« AnteriorContinuar »
FROM THE ELEMENT TO THE ETHER
grow. The support is invisible from house plants which in their domesti- and a reasoning power—if the physical the plant's starting point. There is cation have assumed more or less arti sense be admitted as such. These senses no odor which, as is possible in the ficial forms, will, on being returned to might be termed ‘passive' mentality: that location of water, might give the plant their original haunts, reassume their is, senses which, to perform their funcsome clue to the direction in which its original forms natural forms.
tions, possibly do not require any comsupport may be found. The only ex There must be in the plant some
mand of the will, but are merely natural
to the plants. planation seems to be the existence in prompting sense which makes it real
"If, however, these seven senses are but a plant of a psychic sense.
ize any unfitness in its life or being. passive powers, and not in any way an There is at least one other sense
evidence of intelligence in the plant, there which is possessed by plants in “Plants, then, have seven senses : sight, are certain actual and purposeful motions marked degree. This
may be called hearing, feeling, taste, smell, a psychic of the plant which might be called its the physical sense. For example, most sense, and a physical sense; or six senses 'active' mentality."
THE ENERGY LOCKED UP IN THE ATOM THAT
MAY YET BE RELEASED
HORTLY after the discovery the liquid air is removed the emanation activity we are present at the birth of radium Sir William Crookes again becomes a gas, and makes its pres- of the comparatively well-known subwas able to announce that it
ence seen by causing a piece of phosphor- stance helium. There are many who
escent material to fluoresce. Such an exhad been possible to devise an
go very much further. Sir IVilliam instrument that did not, indeed, for demonstration purposes, and is a periment can be arranged on a large scale
Ramsay and others consider that the make it possible actually to see an atom, striking one, but it is particularly for the evidence is accumulating to show that it but that enabled the observer to watch experiments which established the facts
has been possible to synthesize helium the action of a single atom. The spin- about emanation that our admiration must
from hydrogen, neon from hydrogen thariscope, as the instrument is called, be reserved.”
and oxygen, argon from sulphur and consists of a flat surface of phosphor
hydrogen, and krypton from silenium escent material above which is mounted The most attractive feature in con and hydrogen. At the Chemical Society a needle that has been scratched against nection with the work is the way in of London last year it seemed possible the side of a vessel which has contained which recent theoretical results and that Professor Collie and Professor radium. The observer looks through theoretical assumptions have been veri- Patterson had succeeded in demonstramagnifying glass and as the speck of fied and confirmed by experiments that ting that this was so as regards two of radium sends out alpha particles in all have into more and more exact
them. Only last year, again, Profesdirections, he is able to see successive relation with theory as their degree of
sor Soddy, in opening a discussion besplashes of light as one particle after accuracy has increased:
fcre a meeting of chemists in England, another is hurled on to the phosphor
drew attention to the view that in the escent material at
a speed about a "It was assumed, for instance, by Pro case of those elements whose evolution tenth that of light. fessor Rutherford in the early days that
was still proceeding each of them conThat such a sight would ever be seen
each alpha particle carried a standard sisted, on an average, of not less than
charge of positive electricity, known as must a few years ago, notes a bul
four substances, the atomic weights of the ionic charge. It has already been seen letin of the Chemical Society (Lon- that the super-activity of radium is due
which varied by as much as eight units. don), have been thought impossible, as to the fact that ordinary radium bromide
He went further than this and sugindeed it might well be when it is contains entangled with it several decom- gested that each of the known elements remembered that if a drop of water position products of radium each of which might in reality be a group of nonwere to be magnified to the size of the is itself disintegrating. It was an early separable elements occupying the same earth its three-atom molecules would observation, reading like a fairy tale of place—in other words, that each of the be intermediate between the size of shot alchemy, that if a radium salt was sepa
so-called elements might, in reality, be and cannon balls. Even this achieve- rise it lost temporarily a portion of its rated from the products to which it gave
a group rather than an individual. ment, however, has been surpassed re
The net deduction from these obserradio-activity, which was found in the cently by a brilliant demonstration, emanation given off, and that the impov- vations taken together has reference to Making use of a chamber of exhausted erished radium regained its activity just the stupendous amount of energy locked air, the experimenter photographs it at in proportion as the other decayed. The up within what we call an atom. It the moment when an alpha particle is sum of the electric charge on the alpha has been argued that the future source passing through it. The particle shat- particles sent out from radium during a of the world's energy will be derived ters the molecules in its path, moisture unit of time during this period of mini- by finding a for artificially is immediately condensed on the shat
mum activity was measured, and this di- breaking up the atom and utilizing the tered particles and it is possible by the vided by the ionic charge gave the stu
When one conpendous number of thirty-six thousand streak of fog to trace exactly the course million as that of the alpha particles which
siders that a gram of radium gives out the particle has pursued. The classical would be emitted every second by about every hour enough heat to melt one and mode of demonstrating the existence of one-thirtieth of an ounce, or one gram,
three-fifths times its own weight of ice, emanation is as follows: of radium bromide."
