« PreviousContinue »
of a different form of apparatus by Prof. Battelli and
ill-defined ; different parts of it came in focus in different F. Maccarrone (Physikalische Zeitschrift, No. 6). It must
planes, whilst the variation in the focal length of the
instrument often amounted to 10 feet during a single day. be concluded, therefore, contrary to M. Becquerel's views,
Now the image is much better defined ; all parts of it are that such emanations consist neither of fragments of atoms focused in the same plane, and the focal length never which have lost positive ions nor of the positive ions varies so much as 12 inches during a day. themselves.
Well marked variations, amounting to 10 per cent. of
the total, have been recorded in the value of the solar A NEW method for the preparation of paraffins from
radiation, and Mr. Abbot expresses a strong hope that, on their monohalogen derivatives which is described by M.
combining the solar radiation and atmospheric transparency Paul Lebeau in the current number of the Comptes results, long range climate forecasting will ere long borendus (April 10), is noteworthy on account of the sim- come possible. plicity of the reaction and the purity of the gas obtained. VALUE OF THE ASTRONOMICAL REFRACTION CONSTANT.Sodium is converted into sodium-ammonium by the action The third volume of the Publications of the Granducai of liquid ammonia, and this, treated with methyl chloride, Observatory at Heidelberg contains 234 pages devoted to gives methane, readily obtained in a pure state by lique
the discussion of the results obtained by M. L. Courvoisier
in a research undertaken by him for the determination of faction by means of liquid air. Ethyl and propyl iodides
the refraction constant. react with the same ease, giving rise to ethane and pro- The instrument employed was a 6-inch Repsold meridian pane, the purty of which was verified by combustion circle, which, together with its various constants, is de analysis. It is pointed out by M. Lebeau that as these scribed at length. Two hundred stars were observed, and reactions take place below the boiling point of liquid
the observations and their peculiar errors are discussed ammonia there is small probability of any secondary re
The meteorological data for several periods during each
observing day are next given, the observations extending actions taking place.
from June 3, 1899, to July 9, 1901, and this table 15 The current number of the Quarterly Review contains
followed by sections dealing with the stellar, latitude, and an article by Mr. A. E. Shipley on Pearls and Parasites."
declination observations respectively.
The value obtained for the refraction constants We have received from Messrs. Isenthal and Co. a well 60":161 +0".037. illustrated and conveniently arranged catalogue of technical REALITY OF Various FeatuRES ON MARS.-In No. 4007 and. laboratory electric measuring instruments and
of the Astronomische Nachrichten Signor V. Cerulli, al rheostats.
Teramo, discusses the actual subjectivity of various Martian
phenomena, as seen in the telescope, from a physiological The issue of the Journal of the Royal Sanitary Institute standpoint. Having observed Mars regularly for ten for April contains a full account of the papers read and years, he appears to have arrived at the conclusion that the speeches delivered at the conference on school hygiene
the actual existence of these features is as much a subject
for physiological as for astronomical investigation. He held at the University of London in February last, and
states that the phenomena observed are so near to the reported in NATURE for February 16 (p. 377).
limit of the range of the human eye that in observing MANY characteristic scenes of the western coast and fjords them one really experiences effects accompanying “ the
birth of vision." of Norway are described and illustrated in a pamphlet just
" That is to say, the eye sees more and
more as it becomes accustomed, or strained, to the delicate issued by the Albion Steamship Co., Ltd., Newcastle-on
markings, and thus the joining up of spots to form Tyne, as an itinerary of cruises to be taken this year by “ canals and the gemination of the latter follow as a the yachting steamer Midnight Sun.
physiological effect, and need not necessarily be subjective Messrs. John J. GRIFFIN AND Sons, Ltd., have pub
phenomena seen by the accustomed eye. lished a ninth edition of their illustrated and descriptive results of the meteorological and magnetic observations
STONYHURST COLLEGE OBSERVATORY.- In addition to the catalogue dealing with apparatus suitable for the practical
made during 1904, Father Sidgreaves's annual report study of sound, light, and heat. An examination of the briefly refers to the solar and stellar spectroscopical rock contents of the catalogue shows that a great improvement carried out at Stonyhurst during last year. is taking place in the apparatus employed in the labor- Two series of spectrograms of B Auriga and 7 Cassio atories and lecture-rooms where physics is taught. peiæ were commenced, and the results already obtained Teachers and others should find this catalogue helpful and
are very promising. A short table showing sun-spot areas
and the range of the magnetic declination appears to corsuggestive.
