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is ignored that radio-activity is, to use Mme. Curie's happy expression, an atomic property, that is, is independent of the particular state of chemical combination of the radio-element. Radium resembles in the closest possible manner barium, a completely inactive element in the same family of the periodic table, both in chemical nature and in the series relationships of its spectrum. Barium is an element, radium is a compound; but whether uranium and thorium are elements or compounds is undecided. Again, the emission of energy, greater a million-fold than that evolved in any previous material change, remains a mystery in company with the discrepancy between the physical and geological estimates of the age of the earth. The constancy of ratio between the quantities of radium and uranium in all natural minerals is another experimental fact unexplained. It is the glory of the accepted view that it harmonises and correlates all the preceding problems, offering a simple and unstrained physical explanation of each, capable of being tested by quantitative experiment. In addition, it reaches out in every direction in broad, bold predictions, a few of which, like the production of helium from radium and the constancy of ratio between uranium and radium in minerals, have been brilliantly confirmed by experiment, while the majority simply await more refined experimental methods of attack. Of what other theory could the remark be made, which is attributed to Prof. Rutherford, that when a single experimental fact is established which does not conform to the disintegration theory it will be time to abandon it? The theory would have to be fundamental indeed to pass this test.
The secret of the vague hostility to the new doctrines which the recent controversy has shown to be widely felt is to be found probably in the impossibility of forming from words or reading the least idea of the really startling character of some of the new discoveries. This is particularly true of perhaps the most wonderful of them all, the radium emanation. Even Lord Kelvin in one of his letters speaks vaguely of emanations, while Sir William Crookes, at least until quite recently, employed, the word, also in the plural, as a generic term for the radiations. Give a scientific man a few milligrams of radium in solution and ask him to perform for himself some of the stock experiments with the emanation, for example, its condensation by liquid air, the concentration on the negative electrode of the active deposit formed by it, the steady decay of its powers after removal from the radium, and the growth of new emanation by the radium, kept, let us say, in another building or another country; then the radium emanation passes from being a phrase to a fact which no theory can safely ignore. The same is equally true of thorium X, radium C, and the numerous other successive products of radio-active change.
It would be a pity if the public were misled into supposing that those who have not worked with radio-active bodies are as entitled to as weighty an opinion as those who have. The latter are talking of facts they know, the former frequently of terms they have read of. If, as a result of the recent controversy, it has been made clear that atomic disintegration is based on experimental evidence, which even its most hostile opponents are unable to shake or explain in any other way, the best ends of science will have been served The sooner this is understood the better, for in radio-activity we have but a foretaste of a fountain of new knowledge, destined to overflow the boundaries of science and to impregnate with teeming thought many a high and arid plateau of philosophy. F. SODDY.
THE MYSTERIES OF LHASA.'
TH HIS is a new and cheaper edition of Colunet Waddell's account of our recent expedition intr Tibet. In its more expensive shape it passed through two editions, and the present one is a marvel cheapness. Not very many of the illustrations in the issue of last year are omitted in this year's reprint. and the type is the same, so much so, indeed, that it has not been considered necessary to remove from the letterpress references to photographs that have ! been reproduced (see, for instance, pp. 369, 374, 46, and 411). It is not often that one can buy a hardsomely printed book of 550 pages, with more than 150 illustrations, eight excellent maps and plans, and a very good index for a few shillings.
One of the most alluring things about the book is its title. The contents bear out this title only to a limited extent. It is true that we have here a descrip tion of Lhasa and its sights of much the same kind as a guide-book would give of a European city and its sights; but not much of this is very new. We have had descriptions, and even photographs, of Lhasa and its palaces before. What people mein when they speak of the mysteries of the place may include this, but it refers in the main to something very different. The author is well aware of this. refers in his preface to the curiosity stimulated by the belief that somewhere behind the mighty Kan chenjunga there would be found a key to unlock the mysteries of the world; and the belief in the possibility of this is widely diffused.