and that the total amount of heat it is
destined to emit is more than a million “The emanation is got from radium by It may be taken as universally ac times as great as that given out in the dissolving it, and is collected in a flask cepted that several well-known elemixed with oxygen and hydrogen. The ments, such as uranium, radium, tho
formation of one gram of water from
its constituents, it is not surprising that volume of emanation dealt with is usu
rium and actinium and their elementary it should have excited the imaginations ally about the size of a pin's head. The vessel containing the impure emanation products, are having their atoms dis- of men and led them to hope that a is connected to an air-tight arrangement integrated into other atoms at a steady means may be found to unlock the of tubes. A portion of this is cooled with rate with which as yet it has not been energy contained in other atoms and liquid air, and the emanation is con- possible to interfere. It is accepted thus
unlimited store of densed owing to the extreme cold. When also that in the phenomenon of radio energy.
THE MOST AMBITIOUS SPECTROSCOPIC EXPLORATION
OF THE UNIVERSE EVER PLANNED LL modern spectroscopic prog even farther, and say that there is a dif- Union and is now approaching a satis
ress, as Professor C. G. Ab- ference in the position of the spectrum factory completion. It was resolved at bot observes in the last annual lines of the sun according as we take the
a recent meeting of the Union that only report of the Smithsonian In- light from one edge of the sun or the other. For one edge is approaching the
wave lengths which are independently stitution, depends upon the exearth by virtue of the rotation of the sun,
determined with satisfactory agreement act knowledge of the wave lengths of while the other is receding. It is also by three observers with the most apthe lines of absorption or emission of shown that the position of the spectrum proved apparatus should be accepted as the chemical elements. Long ago it was lines depends upon the pressure of the secondary wave length standards. In discovered that sodium and its com gases in which they are produced, so that
accordance with this action of the Solar pounds, when heated to incandescence, it is possible to determine by exact meas
Union, physicists of the highest emigave out a yellow light which, when urements the pressures under which the
nence in this country, in France and in examined by the spectroscope, resolved gases lie in the sun and stars, altho these are so extraordinarily remote that it takes
Germany have been determining with itself into two lines of wave lengths
the utmost possible accuracy the wave differing by some half dozen units of light minutes or years to reach the earth
from them. Finally, it has been shown lengths of certain lines in the spectra measurement. It was also found that by Zeeman that the form of the spectrum
of iron and nickel, selected at nearly when sodium vapor was interposed be- lines of the chemical elements differs ac- equal intervals of wave length. Nearly tween a source of white light, like the cording to wether the light is produced ninety such lines have now been measelectric arc, and the slit of the spectro- in a magnetic field or not. Accordingly ured with satisfactory agreement in scope, there would be found in the it is possible to determine from measure
three or more independent investigaplace of the bright yellow lines of soments of he solar spectrum whether mag
tions and have been adopted by the Indium two dark lines of absorption, netic fields exist in the sun, and, if so,
ternational Solar Union as secondary to what intensity they rise." where light of the arc spectrum was
standards of wave length. The astontaken away.
