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organisation seems to be rather to com- of a substance, possessing the whiteness bine substances into more complicated of silver, formed at the negative point. and diversified arrangements, than to re A inixture of baryres and red oxide of duce them to simple elements."

mercury, in the saine proportions, was From the fixed alkalies, the professor electrified in the same manner. A small proceeded to the earths, which are non mass of solid amalgain adhered to the neconductors of electricity. The alkalies gative wire, which evidently contained a become conducting substances by fusion: substance that produced barytes by expothe infusible nature of the earths, ren sure to air, with the absorption of oxygen; dei rd it impossible to operate upon them and which occasioned the evolution of in this state: the strong affinity of their hydrogen from water, leaving pure merbases for oxygen would not admit of their cury, and producing a solution of barytes. bodies being acted upon by solution in Mixtures of lime, strontites, magnesia, water; and the only methods that proved and red oxide of mercury, treated in the successful, were those by which they were sanie, manner, give similar amalgams, operated upon by electricity in some of froin which the alkaline earths were retheir combinatious, or of combining them generated by the action of air and water. at the moment of their decomposition by While Mr. Davy was pursuing these electricity, in metallic alloys, so as to ob- experiments, he heard that Professor Bertain evidences of their nature and proper. zelius, and Dr. Poutin, of Stockholm, had ties.

succeeded in decomposing barytes and On this plan, Mr. Davy undertook a lime, by negatively electrifying mercury series of experiments on Barytes, Stron- in contact with them, and that in this way tites, and Lime, employing upon them they had obtained amalgams of the me the same methods as he had used in the tals of these earths. Mr. Davy repeated decomposition of the fixed alkalies. Gas the experiments with a battery of 500, and was, in each case, copiously evolved, obtained the most perfect success. The which was inflammable; and the earths, mercury gradually became less fluid, and where in contact with the negative metal- after a few minutes was covered with a lic wires, became dark-coloured, and ex- white film of barytes; and when the amal. hibited small points, having a metallic gàm was thrown into water, hydrogen was lustre, which, when exposed to air, gra- disengaged, the mercury remained free, dually became white: they became white and a solution of barytes was formed. likewise when plunged under water, and The result with lime was precisely analowhen examined by a magnifier, a green- gous, so also was 'that with strontites; ish powder seemed to separate from with magnesia it was with more difficulty them.

obtained. All these amalgams may be He then made mixtures of dry pot-ash preserved a considerable period under in excess, and dry barytes, lime, stron- naphtha, but in a length of time they be. tites, and magnesia, brought them into come covered with a white crust. When fusion, and acted upon them in the vol- exposed to air, a very few ininutes only taic circuit, as he had done in obtaining were required, for the oxygenation of the the metals of the alkalies. He hoped, by bases of the earths. this means, that the potassium, and the In several cases, Mr. Davy exposed inetals of the earths, might be deoxygen- the amalgams of the metals of the earths, ated at the same time, and enter into containing only a very small quantity of combination in alloy. Metallic substan- mercury, to the air, on a delicate baces appeared less fusible than potassium, lance, and he always found that, during which burnt the instant after they had the conversion of metal into earth, formed, and which, by burning, produced there was a considerable increase of a mixture of pot-ash, and the earth em- weight. He also found that, when the ployed. He had found, that when a mix- metals of the earths were burned in a ture of pot-ash, and the oxides of mercury, small quantity of air, they absorbed oxytin, or lead, was electrified in the Voltaic gen, gamed weight, and were in a highly circuit, the decomposition was very ra-, raustic or unslaked state; for they propid, and an amalgam or an alloy of potas- duced strong heat by the contact of water, sium was obtained. He trie

the same

d did not effe esce during their solua on a mixture of two parts of barytes, and tion in acids. Hence it is inferred, that one part of oxide of silver very slightly the evidence for the composition of the moistened; when it was electrified by iron alkaline earths, is of the same kind as that wires, an effervescence took place at both for the composition of the common mepoints of contact, and a minute quantity tallic oxides; and the principles of their

