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Nature volume 24, page 352 | Download Citation



PARIS Academy of Sciences, August 1.—M. Jamin in the chair.—The following papers were read:—On the formation of tails of comets (second note), by M. Faye. Herschel, Arago, Delaunay, and other astronomers did not thoroughly study the tails of comets, hut Newton had already given a quite sufficient explanation of the phenomena. The tail is nothing else—he maintained than the result of a continual emission of molecules from the head of the comet. It is very much like; the tail of smoke emitted by a running locomotive, its outer end being lost in space, and the inner one continually receiving a new supply of molecules. M. Roche, who has made the necessary calculations, taking account of the repulsive force M. Faye advocates, has worked out all those shapes of tails which we witness in reality.—On the equivalence of quadratic forms, by M. Jordan.—On a modification of the electric lamp, by M. Jamin, being the result of observations on the electric light in vacuum, and in closed vessels containing various gases.—On the perchloric acids, by M. Berthelot.—On the travels of Moncatch-Apé, by M. Quatrefages. This American Indian undertook a journey to the north-western coasts of America at the beginning of last century, in search of the origin of his race; whilst on this coast he learned and witnessed that it was visited every year by white men with long black beards, and M. Quatrefages proves that these men were originally from the Loo Choo islands.—On the first meteorological, topographical, and hydrographical observations at the future Panama canal, by M. de Lesseps. Several maps of the coast are prepared, and a meteorological station is opened at Colon.—On the application of electromotive power and of M. Planté's secondary piles to the direction of aërostats, by M. Tissandier. In an aërostat which has a volume of 2200 litres, 3·50m. long, with a diameter of 1·30m., and can raise a weight of 2 kilogrammes, having a Siemens machine which weighs 220 grammes, and a secondary couple of 1300 grammes, the propulsory helix makes six and a half revolutions per second, and the balloon acquires a speed of 1 metre per second for forty minutes. The small Siemens machine, with three elements, produces the work of 1 kilogrammetre.—The elements of comet c of 1881 (Schäberle), by M. Bigourdan, as deduced from observations at Vienna on July 18, and at Paris on July 23 and 28. Its brightness, which is still increasing, will be on August 23 seventeen times as much as it was on July 18.—Spectroscopical observations on the comets b and c, 1881, by MM. Thollon and Tacchini.—On the lengths of spectral bands given by compounds of carbon, by M. Thollon.—On the constitution of comets, by M. Prazmowski.—On the theory of trilinear forms, by M. Le Paige.—On the influence of pressure on dissociation, by M. Lemoine.—On the heat of formation of explosives, by MM. Sarrau and Vieille.—On oxycyanides of lead, cadmium, and mercury, by M. Joannis.—On the heat of combustion of heptane and of hexahydrotoluene, by M. Louguinine.—Third note on the magnesia industry, by M. Schlösing.—A contribution to the study of the transmission of tuberculosis, by M. Toussaint. The juices of animals which have had tuberculosis transmit the disease with very great ease, even when submitted to a high temperature, but especially when employed uncooked.—On the injection of the virus of rabies into the circulation, by M. Galtier. It seems to prevent infection.—On hemeralopia and on the functions of the visual purple, by H. Parinaud.—On the applications of electromotors, by M. Trouvé.

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