Similarly, in the spec All these kinds of measurement, ishing accuracy of the results obtained trum of iron, a great number of bright which depend upon extremely slight may be inferred when it is said that lines are found in the green; and if displacements of the spectrum lines, the three independent investigations iron vapor be interposed between an evidently require that great accuracy generally agree to the seventh place of electric arc light and the slit of the shall be obtained in the determinations significant figures. It now remains to spectroscope, a great number of ab- of the positions of these lines in the go over the whole system of spectra of sorption lines will be found at the cor- laboratory. When, about twenty years all the chemical elements and deterresponding places. Also in the spectra ago, Rowland completed his famous in- mine the positions of their lines with of the sun and of many of the stars vestigation of the spectrum of the sun respect to these standard lines of iron, there occur dark lines corresponding and of the chemical elements, it was nickel, and barium which have been exactly in place to the bright lines of thought that the last word had been adopted, and further to go over the the spectra of the chemical elements said upon this, and that no greater ac whole solar spectrum and to determine found upon the earth's surface. From curacy of positions of the spectrum the position of its absorption lines with these indications it is clear that these lines was necessary or indeed possible respect to these standards. Altho this chemical elements exist as vapors in than he had obtained. In recent years, will involve an enormous amount of the substance of the sun and stars. The however, it has been found necessary careful work, it is almost beyond quesnumber of chemical elements in the sun to go over the whole ground again and tion that it will yield unexpected fruits and stars is so considerable and the to determine the positions of the lines of discovery in addition to those of innumber of their spectrum lines is so of the chemical elements and the lines vestigations of the nature of the sun great that the solar and stellar spectra in the spectrum of the sun with a still and of the stars for which it is primaare thronged with dark lines.
greater accuracy than that of Rowland. rily undertaken. The final results will quires a most exact knowledge of the This work has been taken up under be communicated to the academies of positions of the lines to insure for them the auspices of the International Solar science in all the nations. a correct interpretation. Professor Ab, bot* notes further:
“But in recent years a great deal more has been learned by the aid of the spectroscope in regard to the sun and stars than of their mere constitution, for it is found that altho the spectrum lines occur almost exactly in the same position in the spectra of the heavenly bodies that they do in the spectra of the laboratory, yet there are slight and very significant deviations of position which are attributable to the motion of the heavenly bodies to or from the earth. For, just as in the whistle of a locomotive, there is a sharping or flatting of the pitch, depending upon whether the locomotive is coming toward the observer or going away from him, so in the light of the stars there is a displacement of the spectrum lines toward the violet or toward the red, according as the star is approaching toward or receding from the earth. One may go
* Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1914.
A SPECTROSCOPE IN A LABORATORY OF PHYSICS
medium of a series of lines corresponding t“, such things as radium, helion, and the like.
THE GHOST AND THE SKEPTIC
SIR OLIVER LODGE'S INDICTMENT OF THE SCIENTISTS
WHO DENY TELEPATHY HE beginning of the proof that more or less agree—having gone through men of science who hold similar views, there is survival after death a similar training—the majority do not appear to fall between two stools, asmust be sought in telepathy, consider that such a region exists, save in
serts the well-known English physicist declares Sir Oliver Lodge. imagination. I do not expect a favorable and student of philosophy, Doctor H. S.
