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Societies and Academies

    Naturevolume 101pages139140 (1918) | Download Citation



    LONDON. Optical Society, April 11.—Prof. F. J. Cheshire, president, in the chair.—J. W. French: The balsam problem. For cementing optical parts together Canada balsam is almost invariably employed. Although starting or starring of the balsam layer, actual separation of the parts, or deformation of the optical surfaces frequently occurs, there is no appreciably better substance known. Optical parts may be combined with an air space between the surfaces, by optical contact with or without sealed edges, by optical welding, or by cementing. The disadvantages of the various methods were enumerated, the loss of light at transmission surfaces being particularly discussed. A considerable number of balsamed specimens of ages varying up to ten years had been opened and photomicrographs of the balsam layer were exhibited. In all cases there were fluid layers between the harder balsam and the glass surface, and4 the photographs demonstrated particularly the smallness of the adhesion to the glass. Specimens artificially produced were also exhibited. In many cases the age of the specimen was shown to be deducible from the configuration. So-called granulation of balsam was stated to be due to the action of moisture on the balsam surface. No trace of crystallisation of glass-quality balsam was found in any of the experiments, but a number of the photographed specimens showed definite right-angled fractures occasionally observed in torn gelatine films.

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