Chemical Change

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IN the current number of the Proceedings of the Chemical Society, Prof. H. E. Armstrong publishes two articles on (1) the conditions determinative of chemical change, and (2) the nature of depolarisers. The former deals mainly with the presence of water as a necessary condition of chemical change, the latter with the question of the solution of metals in acids. For some time past I have been engaged with work on the former subject, upon terms of mutual understanding, with my friend Mr. H. B. Baker, whose experiments, following upon those of Prof. H. B. Dixon, have revolutionised our conceptions of chemical change. In the last four years I have also carried on investigations upon the reactions of metals with acids, especially nitric and sulphuric. I should, therefore, propose to deal more fully in a separate publication with the interesting speculations raised by Prof. Armstrong in the articles quoted above. For it has become apparent that after a century of work in chemical science we have no answer to the questions, (1) What is the nature of chemical change? and (2) What is the cause of its commencement? It is probable that both questions resolve themselves, in the long run, into the first. Of facts there is no end, but no interpretation thereof.

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VELEY, V. Chemical Change. Nature 48, 149 (1893) doi:10.1038/048149b0

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