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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/470

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

may usually be seen complete. If the spots are larger, the halos can not be traced within each other's precincts, and on enlarging the spots still more, they soon act as one mark with regard to the halo, which assumes an elliptical form around them. From these and other experiments along the same line, it appears that the intensified zone or white area, as I shall generally call it, referring to the negative experiment, displays an increased sensitiveness to presence or absence of color of the spot looked at, but a decided deadening in the perception of details.

My first idea in regard to this halo was that it came to life like the camera ghost, from reflections between lens surfaces in the eye, but I found that it could be produced through any portion of the crystalline lens. A pin hole 1/50 inch in diameter passed before the pupil of the eye demonstrated this.

It then seemed possible that some form of halation in the membranes close to the retina might produce this effect. The common photographic halation ring, which closely resembles it, is produced by PSM V70 D470 Photographic halation ring of a candle flame.pngFig. 2. Photographic Halation Ring about Candle Flame, formed by reflection inside the glass plate on which the picture was taken, very similar in its appearance to the halo here described. reflection from the back of a glass plate but can only occur under certain conditions. This halo, however, occurs on all margins and can not be due to that cause.

At this stage, a certain 'chromatic ring,' described below under that heading, was observed, and suggested some obscure color conditions as the cause. Hence, color tests were made in large numbers, and the black spot was tried on different colored backgrounds without effect. Different colored spots against a dark background were also observed without effect, save that the secondary image when sufficiently bright was seen to be of the color of the spot itself; therefore color was not responsible for the halo.

But these color observations opened up a very interesting line of study. The color tests had to be made in the positive form with all the attendant difficulties of fatigue and after-images. It was found that a short gaze at a red disk on a black background, followed by a slight movement of the eye to one side, carried away a dark green after-image of the disk surrounded by a red margin, about the size of the intensified zone. This intensified zone became still more con-