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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/53

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49
SOME RECENT TRANSMUTATIONS

phorus appeared to be accomplished best under proper temperature conditions, according to the following reactions:

.

This is contrary to Flückinger's results on "black phosphorus," as the latter regarded this modification as arsenic, it is true, but considered that the phosphorus contained arsenic. Although Fittica claimed that his phosphorus was arsenic-free, Winkler[1] asserted that this could scarcely be the case, according to the work of Wittstock[2] and Hjelt.[3] The reaction should be written as follows:

.

Undaunted, Fittica[4] maintained that by varying the conditions antimony, as well, could be produced from phosphorus. As the result of the criticisms of Gyzander,[5] Noelting and Feuerstein,[6] Christomanos,[7] Gerack,[8] Arnold and Murach[9] and Councler[10] Fittica's case has been regarded as not proved.

With the discovery of the Becquerel rays, eventuating in the isolation of radium compounds by the Curies, lines of investigation were opened up leading to truly remarkable disclosures. According to the agreement, certainly radium may be regarded an element, as it has a characteristic spectrum and well-defined atomic weight as recently verified by Madame Curie.[11]

Radium compounds give off an emanation, a gaseous body, as discovered by Rutherford. Ramsay assigns it an atomic weight of 216.5, but no definite spectrum has been assigned the emanation, although it has been plotted by Ramsay and Collie. Rutherford and his associates have shown that the emanation passes through a number of changes giving Radium-A, Radium-B, etc. So far, definite atomic values and spectral data have not been obtained for these transitory disintegration products of the emanation. The lives of some of them are very short. The greatest dignity we may assign them is meta-element.

The formation of helium from the emanation was first shown by

  1. Berichte, 33, 1693 (1900).
  2. Poggendorfs Annalen, 31, 126.
  3. D. P. J., 226, 174.
  4. Chemiker-Zeitung, 24, 561 and 991.
  5. Chemical News, 82, 210.
  6. Berichte, 33, 2684.
  7. Chemiker-Zeitung, 24, 943.
  8. Chemiker-Zeitung, Repert, 24, 274.
  9. Chemiker-Zeitung, 25, 131.
  10. Ibid., 25, 977 and 1029.
  11. Chemical News, 96, 127 (1907).