firm the connection between these two values for the years
1898–1904. The spectra of sun-spots in the green and OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN.
violet regions have been photographed with a Rowland ASTROPHYSICAL WORK AT THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION.
grating spectroscope, and a number of experiments have
been made with the view of photographing the spot spectra -Prof. Langley's report of the work performed in the in the red region. various departments of the Smithsonian Institution during the year ending June 30, 1904, contains a report by Mr.
NATURE OF SUN-SPOTS.-In the April number of the C. G. Abbot of the observations made in connection with
Bulletin de la Société astronomique de France Abbé The the solar radiation at the astrophysical observatory.
Moreux re-discusses his theory concerning the formation Among many items of interest, the following may be
and nature of sun-spots in the light of data more recently briefly mentioned :--The bolometer apparatus has now been
acquired, more especially during the great spot of Februar improved to such a state of perfection that a duplicate set
last. He gives numerous drawings of this spot, a for investigating the radiation of stars has been con
several schematic diagrams showing the possible arrange structed. A series of experiments with the improved pyro
ment of the photospheric clouds in and over the spot, and heliometer has shown that this instrument may now be
arrives at the conclusion that spot areas are analogous to used with confidence to measure the solar radiation.
anti-cyclonic areas in the terrestrial atmosphere. The definition of the long focus mirror has been con- INSTRUCTIONS TO SOLAR OBSERVERS.--Amateur observasiderably improved by churning the air inside the tube, of solar phenomena will find the instructions to en by protecting the tube from the direct solar rays with a observers, formulated by the “ commission solaire " of it covering of canvas, by employing a number of supporting Société astronomique de France, of great use and interest plates as suggested by Prof. Ritchey in order to preserve Chapter v. is published in the April Bulletin of the society the shapes of the mirrors, and by nullifying the vibrations and deals with daily spectroscopic observations of the due to traffic by placing indiarubber pads behind the chromosphere and prominences by the Lockyer-Jamon mirrors. Prior to these alterations the solar image was method.
RECENT CHANGES IN THE CRATER OF
theatre is open to the north-west, and from its open side STROMBOLI.
beyond the craters the steep slope of the Sciara extends
down into the sea. This slope is bounded on each side by STROMBOLI is the most easterly and northerly of the two steep cliffs, Filo di Sciara and Filo di Baraona, which
Lipari Islands. It is situated north of Sicily, close are formed, like the Sciara itself, of lava-streams, aggloto the track of steamers plying between Naples and the merates, and dykes; in fact, of almost every kind of comStraits of Messina, and is thus an object familiar to pact volcanic material, chiefly of basic composition.
This Sciara, as is well known, is one of the most peculiar features of this volcano. It extends at an angle of about 35°, which is the " angle of repose
for the kind of material of which it is composed, down into the deep water of the Mediterranean; and though the volcano has certainly been in almost constant eruption during the whole of the historic period, and probably much longer, it has never been able to build up a talus sufficient to rise to the level of the sea, much less to that of the lip of the crater, about which, according to the analogy of other volcanoes, it might have been expected to have built up a cone on this side comparable to the portion on the south described above. Fig. 1, from a photograph taken by the author in 1888 from the ridge overlooking the north-east side of the Sciara, and consequently looking south-west, shows the Sciara extending down to the right of the picture with the Filo de Barcuna behind it. The pointed rock to the left of the picture is the
eastern Torrella, with a gap to the Fig. 1.–Stromboli. The Sciara from the North-east.
left of it through which the ejecta are thrown during the larger erup
tions, and roll on to the steep slopes passengers to or from Egypt or the East, though com- in front and down the Sciara into the sea. The western paratively few have landed on its shores. Its almost con- Torrella is just visible in the distance beyond the eastern stant eruptions have gained it the name of the lighthouse Torrella. The crater situated between the two was in of the Mediterranean. It is almost circular, as its old 1888 a large pit obviously formed by severe explosions. name Strongyle indicates, and rises as an irregular cone It contained two small secondary cones. One, towards its out of deep water. On the northwest side are the crater, and the Sciara or steep slope down which the ejecta roll into the sea.
