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vity, in the liquid state, of a body having so high a fusing temperature as cast iron is attended with many difficulties. By an indirect method, however, and operating upon a sufficiently large scale, the author has been enabled to make the determination with considerable accuracy. A conical vessel of wrought iron of about 2 feet in depth and 1.5 foot diameter of base, and with an open neck of 6 inches in diameter, being formed, was accurately weighed empty, and also when filled with, water level to the brim; the weight of its contents in water, reduced to the specific gravity of distilled water at 60° F., was thus obtained. The vessel being dried was now filled to the brim with molten grey cast iron, additions of molten metal being made to maintain the vessel full until it had attained its maximum temperature (yellow heat in daylight) and maximum capacity. The vessel and its content of cast iron when cold were weighed again, and thus the weight of the cast iron obtained. The capacity of the vessel when at a maximum was calculated by applying to its dimensions at 60° the expansion calculated from the coefficient of linear dilatation, as given by Laplace, Riemann, and others, and from its range of increased temperature; and the weight of distilled water held by the vessel thus expanded was calculated from the weight of its contents when the vessel and water were at 60° F.

We have now, after applying some small corrections, the elements necessary for determining the specific gravity of the cast iron which filled the vessel when in the molten state, having the absolute weights of equal volumes of distilled water at 60° and of molten iron. The mean specific gravity of the cast iron which filled the vessel was then determined by the usual methods. The final result is that, whereas the specific gravity of the cast iron at 60° F. was 7.170, it was only 6.650 when in the molten condition; cast iron, therefore, is less dense in the molten than in the solid state. Nor does it expand in volume at the instant of consolidation, as was conclusively proved by another experiment. Two similar 10-inch spherical shells, 1.5 inch in thickness, were heated to nearly the same high temperature in an oven, one being permitted to cool empty as a measure of any permanent dilatation which both might sustain by mere heating and cooling again, a fact well known to occur. The other shell, when at a bright red heat, was filled with molten cast iron and permitted to cool, its dimensions being taken by accurate instruments at intervals of 30 minutes, until it had returned to the temperature of the atmosphere (53° F.), when, after applying various corrections, rendered necessary by the somewhat complicated conditions of a spherical mass of cast iron losing heat from its exterior, it was found that the dimensions of the shell, whose interior surface was in perfect contact with that of the solid ball which filled it, were, within the limit of experimental error, those of the empty shell when that also was cold (53° F.), the proof being conclusive that no expansion in volume of the contents of the shell had taken place. The central

portion was much less dense than the exterior, the opposite of what must have occurred had expansion in volume on cooling taken place.

It is a fact, notwithstanding what precedes, and is well known to ironfounders, that certain pieces of cold cast iron do float on molten cast iron of the same quality, though they cannot do so through their buoyancy. As various sorts of cast iron vary in specific gravity at 60° F., from nearly 7.700 down to 6.300, and vary also in dilatability, some cast irons may thus float or sink in molten cast iron of different qualities from themselves through buoyancy or negative buoyancy alone; but where the cold cast iron floats upon molten cast iron of less specific gravity than itself, the author shows that some other force, the nature of which yet remains to be investigated, keeps it floating; this the author has provisionally called the repellent force, and has shown that its amount is, cæteris paribus, dependent upon the relation that subsists between the volume and effective" surface of the floating piece. By "effective" surface is meant all such part of the immersed solid as is in a horizontal plane or can be reduced to one. The repellent force has also relations to the difference in temperature between the solid and the molten metal on which it floats.


The author then extends his experiments to lead, a metal known to contract greatly in solidifying, and, with respect to which, no one has suggested that it expands at the moment of consolidation. He finds that pieces of lead having a specific gravity of 11-361, and being at 70° F., float or sink upon molten lead of the same quality, whose calculated specific gravity was 11:07, according to the relation that subsists between the volume and the "effective" surface of the solid piece, thin pieces with large surface always floating, and vice versa. An explanation is offered of the true cause of the ascending and descending currents observed in very large "ladles of liquid cast iron, as stated by Messrs. Nasmyth and Carpenter. The facts are shown to be in accordance with those above mentioned, and when rightly interpreted to be at variance with the views of these authors.


