments with water cultures and from a consideration formed by them. It is shown that one of the conditions of the analyses of field crops, that the growing plant of reality obtained by previous writers admits of very great withdraws more acid than base from the neutral salts simplification.-On a system of conics yielding operators dissolved in the soil water, leaving behind a basic residue which annihilate a cubic, and its bearing on the reduction in the form of bicarbonate. Calcium oxalate and other of the cubic to a sum of four cubes : H. G. salts in plant residues are converted by bacterial Informal communications were made as follows :-High action in the soil into calcium carbonate. These two Pellian factorisations : Lieut.-Colonel A. Cunningham. Agencies restore bases to the soil in quantities approxi- A method was explained for constructing very large mately equivalent to their removal by nitrification, and so factorisable numbers of the form y2 +1 (with complete maintain a neutral reaction in the soil.

resolution into prime factors) from the Pellian equation Zoological Society, May 2.-Dr. W. T. Blanford, yż - Dxo = -1. Examples were given, among them being F.R.S., vice-president, in the chair.-Specimens of domestic a number of 78 digits, viz. (2128 +3.242) +1; this was chicks to illustrate peculiarities in the hereditary trans shown to be expressible as (294 + 1) (298 + 1)", for which the mission of white plumage : W. Bateson.-On Leuco.

resolution of the factors 284+1 and 286+I had been golenia contorta (Bowerbank). Ascandra contorta (Haeckel), obtained by Lucas.—The stability of a loaded column : and Ascetta spinosa (Lendenfeld): Prof. E. A. Minchin. Prof. A. E. H. Love. When the column can be treated The author pointed out that the nomenclature of the

as a "thin" rod, and the contraction of the longitudinal ('alcarea Homocela was in a more tangled state than that filaments is taken into account, the critical length is of any other group of the animal kingdom, with, perhaps,

slightly greater than that obtained by the ordinary method, the exception of the malarial parasites. Dr. Bowerbank,

due to Euler, in which this contraction is neglected. The who founded the species, gave a diagnosis that would fit

correction of the critical length is found to be ink, where any Ascon, and his type specimens were jumbles of three

k is the radius of gyration of the cross-section of the or four species; consequently Prof. Minchin declared his

column about an axis through its centroid at right angles name to be of no systematic value whatever. To Haeckel's

to the plane of bending name Ascandra contorta, Prof. Minchin referred a sponge

Paris. **tremely abundant on the Mediterranean coasts of France.

Academy of Sciences, May 15.-M. Troost in the chair.Prof. Minchin preferred to name Ascandra contorta, H., as

| The president announced the death of M. Potier, member ('lathrina contorta. He believed that the Ascetta spinosa

of the section of physics.--The permeability of glass was only an age variation of Clathrina contorta, not yet | vessels : M. Berthelot (see p. 88).--The propagation of possessing monaxon spicules.-Anatomy of the ferret-, musical sounds in a tube of 3 metres diameter : J. Violle badger (Helictis personata), based on a dissection of a

dissection of a) and Th. Vautier. Notes of low pitch carry much better

a pecimen that had recently died in the society's gardens : than those of high pitch, the distance at which the sound F. E Beddard.—The osteology of the Eurylæmidæ, and | ceases to be clearly a musical note being inversely as the the question of the systematic position of this group : | square root of the number of vibrations, this result being W. P. Pycraft. While agreeing with the general con

| in accord with the theoretical investigations of Lord Raysensus of opinion as to the primitive character of these

leigh. From a large number of observations the conbirds, the author held that the isolated position which they

clusion is drawn that the velocity of sounds of different were supposed to occupy with regard to the remaining

pitch is the same to an accuracy of 1 part in 1000.Pauseres was by no means justified by facts. The ptery

On the menthones and menthols obtained by the reduction Ingraphy, osteology, and myology of the Eurylamidæ all

of pulegone by the catalytic action of reduced nickel : {anded to show that the nearest allies of these birds were