The summit of the mountain, which is about 3000 feet high, consists of a crescentic ridge, the Serra di Vancori, open towards the north. It forms part of an old crater ring, and thus presents points of similarity to Somma. Inside the crescentic ridge, and in places joined to it by irregular crests of rock, but mainly separated from it by a valley, “A Fossieiedda," similar to the Atrio del Cavallo of Vesuvius, is another crescentric ridge, connected with the two extremities of which, and immediately overlooking the sides of the crater, are two conspicuous pointed rocks, the Torrelle, which partly obstruct the view of the crater when viewed from the cliffs overlooking the Sciara on its north-east and south-west respectively. These Torrelle, being practically unaltered by ordinary eruptions, present good points of comparison for estimating the changes that take place, and one or other of them is included in most
Fig. 2.--Stromboli. The Sciara from the West. of the photographs. Between
the two Torrelle, in the midst of a sort of amphitheatre formed by them and the crescentic ridge western part, and close to the edge of the Sciara, was last mentioned, are the crater and its appurtenances, the
that from which the explosive eruptions took place several " Apparato Eruttivo of Italian observers. This amphi
times an hour ; the other, towards the eastern part, emitted 1 Abridged from a paper by Dr Tempest Anderson in the Geographical
only smoke. Journal for February.
1 From " Volcani: Studies," by Tempest Anderson, late xxi.
In 1904, when the author took comparison photographs subjects, referred to the spread of from nearly the same spot, this large crater was almost marine propulsion, alluding more entirely filled up, and the slope of the Sciara was continued trials of H.M.S. Amethyst. Some upwards, so that the cone of ejecta overtopped and was were made between the performanc visible behind the eastern Torrella. The activity in this is fitted with steam turbines, and eastern part of the crater still maintained the same quiet ship in all respects, excepting that character as in 1888. The whole area constantly emitted and cylinder engines. As is well ka vapour; there was more than one bocca visible, but they is less " flexible, to use an expres were quite small and only gave very feeble explosions, and use, than the reciprocating engin f these with a rhythm quite independent of those at the efficiency falls off rapidly when it is ru western part of the crater.
than that for which it was designed Fig. 2, taken by the author on April 20, 1904, from a efficiency. This point was well illustrat point to the west of the crater, and consequently in almost of the Amethyst and the Topaze by the exactly an opposite direction to Fig. 1, shows the condition the figures being given in Lord Glasg of the western part of the crater sixteen years later. The steam turbines of the Amethyst drove conspicuous rock to the right of the plate is the western 5:45 per cent. faster than her sister Torrella, behind which, in 1888, was the great crater cating engines. At the higher speeds above referred to. The bocca to the left, from which the appeared decidedly more economical : explosion is taking place, is shown in some of the earlier reciprocating engines had the advantag photographs as situated on the edge of the large crater ton of coal would carry the Amethyst at its junction with the Sciara. The great crater is now Topaze 9.75 miles. From this speed up seen to be filled up by ejecta which prolong the slope of in favour of the reciprocating engines de the Sciara upwards over what was previously its site, consumption curves would cross at a little while the bocca itself remains in all probability really in when approximately 6 miles would be its former position, though apparently on the slope of the
of coal. At a speed of 20 knots the Sciara instead of on its edge.
miles, and the Topaze 2.9 miles, per too It will be interesting to future visitors to see whether At 23.6 knots, a speed the Topase did the volcano will continue to prolong the slope of the Sciara .I methyst would steam a little more than inuch further upwards, or whether a paroxysmal explosion
of coal. If it may be allowed that about will occur which will clear the great crater again.
lowest speed at which these cruisers roul The paper in the Geographical Journal is illustrated tageously run in time of war, the steam with twelve photographs and a map showing these and
marked advantage for warlike purposes; other points more in detail.
lead to higher coal consumption in time of
The first paper taken was a contribution by THE LISTITUTIO.V OF VALIL ARCHITECTS.