Telepathy in this sense he de- scientific atmosphere in my lifetime; I fines as a “connection” between mind anticipate a continuance of strong hostile Shelton, in London Science Progress. prejudice; nevertheless, I feel entitled to
On the evidential side, Doctor Shelton and mind through unknown and appar- state the results of my experience for says he has found nothing which could ently immaterial channels. Unfortu
what they are worth, and leave judgment carry conviction to or even merit serinately, he laments, contemporary men to posterity.”
ous consideration by anyone not natof science generally will not investi
urally predisposed to some form of gate the subject in a scientific spirit. Now all this, retorts that distin- “spiritualist” conclusions. On the other Not even a paper on telepathy, he guished English scientist, Doctor H. hand, if the evidence proves anything writes in the London Times, has been Bryan Donkin, is no statement to make at all, it proves far too much. accepted by any orthodox scientific by a man challenged for proof of In all attempts to establish by obsociety. The whole subject is taboo. his assertion regarding telepathy. He servation or experiment the existence Whatever may be said in favor of this merely reiterates his own convictions. of survival after death, the would be attitude as a safeguard—and he is far Sir Oliver Lodge affirms, for example, investigator has to consider at least the from denying that many workers are that the beginning of proof is telepathy. following four explanations of any facts wise to attend to their own business He thus ignores the whole point at issue he may observe: and not lightly to enter upon strange which is whether or not the fact of fields of inquiry—the fact is undoubt- telepathy as described by himself has scious; (2) that striking series of facts
“(1) Trickery, conscious edly so. Notwithstanding the judicial been established. If this beginning of which psychologists are slowly gathering favor which has been shown by some proof fail, what becomes of the dialogs together concerning hypnosis and dual of the leaders in science to the exam with the dead?
and multiple personalities; (3) telepathy; ination of unrecognized human facul
(4) ghosts. He will not invoke (3) until ties, the average scientific man has "Scientific men (other than those of the he has exhausted (1) and (2) and all made up his mind that things out of small group specified above by Sir Oliver other known explanations. He will not the common are impossible and he will Lodge), several of whom are intimately invoke (4) until he has exhausted (3). not listen with any seriousness to evi- acquainted with the Psychical Research “Taking these in order, with regard to dence for them. Consequently the sub- Society's publications from the beginning, the first, few will need reminding that a ject has been studied and the evidence and have had personal experience of well-known conjuror has never yet failed
‘facts' of the kind alleged, fail to recog to reproduce every phenomenon credited partially published by a specially con
nize any facts which cannot be readily to‘spirits' that has been brought before stituted organization, the Society for explained, or referred to well-known him. Moreover, he is also known to have Psychical Research, with the name of causes, without recourse to the purely remarked that, for the detection of trickwhich all are familiar. The society fanciful invention of 'telepathy. They ery of this kind, he would place more rewas founded in the face of the oppo- hold that all the evidence produced in sup liance on the acumen of two smart schoolsition and ridicule of eminent scientists. port of telepathy is valueless as proof, not boys than in the whole Council of the The work has been carried on in a only to hypercritical (or ‘orthodox') Royal Society. most critical and careful manner.
In scientists, but also to men of ordinary “The second is, scientifically, a problem the official proceedings, says Sir Oliver
common sense who ask for proof of a of surpassing interest. The curious series
new 'fact' before they believe in it. To of facts constituting multiple personaliLodge, moreover, can be found “a rec
such men Sir Oliver's only answer is that ties, and other allied phenomena, are addord of facts which to most of those they have made up their minds that ing an important province to the realm of who have studied the subject amount things out of the common are impossible.' psychology, and are, indeed, doing someto cumulative proof of the reality” not But can Sir Oliver deny that the utmost thing to redeem that science from the admitted by orthodox science. Of these rigor of scientific proof is justly called charge of verbalism and futility. But facts telepathy is one:
for when he makes his confessedly 'tre- why invoke the ‘spirits’? Are not all
mendous' announcement to the public that these phenomena as readily explained in “But, as always happens when a truth is he has scientific grounds for believing a perfectly natural manner as sleep unconcoming to the surface and something is that he has talked with the dead? Yet he sciousness and dreams? Their evidential being discovered which was there all the persists in confusing proof of an objective value is nil. And, moreover, the very fact time, the real proofs lie all about one, and fact with evidence for his own convic of their existence supplies an alternative are not dependent on records of the past. tions.
