Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/817

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SPECULATIONS ON THE NATURE OF MATTER.

ty due to an ethereal origin for the components, that many hundreds of revolutions must occur for each transverse oscillation or elliptical deformation.

In its passage through other disk-atoms in equilibrium which are in harmonic tension with the vibrating ray (and therefore not diathermia or transparent), I conceive that the vibratory ray is able to invert the process and agitate the diaphragm of stress of the system, as a fish-line does the surface of a pool; thus setting up an inverse commotion and vibration of orbits due to accession of motion, accounting: for the effects of reflexion, the absorption and conversion of light into sensible heat, and the chemical and actinic and electrolytic effects observed. The diverse nature of some of these effects may be due to the extremely diverse character of the vibrations, both of the disks and of the rays; e. g., the polar ray, which would have a pulsatory vibration.

The primitive gas would not, any more than our own elementary gases, experience any difficulty in holding its own, and maintaining equilibrium forever, under any ordinary state of diffusion, by reason of its perfect elasticity. But with emerging matter, or crippled ether, among other properties gravity becomes apparent; and though hardly sensible, at first, yet within the enormous cosmical aggregations of this novel drift, pressure and condensation would ensue at some point so great that in the absolute cool of space the critical point of endurance would be overcome, and some molecular systems would cripple and collapse, with the resultant liberation of their motion and clashing and agitation of the neighboring systems known as rise of temperature. The falling in of others would follow and increase the commotion, causing local expansion, and currents to a region of less pressure sometimes, no doubt, with enough velocity to carry them entirely into free space, and beyond the control of the system.

It would be futile to attempt here to follow out all the complex consequences of this initiated evolution, but it is clear that the temperature of the whole aggregation must rise until, at the outer boundary, where alone the liberated energy was able finally to escape, the temperature must stand constantly at the heat of dissociation of the particular element or elements being evolved at any stage of development. But radiation would proceed only at the rate allowable by the nature of the combinations going on at a specified stage, though it would be practically constant for long periods, as the supply of motion could be extricated. The aggregation could not become a simple cooling body while molecular mobility remained.

Amid all this commotion and lavish escape of energy on the wings of the ether, not one particle of matter is lost. It can not recover its linear motion. It joins in the dance that is going on, and contributes to swell the molecular weight of whatever system of molecules is being evolved at that particular stage of development.