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organisation seems to be rather to com- of a substance, possessing the whiteness bine substances into more coinplicated of silver, formed at the negative point. and diversified arrangements, than to re A inixture of barytes and red oxide of duce them to simple elements."

mercury, in the saine proportions, was From the fixed alkalies, the professor electrified in the saine manner. A small proceeded to the earths, which are non- mass of solid amalgaın adhered to the neconductors of electricity. The alkalies gative wire, which evidently contained a become conducting substances by fusion: substance that produced barytes by expothe infusible nature of the earths, ren sure to air, with the absorption of oxygen; dei rd it impossible to operate upon them and which occasioned the evolution of in this state: the strong affinity of their hydrogen from water, leaving pure merbases for oxygen would not admit of their cury, and producing a solution of barytes. bodies being acted upon by solution in Mixtures of lime, strontites, magnesia, water; and the only methods that proved and red oxide of mercury, treated in the successful, were those by which they were san:e manner, gwe similar amalgams, operated upon by electricity in some of froin which the alkaline earths were retheir combinatious, or of combining them generated by the action of air and water. at the moment of their decomposition by While Mr. Davy was pursuing these electricity, in metallic alloys, so as to ob- experiments, he heard that Professor Bertain evidences of their nature and proper. zelius, and Dr. Pontin, of Stockholm, had ties.

succeeded in decomposing barytes and On this plan, Mr. Davy undertook a lime, by negatively electrifying mercury series of experiments on Barytes, Stron- in contact with them, and that in this way tites, and Lime, employing upon them they had obtained amalgams of the mea the same methods as he Lad used in the tals of these earths. Mr. Davy repeated decomposition of the fixed alkalies. Gas the experiments with a battery of 500, and was, in each case, copiously evolved, obtained the most perfect success. The which was inflammable; and the earths, mercury gradually became less fluid, and where in contact with the negative metal- after a few minutes was covered with a lic wires, became dark-coloured, and ex- white film of barytes; and when the amal. hibited small points, having a metallic gam was thrown into water, hydrogen was lustre, wbich, when exposed to air, gra- disengaged, the inercury remained free, dually became white: they became white and a solution of ytes was formed, likewise when plunged under water, and The result with lime was precisely analowhen examined by a magnifier, a green- gous, so also was that with strontites; ish powder seemed to separate from with magnesia it was with more difficulty them.

obtained. All these amalgams may be He then made mixtures of dry pot-ash preserved a considerable period under in excess, and dry barytes, lime, stron- naphtha, but in a length of time they be. tites, and magnesia, brought them into come covered with a white crust. When fusion, and acted upon them in the vol- exposed to air, a very few minutes only taic circuit, -as he had done in obtaining were required, for the oxygenation of the the metals of the alkalies. He hoped, by bases of the earths. this means, that the potassium, and the In several cases, Mr. Davy exposed metals of the earths, might be deoxygen- the arnalgams of the metals of the earths, ated at the same tiine, and enter into containing only a very small quantity of combination in alloy. Metallic substan- mercury, to the air, on a delicate baces appeared less fusible than potassiun, lance, and he always found that, during which burnt the instant after they had the conversion of metal into earth, formed, and which, by burning, produced there was a considerable increase of a mixture of pot-ash, and the earth em- weight. He also found that, when the ployed. He had found, that when a mix- metals of the earths were burned in a ture of pot-ash, and the oxides of mercury, small quantity of air, they absorbed oxytin, or lead, was electrified in the Voltaic gen, gained weight, and were in a highly circuit, the decomposition was very ra- raustic or unslaked state; for they propid, and an amalgam or an alloy of potas- duced strong heat by the contact of water, sium was obtained. He tried the same and did not effervesce during their solue on a mixture of two parts of barytes, and tion in acids. Hence it is inferred, that one part of oxide of silver very slightly the evidence for the composition of the moistened; when it was electrified by iron alkaline earths, is of the same kind as that wires, an effervescence took place at both for the composition of the common me. points of contact, and a minute quantity tallic oxides; and the principles of their

