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surface has been touched in any particular parts by any body, it acquires the property of precipitating all vapors, and these adhere to it or combine chemically with it on those spots differently to what they do on the untouched parts." If we write on a plate of glass or any smooth surface whatever with blotting paper, a brush, or anything else, and then clean it, the characters always reappear if the plate or surface be breathed upon, and the same effect may be produced even on the surface of mercury; nor is absolute contact necessary. If a screen cut in a pattern be held over a polished metallic surface at a small distance, and the whole breathed on after the vapor has evaporated so that no trace is left on the surface, the pattern comes out when it is breathed on again.
Professor Moser proved that bodies exert a very decided influence upon each other, by placing coins, cut stones, pieces of horn, and other substances, a short time on a warm metallic plate; when the substance was removed no impression appeared on the plate till it was breathed upon or exposed to the vapor of mercury, and then these vapors adhered only to the parts where the substance had been placed, making distinct images, which in some cases were permanent after the vapor was removed. Similar impressions were obtained on glass and other substances even when the bodies were not in contact, and the results were the same whether the experiments were performed in light or in darkness.
Mr. Hunt has shown that many of these phenomena depend on difference of temperature, and that in order to obtain good impressions dissimilar metals must be used. For example, gold, silver, bronze, and copper coins were placed on a plate of copper too hot to be touched, and allowed to remain till the plate cooled; all the coins had made an impression, the distinctness and intensity of which was in the order of the metals named. When the plate was exposed to the vapor of mercury the result was the same, but when the vapor was wiped off, the gold and silver coins only had left permanent images on the copper. These impressions are often minutely perfect whether the coins are in actual contact with the plate or of an inch above it.
The mass of the metal has a material influence on the result; a large copper coin makes a better impression on a copper plate than a small silver coin. When coins of different metals are placed on the same plate they interfere with each other.
When, instead of being heated, the copper plate was cooled by a freezing mixture, and bad conductors of heat laid upon it, as wood, paper, glass, &c., the result was similar, showing that the phenomena could be produced by any disturbance of the caloric latent in the substances.
There can be no doubt that these phenomena are universal, since all substances are more or less sensitive to light, which must produce innumerable changes in the nature of terrestrial things, especially in the vegetable tribe, by the power it gives of condensing vapor and consequently the deposition of dew.
Red and orange-colored media, smoked glass, and all bodies that transmit or absorb the calorific rays freely, leave strong impressions on a plate of copper whether they be in contact or of an inch above the plate. The strongest proof that heat is concerned in some at least of these phenomena is evident. For instance, a solar spectrum concentrated by a lens was thrown on a polished plate of copper and kept on the same spot by a heliostat for one, two, or three hours; when exposed to mercurial vapor a film of the vapor covered the plate where the diffused light which always accompanies the solar spectrum had fallen; on the obscure space occupied by the maximum heating power of Sir William Herschel, and also the great heat spot in the thermic spectrum of Sir John Herschel, the condensation of the mercury was so thick that it stood out a distinct white spot on the plate, while over the whole space that had been under the visible spectrum the quantity of vapor was much less than that which covered the other parts, affording distinct evidence of a negative effect in the luminous spectrum, and of the power of the calorific rays, which is not always confined to the surface of the metal, since in many instances the impressions are forined to a considerable depth below it, and consequently are permanent.
Mr. Hunt observing that a black substance leaves a stronger impression on a metallic surface than a white, applied the property to the art of thermography, by which he copies prints, wood-cuts, writing, and printing, on copper amalgamated on one surface and highly polished, merely by placing the object to be copied smoothly on the metal and pressing it into close contact by a plate of glass: after some hours the plate is subjected to the vapor of mercury and afterward to that of iodine, when a black and accurate impression of the object comes out on a gray ground. Effects similar to those attributed to heat may also be produced by electricity: Mr. Karsten, by placing a glass plate upon one of metal, and on the glass plate a medal subjected to discharges of electricity, found a perfect image of the medal impressed on the glass, which could be brought into evidence by either mercury or iodine; and when several plates of glass were interposed between the medal and the metallic plate, each plate of glass received an image on its upper surface after the passage of electrical discharges. These discharges have the remarkable power of restoring impressions that have been long obliterated from plates by polishing; a proof that the disturbances upon which these phenomena depend are not confined to the surface of the metals, but that a very decided molecular change has taken place to a considerable depth. Mr. Hunt's experiments prove that the electro-negative metals make the most decided images upon electro-negative plates, and vice versá. M. Matteucci has shown that a discharge of electricity does not visibly affect a polished silver plate, but that it produces an alteration which renders it capable of condensing vapor.
