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THE CHEMICAL NEWS, January 13, 1899.

THE

CHEMICAL NEWS

JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE.

WITH WHICH IS INCORPORATED THE "CHEMICAL OAZETTE."

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IN ALL ITS APPLICATIONS TO -.■ ■ •

PHARMACY, ARTS, AND MANUFACTURES.

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LONDON:
PUBLISHED AT THE OFFICE, 6 & 7, CREED LANE, LUDGATE HlLt, E.G.

AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.

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[ Chemical Nbwi,

I an. 13, 1899.

THE NEW YORK

PUBLICLIBRARY

122483

ASTOR, LENOX AND

TILDEN FOUNDATIONS.

R 1809 L

LONDON i

PRINTED BY EDWIN JOHN DAVBY, 6 & 7, CREED LANE, LUDGATB HILL,

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ON THE COMPANIONS OF ARGON.* By WILLIAM RAMSAY, F.R.S., and MORRIS W. TRAVERS.

For many months past we have been engaged in preparing a large quantity of argon from atmospheric air by absorbing the oxygen with red-hot copper, and the nitrogen with magnesium. The amount we have at our disposal is some 18 litres. It will be remembered that one of us, in conjunction with Dr. Norman Collie, attempted to separate argon into light and heavy portions by means of diffusion, and although there was a slight difference] in density between the light and the heavy portions, yet we thought the difference too slight to warrant the conclusion that argon is a mixture. But our experience with helium taught us that it is a matter of the greatest difficulty to separate a very small portion of a heavy gas from a large admixture of a light gas; and it therefore appeared advisable to re-investigate argon, with the view of ascertaining whether it is indeed complex.

In the meantime Dr. Hampson had placed at our disposal his resources for preparing large quantities of liquid air, and it was a simple matter to liquefy the argon which we had obtained by causing the liquid air to boil under reduced pressure. By means of a two-way stopcock the argon was allowed to enter a small bulb, cooled by liquid air, after passing through purifying reagents. The two-way stopcock was connected with mercury gasholders, as well as with a Topler pump, by means of which any part of the apparatus could be thoroughly exhauated. The argon separated as a liquid, but at the same time a considerable quantity of solid was observed to separate partially round the sides of the tube, and partially beiow the surface of the liquid. After about 13 or 14 litres of the argon had been condensed, the stopcock was closed, and the temperature was kept low for some minutes in order to establish a condition of equilibrium between the liquid and vapour. In the meantime the connnecting tubes were exhausted and two fractions of gas were taken off by lowering the mercury reservoirs, each fraction consisting of about 50 or 60 cubic cm. These fractions should contain the light gas. In a previous experiment of the same kind, a small fraction of the light gas had been separated, and was found to have the density 172. The pressure of the air was now allowed to rise, and the argon distilled away into a separate gasholder. The white solid which had condensed in the upper portion of the bulb did not appear to evaporate

'A Paper read before the Royal Society, June 16th. 1898. i Density of lighter portion, 1993; of heavier portion, 2001 {Roy. Sot, Proc., vol. lx., p. 206).

quickly, and that portion which had separated in the liquid did not perceptibly diminish in amount. Towards the end, when almost all the air had boiled away, the last portions of the liquid evaporated slowly, and, when the remaining liquid was only sufficient to cover the solid, the bulb was placed in connection with the Topler pump, and the exhaustion continued until the liquid had entirely disappeared. Only the solid now remained, and the pressure of the gas in the apparatus was only a few millimetres. The bulb was now placed in connection with mercury gas-holders, and the reservoirs were lowered. The solid volatilised very slowly, and was collected in two fractions, each of about 70 or 80 cubic cm. Before the second fraction had been taken off, the air had entirely boiled away, and the jacketing tube had been removed. After about a minute, on wiping off the coating of snow with the finger, the solid was seen to melt, and volatilise into the gas-holder.

The first fraction of gas was mixed with oxygen, and sparked over soda. After removal of the oxygen with phosphorus it was introduced into a vacuum-tube, and the spectrum examined. It was characterised by a number of bright red lines, among which one was particularly brilliant, and a brilliant yellow line, while the green and the blue lines were numerous, but comparatively inconspicuous. The wave-length of the yellow line, measured by Mr. Baly, was 58496, with a second-order grating spectrum. It is, therefore, not identical with sodium, helium, or krypton, all of which equal it in intensity. The wave-lengths of these lines are as follows:—

[table]

The density of this gas, which we propose to name "neon" (new), waB next determined. A bulb of 32*35 cubic cm. capacity was filled with this sample of neon at 6124 mm. pressure, and at a temperature of 19-92 it weighed 0-03184 gnu.

Density of neon .. 14*67.

This number approaches to what we had hoped to obtain. In order to bring neon into its position in the periodic table, a density of 10 or 11 is required. Assuming the density of argon to be 20, and that of pure neon 10, the sample contains 53*3 per cent of the new gas. If the density of neon be taken as ri, there is 59-2 per cent present in the sample. The fact that the density has decreased from 17-2 to 14-7 shows that there is a consider

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