The ball was set rolling, though this is not generally known, by the famous Earl of Chesterfield, the author of the well-known letters to his son. This was done in another work of his entitled "The Economy of Human Life," published in 1751. Unwilling at that date to give his views of life and religion under his own name, he wrote anonymously; and the method he adopted was to prefix to his book an elaborate introduction, in which he describes Lhasa its palaces and its libraries, tells us how the Emperor of China, fully convinced that there could be found in those libraries ancient books of wisdom, sent a learned minister, "of a grave and noble aspect," and armed with an autograph letter from the Emperor to the Grand Lama, to discover them; tells us further how the minister found many "curious pieces of antiquity," and how the most ancient of them all was precisely the original of this "Economy of Human Life"; and finally explains the very curious ways in which this ancient MS. was translated, and then sent to him, who now gives it to the world. It is all very well done-as romance; but it was taken in sober earnest. The book went through more than fifty editions, and has been often translated. No one seems to have divined, until last year, that it was merely an English book of the eighteenth century. The editor of the last English edition (1902) still speaks of it as "this ancient wisdom"; and its great success led to no less famous imitations purporting to be the work of the so-called Mahatmas of Tibet. On these interesting delusions the author merely states that inquiries of learned Tibetans he happened to meet with, and such cursory examination as was possible of the libraries passed on the road, led to no result. Such negative evidence is not of much value. He might have added that the mystery is not in Tibet at all, but in certain phases of European thought. In this connection it is noteworthy that Colonel
1 "Lhasa and its Mysteries, with a Record of the Expedition of 1907-* By L. A. Waddell, LL.D., C.B, Lieut. Col. Indian Medical Servi Third Edition. Pp. xx+530. (London: Methuen and Co., 1906.) Price 75. 6d. net.
Waddell gives us the translation of a Tibetan prophecy, copied by himself a year before our expedition was heard of, and that he adds:" How the astrologers of Tibet were able to predict this distressful storm which was in store for their country, so long before it happened, and to specify that it should occur in this very year, is amazing." This is good evidence, not, indeed, of any mystic power in Tibet, but that the astrologers there know the tricks of their trade as well as any Zadkiel. The prediction is beautifully vague. A Chinese or a Russian coup d'état, or a civil war, would have suited it equally well, but it was apparently designed to fit some internal commotion. From what Colonel Waddell tells us of the headstrong character of the Grand Lama, and of the cabals and intrigues at Lhasa, that was a highly probable event.
The volume is really a very readable and clear
other hand, it seems a pity that Colonel Waddell scarcely does himself justice. We have some interesting and sometimes (no doubt quite justifiably) pungent remarks on the Lamaist system as seen from the outside the squalor, dirt, and ignorance of the poor, the intrigues and cruelties of the Government, the backward state of trade and agriculture, the decline in population, and so on. We have accounts of the services in the churches, of the images, of the roadside texts, of the appearance of the monasteries, and of one curious hermitage and its ghastly inmates; but of the inner meaning of the religion, the central truths, or what are held as truths, which give to all these outward matters a meaning, which at one time at least must have afforded strength and vitality to the system, we learn little or nothing. Some passages translated from the Litany (pp. 403-4) have both poetic beauty and religious feeling. Perhaps
account of the British invasion of Tibet. To that, eighteen chapters out of twenty-three are devoted, the others being a popular introduction on the history of Tibet and descriptions of Gyantse and Lhasa. The account of the expedition, which thus makes up the bulk of the book, is most interesting. The expedition seems to have been excellently planned and excellently carried out; but no serious opposition was offered until too late, and the desperate bravery of the hastily raised Tibetan peasantry, badly armed and badly led, was no match for the highly trained troops of the little English army, with its superior organisation, guns, and generalship. Only on two occasions did there seem any possibility of even temporary disaster for the invaders. The description of these two anxious moments makes exciting reading, and is quite in the style of the best war correspondents.
