DETERMINATION OF THE COMPARATIVE DIMENSIONS OF ULTIMATE MOLECULES; AND DEDUCTION OF THE SPECIFIC PROPERTIES OF SUBSTANCES

W. N. Norton
1880 Science  
SCIENCE. such a primitive home. Of burial mounds there were several different kinds. But comparatively few of the mounds contained valuable relics. In many ot the mounds nothing at all of interest was found. It is an efror to think that the ancient people always buried with the dead his personal effects. He had, however, taken from mounds pipes, some of which are very peculiar, many kinds of sea shells, stone, copper and other ornaments, but seldom any weapons. Some of the copper ornaments
more » ... pper ornaments shown were very curious and ingeniously made; among them were copper turtles, closely resembling the living animals, and large pipes of stone that represented the human figure in various positions. The speaker gave illustrations of mounds in which it would seem that sometimes on the death of their rulers a number of slaves or subjects were buried vith him. MIr. McAdams concludes from his explorations that the bturial mounds sliov at least two distinct classes of people differing from our present indianis. The mound builders of the low lands of Illinois, like those of Ohio, were characterized by their peculiar pipes with the crescent base, the stem being a part of the base. The potter makers, such as made the peculiar pottery of the region, were a different people, and imitated nature in their pottery, just as the mound builder did with his pipes. lie had specimens on exhibition, and many illustrations sholwing this peculiar pottery representing men, animals, birds, fishes, shells and other things. The pottery makers' pipes were very unlike the mound builders', and were made for the insertion of a stem, the orifice generally being funnel shaped. The speaker gave a spirited illustration of the great Temple mound, of Cohukia, opposite the mouth of the MIissouri river, and describes it as a place of worship. This mound is go feet high. In the vicinity of this great mound were numerous flat square mounds called platforms. These platform mounds are usually ten or twelve feet high, and so large as often to contain on the summit farm-houses, with the out-buildings. In digging cellars, wells, etc., in these mounds, many relics were found ; of these Mlr. MIcAdams has a large collection. The speaker closed by describing a hitherto unknown earthlwork, circular in form, one n.ile in circumference at the mouth of the Illinois ri-er. Alth6ough the mounds occur in such great numnbers nnd magnitude this seems to be the onlv earthwork in the region. Mr. McAdams expects to still prosecute his researches in this interesting locality. In this paper a detailed exposition is given of the mechanical constitution of an ultimiate molecule, the conditions of dynamical equilibrium are definitely stated, and several formulas investigated, representing its diverse mechanical features. From these definite mathematical expressions are deduced the general mcclhanical, physical, and chemical properties of substances. These are thlen employed in a detailed discussion of the properties of special suibstances. In this dis. cussion the.fundaniental asrtmiption is made that the atoms of different substanices may difler in density, as well as in weiglht or mass. From this point of view it becomes possible to derive the comparative dimensions, and all lhe special features of the ultimate molecules of substances, fromn their molecular volutimes and terlacities or co-olficients of elasticity, as experimentally detcrmined. The results of the numeri. cal computations for a large varicty of substances, from hy. drogen to bismuth, are given in tables, and also represented graphically, and comparisons madc with experimcntal results. Chemical transformations are attributed to an effective force of clectric tension developed by the contact of dissemilar molecules. An electro-motive force thus comes into play, determining an clectric movement from one set of molecules to the other, and bringing them into approximate 130 correspondence. The comparative values of the forces of electric tension, as well as of the electro-motive force, given in the tables, serve to make known the chemical relations of the substances considered. The chemical effects of heat are incidentally considered. The entire discussion comprised in this and former papers may be epitomized as follows: i-It has been shown that the mechanical laws and rela. tions of bodies may be deduced from one general molecular formula; and that from their atomic weights, and certain com. parative densities assigned to their atoms, may be derived definite expressions representative of the various properties of special substances. 2-We see that the deverse phenomena of Inanimate Nature are but different consequences of variations or inequialities of ethereal tension, produced by ethereal waves; and that, contemplated from the highest point of view, they m;ay be conceived to resuilt ironi the operation of one primaryr formii of force on one prinmordial forin of matter.
doi:10.1126/science.os-1.12.139 pmid:17834335 fatcat:qa6advfdibdxhjkcxe2aau2jwq