Irido-Platinum

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    Abstract

    THE volume of the procès-verbaux of the International Commission of Weights and Measures published in Paris last year,1 contains, among other matter of much value, an interesting appendix by MM. Sainte-Claire Deville and Stas, who were requested by the Commission to ascertain the composition of the platinum-iridium alloy employed in the preparation of the rules and cylinders destined to serve as the International Prototype Standards. Their investigations are set forth at great length, and analytical chemistry is thus enriched by an elaborate memoir, in every way worthy of its distinguished authors. The alloys of platinum indium, of which these standards are made, was furnished by Mr. George Matthey, of the well-known firm of Johnson, Matthey, and Co., and, in the April number of the Annales de Chimie, there is a paper by MM. Deville and Mascart, describing the experimental determinations of the various physical constants of the metal of which the Règie Géodésique is made. We cannot do better than quote their words as indicating the care and skill bestowed by Mr. Matthey in the preparation of this standard: “En fabriquant un pareil alliage avee une telle pureté, M. Matthey a résolu un problème de métallurgie des plus difficiles et des plus compliqués. On ne peut s'imaginer, à moins qu'on ne connaisse dans tous leurs détails les procédés si pénibles employés à la purification de I'iridium et même du platine, combien il a fallu d'intelligence, de patience et de dévourment à la Science pour réussir dans une pareille æuvre.”1

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    Irido-Platinum . Nature 20, 341–343 (1879) doi:10.1038/020341a0

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