Foreshadowing Elements of Atomic Numbers 75, 85, 87, and 93 by means of X-rays

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    THE position taken up in the note to which Mr. Loring's letter refers was that the X-ray evidence was insufficient definitely to establish his claims. Experience with apparatus similar to that used by Mr. Loring shows that the difficulty is not one of obtaining foreign lines but of eliminating them. Unless special precautions are taken, prolonged exposures give lines due to various sources in addition to those corresponding to the radiations from the anticathode. Two of the most common sources are zinc and mercury. If the exposure and conditions are such as to permit of the detection of small quantities of any element in the anticathode, then the zinc line must appear from the passage of the X-rays through the brass slit of the spectrometer and probably also from the brass of the tube itself. If we accept Mr. Loring's view that the line 1.43 is not the zinc Kα line, then the necessary conclusion is that he could not hope, under the conditions of his experiments, to detect small quantities of elements in the material under investigation. The photograph to which reference was made in the note was made for the purpose of that note and showed both zinc and mercury lines.

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