Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/510

This page needs to be proofread.


462

BUOY

zinc battery which is known by his name, and which con- course at Marburg so far back as 1840. Though alive to ducted him to several important achievements. He first em- the importance of applied science, he considered truth ployed it to produce the electric arc, and showed that from alone to be the endr of scientific research, and the example to the 44 cells a light equal to 1170 candles could be obtained he set his pupils w as one of single-hearted devotion (H- M- II-) with the consumption of one pound of zinc per hour. To advancement of knowledge. measure this light he designed another instrument, which Buoy, a floating body employed to mark the navigin various modifications has come into extensive use the able limits of channels, their fairways, sunken dangers or grease-spot photometer. In 1852 he began to carry out isolated rocks, mined or torpedo grounds, telegraph cables, electrolytical decompositions by the aid of the battery, or the position of a ship’s anchor after letting go ; they are thus foreshadowing what has become an important branch also used for securing of chemical industry. By means of a very ingenious arrange- a ship to in lieu of ment he obtained magnesium for the first time in the metallic anchoring. They vary state, and studied its chemical and physical properties, in size and construcamong other things demonstrating the brilliance and high tion from a log of actinic qualities of the flame it gives when burnt in air, in wood to mooring steel the way now familiar to every photographer. Another, buoys for battleships and perhaps the best known, of the contrivances which or a steel gas buoy. the world owes to him is the Bunsen burner. ^ When the In 1882 a conference new laboratory was built at Heidelberg in 1855, it became was held upon a pronecessary to install apparatus to supply heat for the con- posal to establish a duct of chemical operations. Bunsen was dissatisfied with uniform system of all the contrivances that were brought to his notice, and buoyage. It was under finally set himself to devise a simple means of burning the presidency of ordinary coal gas with a hot smokeless flame. The result H.R.H. the duke of of his labours was the well-known burner which is now Edinburgh, and conemployed by thousands for all sorts of purposes. Mention sisted of representamust also be made of another piece of work of a rather tives from the various different character. Travelling was one of his favourite bodies interested. The relaxations, and in 1846 he paid a visit to Iceland. There questions of colour, he investigated the phenomena of the geysers, the composi- visibility, shape, and 7 _ tion of the gases coming off from the fumaroles, their action size were considered, 3—^ on the rocks with which they came into contact, &c., a,nd and any modifications ~ on his observations was founded a noteworthy contribution necessary owing to Fig. 1. to geological theory. But the most far-reaching of his locality. The comachievements was the elaboration, about 1859, jointly with mittee proposed the following uniform system of buoyKirchhoff, of spectrum analysis, which has put a new age, and it is now adopted by the general lighthouse weapon of extraordinary power into the hands both of authorities of the United Kingdom:—(1) The mariner chemists and astronomers. It led Bunsen himself almost when approaching the coast must determine his position immediately to the isolation of two new elements of the on the chart, and note alkali group, caesium and rubidium. Having noticed the direction of the main some unknown lines in the spectra of certain salts he was stream of flood tide. examining, he set to work to obtain the substance oi (2) The term “starsubstances to which these were due. To this end he board-hand ” shall denote evaporated large quantities of the Durkheim mineral water, that side which would and it says much both for his perseverance and powers of be on the right hand of manipulation that he dealt with 40 tons of the water to get the mariner either going about 17 grammes of the mixed chlorides of the two with the main stream of substances, and that with about one-third of that quantity flood, or entering a harof csesium chloride was able to prepare the most important bour, river, or estuary compounds of the element and determine their characterfrom seaward; the term istics, even making goniometrical measurements of their ‘ ‘ port-hand ’’shalldenote crystals. . the left hand of the Bunsen founded no school of chemistry ; that is to say, mariner in the same cirno body of chemical doctrine is associated with his name. cumstances. (3)1 Buoys Indeed, he took little or no part in discussions of points of showing the pointed top theory, and, although he was conversant with the trend of of a cone above water the chemical thought of his day, he preferred to spend his shall be called conical energies in the collection of experimental data. One fact, (Fig. 1) and shall always he used to say, properly proved is worth all the theories be starboard-hand buoys, Fig. 2. above defined. that can be invented. But as a teacher of chemistry he as was almost without rival, and his success is sufficiently (4)1 Buoys showing a flat top above water shall be called attested by the scores of pupils who flocked from every can (Fig. 2), and shall always be port-hand buoys as above part of the globe to study under him, and by the number defined. (5) Buoys showing a domed top above water of those pupils who afterwards made their mark in the shall be called spherical (Fig. 3), and shall mark the ends chemical world. The secret of this success lay largely in of middle grounds. (6) Buoys having a tall central. the fact that he never delegated his work to assistants, but 1 was constantly present with his pupils in the laboratory, In carrying out the above system the Northern Lights Commisassisting each with personal direction and advice ; he was sioners have adopted a red colour for conical or starboard-hand buoys, also one of the first to appreciate the value of practical and black colour for can or port-hand buoys, and this system is apphc work to the student, and he instituted a regular practical able to the whole of Scotland.