explanation for many phenomena that The facts may be more or less unpalat “Any fruitful inquiry into this subject might otherwise be taken as supplying eviable, but there they are; they can hardly must begin, as Sir Ray Lankester has said, dence of 'possession.' be apprehended, still less assimilated, with an investigation as to how certain “The writer is not prepared to admit without a mind sufficiently open to permit persons, who believe and assert that minds that there is sufficient evidence for assertthe beginning of an unusual course of of deceased persons or of persons at a ing the existence of telepathy. Even this study.
great distance communicate with the minds must be regarded as not proven. But "All this is quite in accordance with of living persons independently of the even if we grant, for the sake of arguordinary scientific tradition; many new ordinary organs of sense, have arrived at ment, that such a thing does exist, none subjects have had to run the gauntlet of their conclusions. And those who might knows better than Sir Oliver Lodge that orthodox hostility. Admittedly only a hold such an inquiry should include the 'spiritualistic' hypothesis is not adminority of scientific men are willing to
amongst them persons well acquainted vanced one iota. All the materialist declare that a new class of facts needs with physiology, psychology, and mental would thereby admit as proved would be investigation and is apparently a prelude pathology. It is worthy of note that the that, as the larynx can emit and the ear to a whole new region of knowledge in- large majority of those scientists who as receive the atmospheric waves of sound, accessible by exclusively material methods. sert their belief in telepathy belong to the as the eye can receive the etherial waves
“In any public utterance of mine I am class of physicists, not to that which deals of light, so the undifferentiated nervous careful to say some words to the effect with the mind or other phenomena of matter of the brain has some residual that I am expressing my own conviction life.”
power of emitting and receiving vibrabased upon many years of skeptical in
tions of a wave-length previously unsusquiry, and that while a few scientific men Sir Oliver Lodge and other eminent pected.”
LESSONS IN MILITARY SURGERY TAUGHT BY THE
WAR IN EUROPE
ROJECTILES responsible for such as the joint of the knee, are pierced to say that their men, in the case of simthe wounds treated after each smoothly. This is why shots through the ple breast shots, could return to the firing great battle in Europe are for joints take a relatively benign course.” line after a week or so. According to the most part infantry pro
German experience in the present war The possible effects of shot wounds such patients, even in case the lungs have jectiles, shrapnel bullets, shell
are hemorrhage, pain, shock, mutila- been pierced, will, at least, be transportfragments, bomb fragments and aero
tion and death. As regards pain, it is able after ten to fourteen days. Tho plane arrows. To these should be obviously among the foremost duties they may for some days go on coughing added dumdum projectiles, bullets de- of the surgeon in war to see that the out blood, they will in no way be inconflected from their original course and
wounded may as soon as possible get venienced as far as their general condiwhat might be termed indirect pro- the benefit of alleviating remedies. tion is concerned. If the heart or aorta jectiles, fragments of clothing, coins The general practice now is to admin- has been struck, the surgeon's ajd, of and other objects from the soldier's ister at the earliest possible moment a
course, is of no avail, such patients being pockets which have been forced into morphine injection. Warfare as now
brought in too late from the battle-field. the wound. The effect of projectiles waged is liable to result in a special sible to remove a projectile from the heart,
Whereas in time of peace it is quite feadepends mainly on their percussive abundance of wounds in the head, saving the patient's life by a heart suture, force, size, shape, material, direction soldiers, on firing from the trenches, any attempt at such an operation, in warand goal, as well on the num
having to advance their heads. There fare, would be futile. As it is, modern ber, firmness and tension of the or
are two distinct types of head shots, projectiles are doubtless more humane in The aeroplane arrow is embedded and piercing shots, in which their effects than the lead bullets of old, new weapon which has made its
the bullet traverses the head directly and provided the ribs have not been infirst appearance in the present war. It is a steel rod of the thickness of a tangential or “groove” shots, when the of sticks fast in the skull or brain, and jured the wounded can, after quite a short
time, be restored to full fighting ability. pencil, with pointed shaft. The rear
"Shots through the abdomen are projectile, as it were, plows a groove item much discussed in modern war surend is grooved out square so that the through the skull bone. Tangential gery. In time of peace, it is an absolute point is heavier than the end. As an
shots should be treated differently from rule to operate as soon as possible by arrow such as this falls vertically to
embedded and piercing shots, bone frag- means of a cut through the abdomen, thus the ground, from a great height, it
ments severed by the bullet producing staying the blood, and by opening part of will have the speed of a rifle bullet
practically always serious infection. the stomach and the intestines, to make perhaps by the time it reaches a tar
the wound inoffensive and prevent any Most shots through the neck are beget. The wounds made by these mis
infection liable to result in peritonitis. nign, tho there are some vital organs siles are very serious.