In what is told us of Lamaism in Tibet, on the
this may be partly due to Colonel Waddell's fine translation; but the absence of anything either superstitious or childish is striking. The texts on the wayside, put up for the edification of passers by (p. 210), are good, sound sense. Both of these, and they are the only passages quoted, seem at utter variance with the kind of tone and spirit described as animating the Lamas. The mystic spell, as it is called on p. 29, Om! Mani padme. Hung! is there translated "Hail! Jewel in the Lotus flower!" and reference is made to the figure of the Spirit of the Mountains on p. 23; but that figure represents the god, not as in, but as standing on the top of, a lotus, and the expression seems to us odd and forced if it really conveys that sense. Why should the Spirit of the Mountains be called the jewel in the lotus? The lotus is not a mountain flower. This at least requires explanation, and Colonel Waddell, as a Tibetan and
Buddhist scholar, might, no doubt, had he wished to do so, have quoted a passage from some work held in authority in Tibet giving the explanation required. There is a charming report in one of the closing chapters of an interview the author had with Gahldan Cardinal, who had been appointed Regent by the Dalai Lama on the eve of his flight. He is described as a man of striking presence, as one of the most learned and profound scholars in Tibet, and at the same time as a man of strong character and skilled in affairs. There are evidently some Lamas who read their books: and though their views and ours may be altogether different, there can be little doubt but that we also, if they were only made accessible by good translations, should find in them valuable materials for the history of that Eastern culture which it is day by day becoming more and more important for us to understand. We are gratified to hear that the able writer of this delightful book is intending to devote the whole of his time in future to these studies; and we trust that he will succeed in unravelling for us some more, and deeper, mysteries of Lhasa.
gradually developed a conception lying somewhere between the theories of Sandberger and Posepny, with a distinct leaning towards the teachings of the latter. The mode of formation of mineral veins is, however, still very far indeed from being understood. The facts recorded by Prof. Park appear to show that the majority of ore deposits are genetically connected with igneous intrusions which may be plutonic or volcanic. Circulating underground waters and gases are the principal agents concerned in the dissolution, primary concentration, and deposition of vein matter. Ore deposits do not necessarily occupy pre-existing fissures and cavities. Vein-filling was in many cases effected by metasomatic replacement. Vein-filling waters are ascending waters, but not necessarily deepseated. The mineral contents are derived from rocks contiguous to the zone of fracture or zone of metamorphism. The accessory agents of dissolution are
THE literature of economic
geology is by no means inconsiderable, for since the publication in 1884 of John Arthur Phillips's classic work on ore deposits, much attention has been devoted to the study of mineral deposits, and in the United States, in particular, theories of the formation of such deposits have been propounded with bewildering frequency. Prof. Park's text-book under notice, which covers the ground that is gone over in the elementary course in the subject at the University of Dunedin, New Zealand, will, therefore, doubtedly prove useful to the mining student.
The author deals with the subject in nine chapters. The first contains a brief summary of geological principles, and the following chapters are devoted spectively to the classification of mineral deposits, ore veins, the dynamics of lodes and beds, ore
deposits considered genetically, the theories of vein formation, ores and minerals considered economically, mine sampling, and the examination and valuation of mines. The chapter dealing with the genesis of ore deposits is of special interest. The perplexing problems by which the subject is surrounded are judicially dealt with. The fascinating theory of lateral secretion to which great support was given by Sandberger's brilliant researches, although strongly opposed by Prof. Stelzner, of Freiberg, and by Prof. Posepny, of Przibram, found much support in America in a more or less modified form. Posepny's ascension hypothesis has not been endorsed by succeeding investigators in its integrity, and American geologists have
1 "A Text-book of Mining Geology." By James Park. Pp ix+219, with 78 illustrations and plates. (London: Charles Griffin and Co., Ltd., 1906) Price 6s.
heat and pressure, aided by dissolved alkaline minerals. Precipitation from the ascending waters takes place in more or less orderly horizontal zones in accordance with the laws governing solution and precipitation Lastly, secondary enrichment is, in the majority of cases, due to the migration of mineral contents from a higher to a lower level, through the agency of descending waters.