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tile and acrid substance by the absorp- attraction of acids with alkalis, by means tion of oxygen, does the amalgam, of of which 100 figures are made to repreammonium produce the volatilc alkali; sent the aftinities of 100 different salts, and if we suppose that ammonia is metals which it would otherwise require about lized, by being combined with hydrogen, 5000 words to express. and freed from water, the same reason February 16, a paper by M. Brodie, ing will apply to the other metals, with describing a twin tietus, nearly the full this difference, that the adherence of size, seven months old, and without either their phlogiston, of hydrogen, would be heart, liver, or gall bladder, was read, Gxactly in the inverse ratio of their at- This was considered the best formed traction for oxygen. In platina, it would fætus which has hitherto been known be combined with the greatest energy; in without a beart, although the author, ammonium with the least; and if it be se- cited a considerable number. It appears parable from any of the metals, without that all such children have been twins, the aid of a new combination, we may ex and that t' e present was quite as large pect that this result will be afforded by as the other which had its organs come the most volatile and oxidable, such as plete. arsenic, or the metals of the fixed alka Captain Burney furnished two papers, lies, submitted to intense heat, under one on the motion of heavy bodies in the electrical polarities, and having the pres- Thames, detailing some experiments bure of the atmosphere removed. with loaded sticks, to ascertain why.

Mr. Davy concludes by hoping, that loaded barges sailed faster than the curthe new facts which he has discovered, rent, or than unloaded barges; but his may aumit of many applications, and ex- experiments only tended to confirm the plain some phenomena in nature. “The fact, that the heaviest end of a pole metals of the earths” he says, “cannot always went first with the current.

The exist at the surface of the globe; but it is other was a plan for measuring a ship's very possible that they may form a part way at sea, by means of a steel-yard and of the interior; and such an assumption line, where a pound weight should inwould offer a theory for the phenomena dicate a mile, or more or less, according of volcanoes, the formation of laras, and to the power of the instrument. the excitement and effects of subterrane February 23, a letter from Mr. Knight ous beat; for let it be granted that the to the President was read, containing mctals of the earths and alkalies, in alloy some farther observations on the sap of with common metals, exist in large quan- trees, the formation of radicles from the tities beneath the surface, then their acci- bark, and also that of the buds from the dental exposure to the action of air and same source, instead of their being prowater, must produce the effect of subter- duced from the alburnum,' as ranean fire, and a product of earing and posed. stony inatter analogous to lavas. Theiu A paper by Mr. Horn, on a peculiar minous appearance of those metcors joint discovered in the squalus marimus, connected with the fall of stones, is one (basking shark) lately cast on the seaof the extracrdinary circumstances of shore, was laid before the Society, acthese wonderful phenomena. This effect companied by a drawing. may be accounted for, by supposing that the substances which fall, come into our WERNERIAN SOCIETY. atmosphere in a metallic state, and that the earths of which they principally con

T a Meeting of the Wernerian Na. A

tural History Society, of Edinburgh, sist are results of combustion,”

on the 11th of February, Professor JameAt the meeting of the Royal Society, son read a short account of the OryctoFebruary 2, a most curious and in- gnostic characters, and genynostic relateresting paper, by Mr. Davy, was read, tions of the mineral, named Cryolite, giving an account of various experiments from West Greenland.-Mr. P. Neile on the action of potassium on ammonia, read a description of a rare species of from which it appears that a considerable whiale, lately stranded near Alloa, in the quantity of nitrogen can be made to Firth of Forth. It measured forty-three disappear, and can be regenerated. feet in length, had a small dorsal fin; When it disappears, nothing can be ob- longitudinal sulci on the thorax; short tained in its place but oxygen, and hy- whalebones, (fanons) in the upper jaw; drogen; and when it is formed, its ele- the under jaw somewhat wider, and a mentary matter is furnished by water. very little longer than the upper; both

February 9, Dr. Young furnished a jaws accuminated, the under one ending series of numerical tables of the elective in a sharp long ridge. From these chaMONTHLY Mag, No. 184,

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