M. Fizeau ascribes a numerous class of these phenomena to the action of a slight layer of organic or fatty matter on the surfaces, which, being volatile, is transferred to any body near, in a greater or less quantity according to the distance; that is, according as the surface projects or sinks into hollows. When the different parts of a surface are unequally soiled by extraneous bodies, even in the minutest quantity, the condensation of mercurial vapor is effected in a manner visibly dif
ferent on its different parts, and therefore images are formed. Although this explains various phenomena, it does not apply to those already described, as Mr. Hunt had taken the precaution to divest the substances he used of every trace of organic matter.
It is difficult to see to what cause Mr. Hunt's experiments on the reciprocal action of bodies in total darkness can be attributed, unless perhaps to a constant radiation of some peculiar principle from their surfaces, which really seems to exist.
The impression of an engraving was made by laying it face downwards on a silver plate iodized, and placing an amalgamated copper plate upon it: it was left in darkness fifteen hours, when an impression of the engraving had been made on the amalgamated plate, through the paper.
As the same may be obtained on plates of iron, zinc, or lead, it is evident that this result is not the effect of chemical rays.
An iodized silver plate was placed in darkness with a coil of string laid on it, and with a polished silver plate suspended one eighth of an inch above it; after four hours they were exposed to the vapors of mercury, which became uniformly deposited on the iodized plate, but on the silver one there was a sharp image of the string, so that this image was formed in the dark, and even without contact. Coins or other objects leave their impressions in the same manner with perfect sharpness and accuracy, when brought out by vapor without contact, in darkness, and on simple metals.
Heat, electricity, and the evaporation of unctuous matter, may account for some of these phenomena, but others clearly point at some unknown influence exerted between the surfaces of solid bodies, and affecting their molecular structure so as to determine the precipitation of vapors, an influence which in all probability will ultimately be found to be either the parathermic rays of Sir John Herschel, or intimately connected with them.
Atmosphere of the Planets and the Moon-Constitution of the Sun-Estimation of the Sun's Light-His Influence on the different PlanetsTemperature of Space-Internal Heat of the Earth-Zone of Constant Temperature-Heat increases with the Depth-Heat in Mines and Wells-Thermal Springs-Central Heat-Volcanic Action-The Heat above the Zone of Constant Temperature entirely from the Sun-The Quantity of Heat annually received from the Sun-Isogeothermal Lines -Distribution of Heat on the Earth-Climate-Line of Perpetual Congelation-Causes affecting Climate-Isothermal Lines-Excessive Climates-The same Quantity of Heat annually received and radiated by the Earth.
THE Ocean of light and heat perpetually flowing from the sun, must affect the bodies of the system very differently, on account of the varieties in their atmospheres, some of which appear to be very extensive and dense. According to the observations of Schröeter, the atmosphere of Ceres is more than 668 miles high, and that of Pallas has an elevation of 465 miles. These must refract the light and prevent the radiation of heat like our own. But it is remarkable that not a trace of atmosphere can be perceived in Vesta. The action of the sun's rays must be very different on such bodies from what it is on the earth, and the heat imparted to them quickly lost by radiation; yet it is impossible to estimate their temperature, since the cold may be counteracted by their central heat, if, as there is reason to presume, they have originally been in a state of fusion, possibly of vapor. The attraction of the earth has probably deprived the moon of hers; for the refractive power of the air at the surface of the earth is at least a thousand times as great as refraction at the surface of the moon. The lunar atmosphere, therefore, must be of a greater degree of rarity than can be produced by our best airpumps; consequently no terrestrial animal could exist in it. This was confirmed by M. Arago's observations during the last great solar eclipse, when no trace of a lunar atmosphere was to be seen.
The sun has a very dense atmosphere, which is probably the cause of the peculiar phenomena in his photographic image already mentioned. What his body may be, it is impossible to conjecture; but he seems to