Some interesting observations on the action of ascending alkaline waters in New Zealand are recorded by the author. Around Lake Rotorua ore deposits of the solfataric class can be seen still in process o formation on a scale of considerable magnitude. A the hot springs the sinter encrusting the walls of the fissures and pipes from which the waters escape a the surface is hard and chalcedonic, and arranged in layers which often present a fine, ribbon-like structure.
A striking illustration showing this siliceous crustification at the geyser crater at Whakarewarewa, New Zealand, is given by the author. Hand specimens of the harder sinters cannot be distinguished from much of the ore at the outcrop of the Martha lode at Waihi. In places the sinters contain finely disseminated marcasite and traces of gold and silver.
A SHORT time ago a petition was presented to the Dean of Westminster asking permission to place in Westminster Abbey a memorial tablet commemorating the life and influence of Mr. Herbert Spencer, but though the appeal was supported by many men of science and letters it was rejected. The reason why the Dean withheld his consent to this unobtrusive memorial of a great philosopher is not clear; and the Daily Chronicle has recently revived interest in the movement with the object of inducing him to reconsider his decision, or, failing this, to secure some other national memorial of Spencer's work. From the opinions of a number of distinguished men published in our contemporary, it is evident that much disappointment is felt at the failure to find a place in the Abbey for a simple memorial tablet to Spencer, but there is a difference of opinion as to whether steps should be taken to establish a national memorial to him in some other form. Among the men of science who consider it would be a reproach to leave Spencer's memory unhonoured are Lord Avebury, Prof. Clifford Allbutt, Dr. Bastian, Sir Michael Foster, Mr. Francis Galton, Sir Joseph Hooker, Prof. M'Kendrick,
and Prof. Poulton. There is, however, a strong feeling, expressed by Sir Norman Lockyer, that while no national memorial to Darwin exists outside Westminster Abbey, it would be undesirable to attempt to raise one to Spencer by public subscription. Lord Kelvin goes so far as to remark" I have never been of opinion that the philosophical writings of the late Mr. Herbert Spencer had the value or importance which has been attributed to them by many readers of high distinction. In my opinion, a national memorial would be unsuitable." Sir William Huggins also hesitates to support a general movement to provide a national memorial, though he agrees that a memorial tablet in the Abbey would appropriately commemorate Spencer's work. In the absence of this form of recognition, it would seem that the best way for admirers of the philosopher to show their appreciation of his work would be to establish a lectureship or scholarship in sociology, natural science, or principles of education, to issue, as suggested by Dr. A. R. Wallace, a cheap edition of his works, or in some other manner to further the objects to which he devoted his life. A movement with an end of this kind in view might be made of international interest, and would doubtless receive liberal support.
THE King has appointed a Royal Commission inquire into and report upon the practice of subjecting live animals to experiments, whether by vivisection or otherwise; and also to inquire into the law relating to that practice, and its administration; and to report whether any, and if so what, changes are desirable." The members of the commission are:-Viscount Selby (chairman), Colonel A. M. Lockwood, M.P., Sir W. S. Church, Bart., K.C.B., Sir W. J. Collins, M.P., Sir J. McFadyean, Mr. M. D. Chalmers, C.B., Mr. A. J. Ram, K.C., Dr. W. H. Gaskell, F.R.S., Mr. J. Tomkinson, M.P., and Dr. G. Wilson, with Captain C. Bigham, C.M.G. (secretary). The offices of the commission, which will not sit until
toward the end of October, will be at Chapel Place, Delahay Street, S.W.