Lastly, the author proceeds to examine the statements made by these writers, as to the floating of lumps of solidified iron furnaceslag upon the same when in a molten state; he examines the conditions of the alleged facts, and refers to his own experiments upon the total contraction of such slags, made at Barrow Iron-works (a full account of which he has given in his paper on "The true Nature and Origin of Volcanic Heat and Energy," printed in Phil. Trans. 1873), as conclusively proving that such slags are not denser in the molten than in the solid state, and that the floating referred to is due to other causes. The author returns thanks to several persons for facilities liberally afforded him in making these experiments.

"Spectroscopic Notes.-No. I. On the Absorption of great Thicknesses of Metallic and Metalloidal Vapours." By J. Norman Lockyer, F.R.S.

It has been assumed hitherto that a great thickness of a gas or

vapour causes its radiation, and therefore its absorption, to assume more and more the character of a continuous spectrum as the thickness is increased.

It has been shown by Dr. Frankland and myself that such a condition obtains when the density of a vapour is increased, and my later researches have shown that it is brought about in two ways. Generalizing the work I have already done, without intending thereby to imply necessarily that the rule will hold universally, or that it exhausts all the phenomena, it may be stated that metallic elements of low specific gravity approach the continuous spectrum by widening their lines, while metallic elements of high specific gravity approach the continuous state by increasing the number of their lines. Hence in the vapours of Na, Ca, Al, and Mg we have a small number of lines which broaden, few short lines being added by increase of density; in Fe, Co, Ni, &c. we have many lines which do not so greatly broaden, many short lines being added.

The observations I made in India during the total solar eclipse of 1871 were against the assumption referred to; and if we are to hold that the lines, both "fundamental" and "short," which we get in a spectrum, are due to atomic impact (defining by the word atom, provisionally, that mass of matter which gives us a line-spectrum), then, as neither the quantity of the impacts nor the quality is necessarily altered by increasing the thickness of the stratum, the assumption seems also devoid of true theoretical foundation.

One thing is clear, that if the assumed continuous spectrum is ever reached by increased thickness, as by increased density, it must be reached through the "short-line" stage.

To test this point I have made the following experiments :

1. An iron tube about 5 feet long was filled with dry hydrogen; pieces of sodium were carefully placed at intervals along the whole length of the tube, except close to the ends. The ends were closed with glass plates. The tube was placed in two gasfurnaces in line and heated. An electric lamp was placed at one end of the tube and a spectroscope at the other.

When the tube was red-hot and filled with sodium-vapour throughout, as nearly as possible, its whole length, a stream of hydrogen slowly passing through the tube, the line D was seen to be absorbed; it was no thicker than when seen under similar conditions in a test-tube, and far thinner than the line absorbed by sodium-vapour in a test-tube, if the density be only slightly increased.

Only the longest "fundamental" line was absorbed.

The line was thicker than the D line in the solar spectrum, in which spectrum all the short lines are reversed.

2. As it was difficult largely to increase either the temperature or the density of the sodium-vapour, I have made another series of experiments with iodine-vapour.

I have already pointed out the differences indicated by the spectroscope between the quality of the vibrations of the "atom "

of a metal and of the "subatom" of a metalloid (by which term I define that mass of matter which gives us a spectrum of channelled spaces, and builds up the continuous spectrum in its own way). Thus, in iodine, the short lines, brought about by increase of density in an atomic spectrum, are represented by the addition of a system of well-defined "beats" and broad bands of continuous absorption to the simplest spectrum, which is one exquisitely rhythmical, the intervals increasing from the blue to the red, and in which the beats are scarcely noticeable.