Already the South African war, however, concerned—blood vessels, nerves, spinal has shown such shots to be more benign The lessons in military surgery remarrow and the esophiagus and wind
in case operation is foregone. In fact, sulting from the discharge of such va
there are a number of instances in the ried projectiles formed the subject of pipe. If the windpipe and larynx are
affected, operation should be proceeded present war in which good results were a remarkable lecture before an audience
with as promptly as possible, thus pre obtained by a very simple treatment, the of army experts by the celebrated venting any risk of stifing:
patient being kept for a week absolutely Leipzig surgeon, Doctor Payr, report
quiet and without food or drink. When. ed by the Berlin correspondent of The “Shots through the chest are, of all this limit was not observed the condition Scientific Americạn. According to an shots dealt with in modern warfare, those of the patient would invariably become old classification the lecturer distin most easily treated. The Japanese used worse.” guished several categories of shots:
“Ricochets, when the projectile does not penetrate into the body; embedded shots (“Steckschüsse'), when the projectile sticks fast in the body, and piercing shots (‘Durchschüsse'), when the projectile pierces the body and comes out at the other end. The degree of harm done to the tissues and organs obviously depends on a number of accessory circumstances. It was thought in former times that blood vessels could bend out of the way of projectiles. However, modern infantry projectiles have been found to penetrate right through the vessels, even small arteries whose diameter does not exceed that of a quill being pierced. This is why a far greater number of artery lesions have to be dealt with in the present war.
“Wounds made by modern projectiles in bones and joints are of especial importance. At short range, bones will be shattered into a number of fragments. As the distance increases there is a growing tendency for the projectiles to pierce the bone, and just to produce one or two cracks in the neighborhood of the hole. The long tubular bones, which are hard as ivory, will be split even at very considerable distance, say 1,600-1,806 meters, whereas bones of a more spongy texture,
HOW WOUNDED GERMANS FARE The large number of wounds sustained by troops in the head is the result of firing from the trenches, requiring the forward movement of the eye above ground and the projection of the cranium. There are two distinct types of head shots-embedded and piercing shots in which the bullet traverses the head directly or sticks fast in the skull or brain-and tangential or groove shots, when the projectile, as it were, plows a groove through the skull bone.