THE Engineering and Machinery Exhibition, which was opened at Olympia on Saturday by Sir Alexander Binnie, president of the Institution of Civil Engineers, is of wide scope, and contains a fine display of British machinery. Some interesting exhibits have also been sent by American and Continental firms. The most striking feature is an electric fountain and air circulator, which occupies the centre of the hall. It is the invention of Mr. James Keith. The fountain is 33 feet in height, and it is surrounded by a shell 15 feet in diameter. In the pedestal beneath are six large electric fans, and air is drawn in from the groundlevel, washed, cooled, and re-circulated at the rate of 22,000 cubic feet of air per minute. The illuminations connected with the fountain are brilliantly effective. Numerous other interesting novelties are shown, and the display of machine tools is particularly good. At the luncheon following the opening ceremony, Sir William White, president of the exhibition, pointed out that the basis of the exhibition was mechanical engineering, which was maid-of-all-work to all other branches of engineering. The exhibition was no common enterprise, and the public could not fail to be impressed by the extraordinary variety of machinery applied to the needs of modern life, but also by the keen competition going on in the mechanical industries all over the world. Mr. Bennett Brough, who proposed the toast of the visitors, and Prof. Silvanus Thompson, who replied, also testified to the great value of the exhibition. Special facilities are being afforded to students to visit the exhibition, and an excellent course of
popular lectures has been arranged. The exhibition will
remain open for a month.
THE death is announced of Dr. H. Cohn, extraordinary professor of diseases of the eyes in the University of Breslau, distinguished by his studies in school hygiene.
THE new Japanese pharmacopoeia is to be published shortly. The names of all drugs and chemicals will be given in Japanese characters only. Foreign preparations which have been patented under fancy names will be excluded.
10 a.m. on
IT is reported from Hong Kong that at Tuesday, September 18, a typhoon which sprang up there caused enormous damage to shipping and great loss of life. The storm lasted for two hours.
THE death is announced of Dr. Morache, professor of medical jurisprudence in the Bordeaux Medical Faculty; and of Prof. Leon Prunier, director of the Pharmacie centrale des Hôpitaux civils in Paris, at the age of sixtyfive. Prunier's scientific work touched upon many branches of chemistry; his book "Les Medicaments chimiques" (in two volumes) was a recognised treatise in France.
THE Association des Industriels de France contre les Accidents du Travail intends offering a prize of 8000 francs for an international competition for a new galvanic battery or accumulator which, while having a large output for its size and weight, must not be dangerous in use. Inquiries should be addressed to the director of the society, rue de Lutèce, Paris, who will supply further particulars, and to whom competitors must send their descriptions and drawings.
A COMPLETE change of weather set in during the past week, and the drought which continued with such persistence during the closing week of August and the first
fortnight of September was at length thoroughly broken. Rain fell on several days over the entire country, and the rainfall in the aggregate now almost equals the average for the month in many parts of England. Temperatures are again in agreement with the normal, and in the past week the exposed thermometer at Greenwich fell below the freezing point on two consecutive nights.
THE fifth biennial meeting of the International Commission for Scientific Aëronautics will be held this year at Milan, from September 30 to October 7. A programme for continuing the meteorological exploration of the atmosphere will be adopted (says Science), and it is expected that the president of the commission, Prof. Hergesell, will state the results of soundings of the atmosphere, which he has just executed near Spitsbergen from the Prince of Monaco's yacht, and that Messrs. Teisserenc de Bort and Rotch will give an account of the second Franco-American expedition which they sent last winter to the tropical Atlantic for a similar purpose.
WE learn from the Times that the arrangements for the international balloon race which is to take place on September 30 have been completed. Sixteen balloons will be employed in the race, and the aëronauts will represent Great Britain, France, Germany, America, Italy, Belgium, and Spain. The arrangements for the race have been made by the Aéro Club of France, and the start will be made from the Place de la Concorde, Paris. The moving spirit in the contest is Mr. Gordon Bennett, who offers a challenge cup, value 500l., and 500l. in cash for the winner. The prizes will be awarded to the aëronaut who goes the furthest distance. The longest distance yet made in any of these expeditions has been 1200 miles, from Paris to Kieff, in Russia, but it is possible that under favourable conditions that record may be broken.