Smith, of the Admiralty, upon the design of
exploration vessel Discovery. This was THE annual spring meeting of the Institution of Naval wooden steamer 175 feet long. 34 feet wide
Architects held last week, commencing 1620 tons displacement. The propeller was Wednesday, April 12, and being continued over the two as to be disconnected from the shaft and lified following days. The president of the institution, the Right well, after the manner adopted in the old steam Hon. the Earl of Glasgow, occupied the chair. A very The rudder was also arranged to be readily un full programme had been arranged, there being no less The scantling of the hull was massive, but in, than fifteen papers set down for reading and discussion, plan followed the designs adopted in the days of and there was also the presidential address.
construction. The vessel was fully rigged as The first business after the usual formal proceedings The fitting of a magnetic observatory was was the reading by the secretary, Mr. R. W. Dana, of special features of the design. The work done her the report of the council. By this it appeared that the of great magnitude, and the observations taken an institution is in a prosperous condition, both in regard to being analysed by Captain Chetwynd, the finance and membership. Reference was made to the pro- superintendent of compasses. No magnetic metal posed foundation of an experimental tank for the purpose allowed within a radius of 30 feet of the observe for of scientific investigation of problems connected with ship Main shrouds were of hemp, the lanyards being mit design. It will be remembered that it was proposed, at through wooden dead cyes. Great care was takeplay the initiative of Mr. A. F. Yarrow, Dr. Elgar, Sir William the living part of the ship so as to economise coat. 70 White, and other prominent members of the institution. fessional details of the design were dealt with atau that an institution tank should be founded in connection length. In the discussion on this paper, Sir Cle with the National Physical Laboratory. Such a tank, de- Markham gave some historical details of former olar voted to research of a scientific nature, would be of great expeditions, and dwelt upon the advantage of havien benefit to the ship-building industry, and would do much ship expressly built for the purpose. Captain Scott Sho to raise naval architecture to a higher plane by the was in charge of the expedition, Sir William White ani substitution of scientific principles for those empirical Admiral Fitzgerald also spoke. methods upon which ship designers too largely have to The next paper was by Colonel Soliani, of the Royal rely. It is much to be regretted, therefore, and not very Italian Navy, and gave technical details of the Japanes creditable to an important and wealthy industry, that the war vessels Kasuga and Nisshiu, both built in Ital! appeal made by the council of the institution has met paper by Mr. H. Rowell giving an account of the Rueir with so poor a response. Only six thousand pounds out of Volunteer Fleet followed. the fifteen thousand pounds needed has been underwritten. The second day of the meeting opened with a paper so that the project is shelved for the present. In spite of Prof. J. H. Biles, who gave details of trials made for the enormous preponderance of the ship-building interests the strength of a torpedo-boat destroyer supplied for it of this country, there are but two experimental tanks in purpose by the Admiralty. The vessel was placed the kingdom. One is the property of the Government, and dock, being supported on cradles near the ends, a is devoted wholly to the Royal Navy, the other being the produce sagging stresses, and in the middle in ord! property of a private firm of ship-builders on the Clyde. induce hogging. The experiments were part of the in Both these tanks are devoted entirely to what is known vestigation of the Admiralty Destroyer Commitir The as“ practical work," that is to say, they attack subjects results were set forth at considerable length in the part piecemeal, and therefore in a or less empirical and in the large number of diagrams which accompanin! fashion. They have no time for ordered investigation of it. It will be sufficient to say here that the actual real fundamental principles, upon a knowledge of which, alone, observed on these practical trials established the way! can a useful superstructure of applied science be raised methods of calculation as affording a good margin The tanks are not to blame for this. They were estab- safety, the stresses in the observed results being lished for a definite purpose, which they admirably fulfil. sistently below those calculated by the formulæ comme In the presidential address Lord Glasgow, among other used by naval architects.
