Letter | Published:

X-ray Examination of Metal Films

Nature volume 113, page 639 (03 May 1924) | Download Citation



IN the Bakerian Lecture of 1857, Faraday discussed “The Experimental Relations of Gold and other Metals to Light”. He had been making experiments in the hope that he might discover the mode in which finely divided gold affected the colour of incident light. In particular, he was interested in the question of the transparency acquired by gold leaf when heated to a temperature somewhat below the softening point of glass. The subject has been further investigated by Sir George Beilby (“Aggregation and Flow of Solids”, Section X.), who ascribes the transparency to an opening up of the molecular structure: thus modifying a suggestion of Faraday's that it was due to an opening up of grosser portions of the metal. The transparent leaf when pressed by the smooth round end of an agate pencil becomes once more green by transmitted and yellow by reflected light.

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  1. The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, W.1.

    • W. H. BRAGG


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