A CONFERENCE of members of the Museums Association and others interested in museum work will be held at Chester on Saturday afternoon, September 22, for the purpose of discussing subjects of common interest to those concerned in the work of museums, art galleries, and kindred institutions. The following papers will be read and discussed:-The nature of the archæological collections in the Grosvenor Museum, Chester, R. Newstead; the nature of the natural history collections in the Grosvenor Museum, Chester, A. Newstead; the comparative method in the exhibition of museum specimens, J. A. Clubb; museum taxidermy, and the status of the taxidermist, J. W. Cutmore.
THE Hull Municipal Museum recently purchased the extensive geological collection formed by the late Mr. George Lether, of Scarborough. Mr. Lether was well known as an enthusiastic collector, and for many years he was engaged in making a collection of the smaller species to be found in the fossiliferous deposits which are so well represented around Scarborough. The Kelloways Rock, Calcareous Grit, Coral Rag, Cornbrash, the Millepore limestone and Scarborough limestone were well known to him, and from these various strata he obtained the collection now at Hull. It is particularly strong in the smaller gasteropods, but in addition contains a fine series. of sea-urchins, terebratulæ, ammonites, corals, &c. The collection is one of exceptional value, and is a welcome addition to the local geological collection in the Hull Museum.
REPORTS of disturbances in the earth's crust continue to be received. During the past few days the following shocks
of a severe character have been felt-September 12, Santiago de Chile. Between 1.20 a.m. and pm. numerous earthquake shocks were felt in the region situated between the provinces of Santiago and Maule The shocks are attributed to the Chillan volcano, which is in full activity. Near the mouth of the Bio-Bio River an upheaval has been produced, leaving part of the bed of the river dry. September 13, Sicily.-At 10.43 a.m. a slight shock of earthquake was felt at Palermo, and was succeeded by other shocks later. The inhabitants at Termini and in the neighbouring district are in an indescribable state of panic. All the houses in Trabia are cracked, and many have collapsed. Slight shocks were felt at Rioja, Chilecito, and Santiago del Estero. A more violent shock occurred at Tinogasta, followed by loud rumbling. September 17, Shemakha, Transcaucasia.— An earthquake, lasting ten seconds, was felt at 3 p.m. The disturbance appeared to move in a direction from northwest to south-east.
THE subject of malaria in Greece was dealt with by Prof. Ronald Ross, F.R.S., on Monday, in the course of an address at a luncheon given at Liverpool to Prof. Savas, of the University of Athens. Prof. Ross said that at the request of the Lake Copias Company (Limited) the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine had made an investigation as to the prevalence of malaria in Greece. He went out to that country last May, and found a very serious state of affairs. The population was practically confined to the valleys, the mountains being almost uninhabitable, and in these valleys he found a good deal of malaria. The statistics of the whole country showed that out of a population of, roughly, 2 millions, there were 250,000 cases of malaria every year, and the deaths were about 1760. Last year the number of cases increased to 960,000, and the deaths to 5916. He was of opinion that it was malaria which checked the life of ancient Greece, and that the disease was introduced, or at all events reinforced, at the time that Greece brought natives of Asia into the country. The movement initiated by Dr. Savas to deal with the plague was one which should recommend itself to all interested in the progress of
A DETAILED description is given in the Engineer (vol. cii., No. 2644) of some interesting models of rock-drilling and boring machinery that have been added to the cases devoted to this branch of mechanics at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
AN interesting incident of a sparrow caught in a spider's web is reported to the Spectator of September 8 by Mr. B. G. Tours, writing from the British Consulate in Chinkiang, China. The web was built across a brick arch, and the sparrow, a full-grown bird, flying through it head downwards became caught in it. All its efforts to release itself only served to add to its discomfort, and the bird soon became exhausted and gave up struggling. Mr. Tours then released it, and he adds that it was looking and evidently being very uncomfortable in his extra clothes of cobweb." During the whole proceeding the very large spider had not attempted to interfere with the bird, and would probably have waited until it was dead before doing so.
IN Engineering of September 14 there is a long description, and a large number of excellent illustrations, of the quadruple-screw steam-turbine-driven 25-knot Cunard liner Mauretania, to be launched on September 20 from the Wallsend shipyard. The following are the dimensions of