A paper on a similar subject was read by Mr. F. H. A. E. Seaton contributed the first, the subject being Alexander.
margins and factors of safety and their influence on marine A long and elaborate paper, illustrated by numerous designs. Mr. J. H. Heck followed with some notes on diagrams, was next taken. The subject was the structural the variation of angular velocity in the shafting of marine arrangements of ships, the author being Mr. J. Bruhn. engines; and Mr. Mallock read a brief paper in which Details of tests of frame girders, on the strength of flanged he described an ingenious device for keeping the two sets plates, on intercostal stringers, on the tripping of frames, of engines of a twin screw vessel out of step, so as to and the strength of rivet attachments, were described. prevent vibration. Mr. Attwood also read a paper on the The paper was of considerable professional interest, and Admiralty course of study for the training of naval will form a valuable source of information to naval archi- architects. tects; but without the aid of the numerous illustrations Perhaps the most interesting paper of the meeting was and diagrams it would be impossible to make the descrip
that which came last. It was by Mr. J. B. Millet, of tions clear.
Boston, Massachusetts, and described a means of subAt the evening meeting of the same day a paper by marine signalling by sound, of which more will probably Mr. R. E. Froude on hollow versus straight lines opened be heard in the future. Briefly it may be said that the the proceedings. The subject has attracted a good deal of sides of the ship itself are used as receivers. A tank interest of late, and has already led to some discussion. filled with a dense liquid is attached to each side of the A number of naval officer led by Admiral Fitzgeral ship. In this a transmitter is placed, and the sound hold that a great mistake is made by building ships for collected is taken by wires to an observer, who may be the Royal Navy with hollow lines. 'Sir William White in any part of the vessel. If the source of sound is on and the other naval constructors naturally defend their the port side the sound will be apparent from the port practice, supporting their arguments by the actual results transmitter; if on the starboard side the starboard transobtained at the Haslar tank. The naval men reply that, mitter will be affected ; if it is directly ahead it will be even allowing the superiority of hollow lines in the smooth heard equally through both transmitters. When the sound water, at which all tank experiments were made, the is astern a different effect is produced. As the result of hollow lines gave a slower vessel amongst waves, and practical trials, the positions of passing ships ana of subalso a wetter ship. In order to bring the matter to a marine bells were accurately defined. When it is remempractical issue, a number of experiments were made by bered how untrustworthy sound signals are when passed Mr. Froude at the Haslar tank, in which artificial waves through air, and how unchanging is the density of water, were created by a mechanical device. The results were it will be seen that the new system promises to reduce the plotted on diagrams attached to the paper, the general chief dangers of modern navigation, collisions, or strandconclusion arrived at by Mr. Froude being that though ings through fog. The idea of submarine sound signals, there was a distinct diminution in average effective horse- of course, is not new, but the hitherto insuperable difficulty power due to straight lines, yet this was insufficient to in the way has been the confusion of sound through the annul the greater efficiency of the hollow lines in smooth overwhelming nature of the noises in the ship itself. Mr. water. In the discussion that followed, Admiral Fitz- Millet, however, appears to have overcome this difficulty, gerald joined issue on this point. He held that quite and the testimony as to the value of his invention is very smooth water was comparatively rarely met with at sea,
strong and he considered it was a question for naval officers, and The meeting was brought to a conclusion by the usual not for naval architects, to decide under which condition votes of thanks. they would prefer the higher efficiency. Moreover, the straight lines gave greater displacement forward without extra cost, and the additional buoyancy could be used for UNSOLVED PROBLEMS IN ELECTRICAL placing heavier guns forward, or in other useful ways.
ENGINEERING. Prof. Biles also joined in the discussion. He gave the results of trials on this subject made at the Dumbarton ON April 10 Colonel R. & Crompton, delivered the
annual “ James Forrest " lecture of the Institution in Mr. Froude's paper, and until this discrepancy is ex- of Civil Engineers, an abstract of which is given below. plained the subject must remain unsettled. The need for There are two groups of electrical problems, those which an independent tank devoted to experimental investigation concern the scientific investigator and those presenting is apparent. Mr. Froude's experiments are extremely themselves to engineers. The lecturer dealt with the latter interesting, as being the first tank trials made in other only. The phenomena of lightning discharges, especially than smooth water. When it is remembered how little where they affect the distribution systems of large electric smooth water there is at sea, and how widely the con- power plants, require further study. Many failures are due ditions of resistance and other qualities are altered by causes which the lecturer believes to be static diswaves, the advantage of the new departure will be charges due to gigantic condenser effects set up in systems apparent.