A. Haller and C. Martine. Pulegomenthone was obtained the Cotingidæ. Although undoubtedly primitive, the group,

when the nickel was maintained at 140° to 160° C. ; its Nr. Pycraft pointed out, presented a number of specialised

physical and chemical properties are given, and there is characters, which were especially marked in the skull and

reason to suppose that the ketone obtained is a mixture muscles of the wing.

of menthones, and further work is being carried out in Entomological Society, May 3.-Mr. F. Merrifield,

this direction. By slightly modifying the conditions of the president, in the chair.--A series of Xenarthra cervicornis,

reduction an additional pair of hydrogen atoms is taken Baly, from Ceylon, illustrating the curious structure of

up, giving pulegomenthols, two of which, in addition to the antennæ of the Ô : M. Jacoby.--Specimens of

ordinary menthol, were isolated from the product of the

reduction.--On the constitution, saccharification, and reTephrosia consonaria, ab. nigra, and melanic examples of

trogradation of potato starch: L. Maquenne and Eug. Boarmia consortaria, all from a wood in west Kent : G. T.

Roux. Natural starch is regarded by the authors as a Porritt. These forms were exactly on the same lines as

mixture of two substances, distinguished by the names the melanism in west Yorkshire, and it is curious they

amylocellulose and amylopectine, possessing different reshould occur in such widely separate localities. The two

actions towards iodine and malt extract.-The basic magnera, however, are evidently prone to melanism, as Mr.

nesium carbonates from the Santorin eruption of 1866 : A. Porritt had now seen black, or almost black, specimens

Lacroix. The structure of this mineral, the quantities of if all the British species except Tephrosia punctulata.

which were too small for quantitative analysis, agrees with (1) Two specimens of the very rare Staphylinid, Medon

that of the basic carbonate 4 MgCo,. Mg(OH),.4H,0. As castaneus, Grav., taken in the Oxford district during the

this appears to be a new species, the name of giorgiosite Last week of April ; (2) several examples of both sexes of

is proposed for it.-On the lifting power of a motor-driven the giant flea Hystrichopsylla talpae, Curtis, from field

helix : Prince of Monaco.-M. Louis Henry was elected mouse nests in the same district ; (3) the type-specimen of the Bostrichid beetle Dinoderus ocellaris, Steph. (taken by

a correspondant for the section of chemistry in the place

of Prof. Williamson.-On a photographic meridian telethe late Prof. Westwood at " Little Chelsea ” previous to

scope for determining right ascension : Jean Mascart and *), from the Hope collection at Oxford: Commander

nder | W. Ebert.-On the forces giving rise to conical trajecJ. Walker.Heliotropism in Pararge and Pyrameis : De 6

tories : B. Longstall. The structure and life-history of

Cyparissos Stéphanos.-On the electrostatic

rigidity of gases at high pressures : Ch. Eug. Guye and Pegchoda sexpunctata, Curtis : J. A. Dell.-The three

H. Guye. Measurements were made of the explosive colour process as applied to insect photography : Dr. D. H.

potential in gases at varying pressures. Hutchinson.

The gases studied

were nitrogen, air, oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide, Matbematical Society, May 11.-Prof. Forsyth, presi. the pressures varying from 2 to 65 metres of mercury. ent, in the chair.- The following papers were communi Up to 10 atmospheres, the explosive potential is a linear ated :--The intersection of two conic sections : J. A.' H. | function of the pressure, but for higher pressures the ratio Johnston. The object of the paper is to determine the of explosive potential to pressure diminishes. The results number (0, 2, or 4) of the real intersections of two real were unaffected by the presence of a radium salt.-On the emies by means of formulæ involving the invariants, or effects of Foucault currents and the hysteresis of iron on ther concomitants of the system. The discrimination Oscillatory sparks : G. J. Hemsalech. By means of a

« PreviousContinue »