On increasing the density of a very small thickness by a gentle heating, the beats and bands are introduced, and, as the density is still further increased, the absorption becomes continuous throughout the whole of the visible spectrum.

The absorption of a thickness of 5 feet 6 inches of iodine-vapour at a temperature of 59° F. has given me no indication of bands, while the beats were so faint that they were scarcely visible.

Spectroscopic Notes.-No. II. On the Evidence of Variation in Molecular Structure." By J. Norman Lockyer, F.R.S.

1. In an accompanying note I have shown that when different degrees of dissociating power are employed the spectral effects are different.

2. In the present note I propose to give a preliminary account of some researches which have led me to the conclusion that, starting with a mass of elemental matter, such mass of matter is continually broken up as the temperature (including in this term the action of electricity) is raised.

3. The evidence upon which I rely is furnished by the spectroscope in the region of the visible spectrum.

4. To begin by the extreme cases, all solids give us continuous spectra; all vapours produced by the high-tension spark give us line spectra.

5. Now the continuous spectrum may be, and as a matter of fact is, observed in the case of chemical compounds, whereas all compounds known as such are resolved by the high-tension spark into their constituent elements. We have a right, therefore, to assume that an element in the solid state is a more complex mass than the element in a state of vapour, as its spectrum is the same as that of a mass which is known to be more complex.

6. The spectroscope supplies us with intermediate stages between these extremes.

(a) The spectra vary as we pass from the induced current with the jar to the spark without the jar, to the voltaic arc, or to the highest temperature produced by combustion. The change is always in the same direction; and here, again, the spectrum we obtain from elements in a state of vapour (a spectrum characterized by spaces and bands) is similar to that we obtain from vapours of which the compound nature is unquestioned.

(3) At high temperatures, produced by combustion, the vapours of some elements (which give us neither line- nor channelled space

spectra at those temperatures, although we undoubtedly get line spectra when electricity is employed, as stated in 4) give us a con tinuous spectrum at the more refrangible end, the less refrangible end being unaffected.

(7) At ordinary temperatures, in some cases, as in selenium, the more refrangible end is absorbed; in others the continuous spectrum in the blue is accompanied by a continuous spectrum in the red. On the application of heat, the spectrum in the red disappears, that in the blue remains; and further, as Faraday has shown in his researches on gold-leaf, the masses which absorb in the blue may be isolated from those which absorb in the red. It is well known that many substances known to be compounds in solution give us absorption in the blue or blue and red; and, also, that the addition of a substance known to be compound (such as water) to substances known to be compound which absorb the blue, superadds an absorption in the red.

7. In those cases which do not conform to what has been stated the limited range of the visible spectrum must be borne in mind. Thus I have little doubt that the simple gases, at the ordinary conditions of temperature and pressure, have an absorption in the ultra-violet, and that highly compound vapours are often colourless because their absorption is beyond the red, with or without an absorption in the ultra-violet. Glass is a good case in point; others will certainly suggest themselves as opposed to the opacity of the metals.

8. If we assume, in accordance with what has been stated, that the various spectra to which I have referred are really due to different molecular aggregations, we shall have the following series, going from the more simple to the more complex :—

First stage of complexity of molecule

Second stage....

Third stage

Fourth stage..

Fifth stage


Channelled space-spectrum.

Continuous absorption at the blue
end not reaching to the less refran-
gible end. (This absorption may
into channelled spaces.)
Continuous absorption at the red end
not reaching to the more refran-
gible end. (This absorption may
break up into channelled spaces.)
Unique continuous absorption.

9. I shall content myself in the present note by giving one or two instances of the passage of spectra from one stage to another, beginning at the fifth stage.

From 5 to 4.

1. The absorption of the vapours of K in the red-hot tube, described in another note, is at first continuous. As the action of the heat is continued, this continuous spectrum breaks in the middle; one part of it retreats to the blue, the other to the red.

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