of well insulated overhead and underground conductors, An interesting paper by Mr. A. W. Johns, of the Royal each system acting as a plate of the condenser. Corps of Naval Constructors, was also read
Interesting problems arise out of terrestrial magnetism ; sitting, the subject being the effect of motion ahead on the present hypotheses are based on scant knowledge. It the rolling of ships. The subject is one both of interest is known that the earth's magnetic field is not symmetrical, and importance, and was worked out by the author with but the work of observing the variations of the carth's considerable ingenuity, theoretical results being compared, field at public observatories all over the world may evenwith those obtained by experiment. It would appear that tually enable the earth's field gradually to be plotted out. the effect of speed is to reduce rolling, but no doubt further Another problem passing into the domain of engineering tests will be made, the actual experimental data up to now is the etheric transmission of power. What is now required being somewhat meagre.
is a better solution of the problem of producing continuous Mr. Stromeyer also read a paper on the effect of acceler- | trains of Hertzian waves either by mechanical means or by ation on ship resistance.
electrochemical means. Another paper was down for reading at this sitting, The lecturer dealt rather fully with what he called the but unfortunately time did not permit of it being read. *core and coil " problem of electrical machinery, that is It was by Mr. S. Popper, of Pola, the subject being the to say, the problems connected with the perfecting of the results of model experiments in deep and in shallow cores, hitherto of iron, but which in future may be made water. The subject is one of considerable practical im- of some of the alloys invented by Dr. Huesler, which portance at the present time, when builders of destrovers are now under test. in the south find it pays them to send their vessels to the Dealing with the present means of using iron or steel measured mile on the Clyde, where there is deep water. castings of high permeability, the best methods were disThey find the Clyde mile permits of a knot more being cussed of freeing them from blow-holes or porosity to made than can be obtained on any of the comparatively ensure that the magnet cores should be of equal density Shallow miles of the south.
of mass, and therefore of equal magnetic moment. In this On Friday, April 14, five papers were taken. Mr. connection the lecturer alluded to Prof. Barrett's discovery of
adding silicon, thereby increasing the fluidity and reducing UNIVERSITY AND EDUCATIONAL the tendency to form blow-holes; he also gave reasons why
INTELLIGENCE. increased permeability might be expected from this, as the addition of silicon probably acts by reducing the combined
Ar the graduation ceremony of Glasgow University on carbon in the iron, leaving the pure iron with a sponge
Tuesday, the degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon or network structural formation calculated to give great : Prof. A. Crum Brown, F.R.S. freedom for molecular movement.
It is announced by Science that gifts of 20,00ol. to On the subject of coil winding, he showed by diagrams Rochester C'niversity for the construction of a scientific that at present the space occupied by insulation may be building, and of 10,00ol
. to Norwich University, Vermont. reduced by winding the copper upon the coils in the form half for a library and half for an engineering departmen, of thin strip on edge, and insulating the portions from one have been announced. A donation of 50,00ol. has been another by a paint or varnish of sufficient dielectric made to Northwestern University by Mr. Milton H. strength, high heat conductivity, and power of retaining Wilson, a resident of Evanston, and one of the trustees its dielectric strength at temperatures of 200° C. The of the institution. thinness and fragility of the copper strip, however, demand
REPLYING to a discussion on university education in that this should be done by a machine which will roll the
Ireland which was raised on the Civil Service Estimates copper to the section and curvature just as it is ready to
in the House of Commons on April 13, Mr. Balfour gate be wound on. The difficulty was alluded to of designing
as his opinion that Ireland is not provided for adequately the cores and windings of high-speed turbo-generators,
in respect of university education. The decline in the owing to the trouble of resisting mechanical stresses due
number of students in Trinity College he ascribes to the to centrifugal forces, and at the same time of subdividing
great revolutions in the system of land tenure, which hate them sufficiently to prevent the formation of eddy currents.
