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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/675

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LATEST DEVELOPMENTS WITH THE X RAYS.

But even if all the reforms in taxation that could be imagined were put in operation they would not meet the situation; they would not deliver the American people from the great and alarming evil of over-legislation and excessive taxation. An increase of revenue, like an increase of supervision, is almost certain to increase the injustice that it was designed to abate. The first year's operation of the Raines law contributed more than $3,500,000 to the State treasury, yet the addition to the public expenditures that accompanied its enactment made a high tax rate necessary. What the situation requires, therefore, is not more but less social regulation and taxation. We need also a gradual restriction of the duties of the State to the limits laid down by Mr. Spencer—to the preservation of order and the enforcement of justice. Although not apparently a disciple of that philosopher, Mr. Roberts himself virtually subscribes to this view. In his last report he demands "far greater economy and care in public expenditures, and no further excursions in the field of social supervision and regulation."

 

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS WITH THE X RAYS.
By Prof. JOHN TROWBRIDGE,

DIRECTOR OF THE JEFFERSON PHYSICAL LABORATORY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY.

WE have become accustomed to seeing photographs of the bones of our hands, and we no longer stop at shop windows to look at X-ray photographs. Indeed, they are rarely displayed, and the lecturer who once gazed on a sea of faces as he endeavored to explain the most marvelous electrical sensation of this century now addresses a mere handful of listeners. Such patient hearers continuing to the end may still hear of marvelous performances of this strange light of which the great public are even now ignorant, and in this paper I shall take my readers into a physical laboratory and endeavor to make the generally unknown manifestation of the new rays plain and free from technical language. I am sure that we shall all leave the laboratory with our imagination full of thoughts of unknown movements in the air about us—thoughts of possible telepathic waves through space, conceptions of new ranges of nerve excitations, hopes of new lights, conceptions of the vastness of the electrical whirls in that elevated region where the molecules of the air, in their endeavor to fly into the abyss of space, are controlled by the earth's forces and are endowed with electrical energy by the sun.

In the first place, what-is the present state of our knowledge of the X rays? Have we more efficient methods of producing