THE LABORATORIES AND THE WARS
The lecturer next proceeded to an in the roll of bandage carried by every crobes be allowed to penetrate into the swer the question as to how bullet soldier and officer in the field. The wound. Cuts through the windpipe and wounds should be treated. A certain first dressing is then applied, which the the tying up of pierced blood vessels amount of infection should be, in any men or their comrades are trained to
should, of course, be made on the very
battle-field, whereas the decision as to case, accounted for, which can not be do very cleverly. Another method to
whether any wounded members should be reduced by any measures whatever. If prevent the microbes from multiplying amputated must be left to the further a patient has, for instance, received a is what is termed the arresting proc- treatment. shot through the arm, a certain number The parts around the wound are "No importance is now attached to the of microbes have penetrated into the brushed over with tincture of iodine removing of projectiles, if the latter cause wound, which it would be impossible or mastisol. The microbes are fixed no inconvenience. This is true of infanto reduce. Rinsing the wound with by mastix. One advantage of this proc- try projectiles. According to the lecturwater or rubbing it with antiseptics, ess is that the aseptic gauze is attached er's experience, the German steel sleeve so far from being of any avail, has to the wound, thus preventing the projectile, for some unknown reason, is
more humane than the French copper been found to be harmful, the antisep- dressing from being shifted. tic liquid diminishing the vital strength Final treatment of wounds comprises pain. Shrapnel bullets, which are round,
alloy projectile, which frequently causes Ćf the tissues. However, a number of other problems, but a
have far less impact and percussive force noxious agents should be added to point should be made of avoiding too than infantry projectiles. Penetrating these microbes. Experience shows that much zeal:
into the deeper parts of the body, along healthy subjects will deal with a given
with such foreign bodies as pieces of number of bacteria, provided no fur "The wound being well dressed and clothing etc., they are apt to produce ther germs are allowed to enter the covered with aseptic gauze, there is no suppuration. In 70 to 75 per cent of
shrapnel wounds under treatment, supwound. This is the principle control- need for the whole bandage being exling in the first phase of the treatment changed, it being sufficient to renew the puration has been observed, a slight quan
outer dressing. Wounds on which the tity of chocolate-colored liquid coming of the wounded. The surroundings of
first dressing-made from the man's own out of the wound as this is opened. Shell the wound are no longer washed and dressing materials—had been left, were fragments likewise carry along foreign treated with soaps as once upon a time, found after a week to be healed. The objects and thus give rise to suppurabut a piece of antiseptic gauze is ap- greatest care should in any case be used tion; they must therefore be removed plied to the wound, such as is contained in renewing the bandage, lest any mi- without delay."
DEVELOPMENT OF SYNTHETIC CHEMISTRY THROUGH
VERYONE knows that a ni- air. In this way nitric acid was pro- in this manner, the plants for the manutrogenous fertilizer is an arti- duced without saltpeter as a starting facture of nitric acid by utilizing the nificial manure which intro- material:
trogen from air were mostly established
in Norway—a foreign country. The probduces nitrogen into the soil.
“Unfortunately, however, the available lem was therefore only half solved. But The chief material for this
processes can be carried out economically soon by the direct union of nitrogen and purpose is nitrate of soda, which, as
only in localities where cheap power is hydrogen, as accomplished by the ingesaltpeter, is imported into Germany in available, which to-day means countries nious synthesis of Haber, an absolutely large quantities from South America. where water power is abundant. Since independent source for nitrogenous ferThis substance is also the sole raw ma Germany has hardly any waterfalls, and tilizers and nitric acid was created within terial for the manufacture of nitric acid therefore is very poor in power created the German Empire. The raw materials and nitric acid is the chief material for the manufacture of all kinds of explosives. The French and British employ picric acid, which is trinitrophenol (lyddite, melinite) and is made by the action of nitric acid on carbolic acid. The Germans are using as their chief explosive trinitrotoluol (tritolyl), which is produced from toluol, a coaltar hydrocarbon, and nitric acid. Now German militarism, writes the able chemist, Doctor Hugo Schweitzer, in The Popular Science Jonthly, realized that two great dangers might arise from these applications of saltpeter. In time of war the importation of saltpeter might be stopped by the navy of a foreign nation and it might, therefore, become impossible to manufacture nitric acid and explosives. The feeding of the nation might be interfered with, inasmuch as the soil could not be properly fertilized and hence could not produce enough foodstuffs. Therefore it became imperative that the nation must
CONVEYANCE OF THE WOUNDED FROM TRAIN TO HOSPITAL tecome independent of the importation
It has been found from actual experience that too great care of the wounded may defeat its purpose.
In the transportation of the wounded, however, speed and gentle handling are of saltpeter. The problem was solved imperative. In the first few months of the war many lives were needlessly sacrificed by lack by the utilization of nitrogen from the
of transportation for the wounded, but the growing importance of numbers in the field has led to reform in this respect.