diminished substantially the resources and the numbers of It was pointed out that although recently the develop
the class that send students to that institution. There is ments of electrical storage have not been much discussed,
also a diminution of attendance at the Queen's College, it would be better to go on improving the lead couple Belfast, which is largely due to the influence which the accumulator we now have instead of waiting for the invention of some new storage couple which we may
Royal University is exercising on education in its higher
forms by substituting a mere system of examination for never obtain. The combination of the internal combustion
a university training. Another reason for the falling off engine driving a generator and worked by suction gas
at the Queen's College is that the institution is without plant for long hours, thereby charging a battery of accu
the funds necessary for complete equipment. mulat is, if combined with small steam plant capable of taking the peak load, probably the most economical method of producing energy for the short hours of light
SOCIETIES AND ACADEMIES. ing. Portable storage is much required for the modern automobile, and some progress has been made, but much
LONDON still remains to be done. The lecturer did not believe that Royal Society, March 16.—"On the Absence or Marked much could be gained from Edison's newly invented Diminution of Free Hydrochloric Acid in the Gastric Concouple.
tents in Malignant Disease of Organs other than the The utilisation of single phase alternating currents for Stomach." By Prof. Benjamin Moore, in collaboration railways is already within reach, the choice of systems with Dr. W. Alexander, Mr. R. E. Kelly, and Mr. H. E lying between the Finzi type of series motors and the Roat. Winter and Eichsberg compensated repulsion motors. It has long been known that free hydrochloric acid is Electric traction can supersede existing steam haulage for absent or reduced in amount in the great majority of cases passenger work at the present schedule speeds with of cancer of the stomach. economy and advantage. It is not quite certain that The absence of the acid in such cases has been attribuird electric haulage will supersede steam haulage for high- to local action, to continued irritation of the mucous memspeed passenger work, as, although undoubtedly electric brane of the stomach by the presence of the growth, on haulage can work trains at 100 miles an hour, the steam retention of the food in the stomach acting as an imitant locomotive can be improved to work at the same speed and causing gastritis when the growth has narrowed the with equal safety., Engineers will not attack the long pyloric opening, or to alkaline products thrown out at the distance haulage of goods for years to come, at least not seat of the growth and neutralising the acid. in our present state of knowledge of the cost of generating The facts that the acid is not nearly so frequently electrical energy. The successful development by elec- absent in gastritis due to causes other than cancer of the trical means of change speed and torque gear is much stomach, and that the acid may be absent in cases of needed by the mechanical engineer, not only for railway cancer and where there is no marked gastritis, and where work, but for rolling mills and similar purposes.
the growth is confined to a small part of the mucous The measuring instruments used by electrical engineers membrane, the remainder being normal, led to the suminis have made great strides towards perfection, but there are that the absence of free hydrochloric acid in the gastru some problems still unsolved, notably the power measure- secretion might not be due to local conditions in the ments of alternating currents.
stomach, but to a general condition of the blood which Although there have been recently many attempts to rendered it difficult or impossible for the oxyntic cells ut improve the efficiency of electric lamps, both of the arc the cardiac glands to secrete the acid. and incandescent type, yet much remains to be done. By To test this view, the amount of free hydrochloric scat using a beam of violet-blue light of considerable intensity in the gastric contents was determined in seventeen rases it is nearly certain that many substances hitherto con- of malignant disease in which the growths were situata! sidered opaque, but which owe their opacity to the diffused in regions remote from the stomach, such as tongue refraction of the red and yellow rays, will be rendered cheek, floor of mouth, rectum, prostate, breast, and transparent.
A problem of great importance will be the discovery of As a result of the determinations it was found that free a direct method of producing cold by electric means, as by hydrochloric acid was either entirely absent (two-thirds 14 such methods cold storage will be facilitated in the larders the cases) or greatly reduced in quantity. This shows that of private houses.
the absence of free hydrochloric acid in cancer of the Electric smelting has made great advances, and although stomach is not due to local action in that organ, but, it presents many unsolved problems, much may be hoped the other hand, that cancer, wherever occurring, is assonifor in this direction.
ated with diminution or absence of the acid from me The problem which is of the greatest interest to the gastric secretion. world in general is the satisfactory development of power Such a result can only arise by an alteration in the schemes by which the population can be sent back to the blood, which increases the difficulty of separating free land. The solution is more difficult in this country, where hydrochloric acid by the secreting cells. we have no power supply from natural water power, but It is pointed out in the paper that the most probable progress may nevertheless be expected.
alteration in the blood plasma' increasing the difñculis el