Letter | Published:

Meteorites: the Number of Pultusk Stones and the Spelling of "Widmanstätten Figures"

Naturevolume 140page589 (1937) | Download Citation



IN criticizing others in NATURE of September 18 (p. 504), Prof. F. A. Paneth lays himself open to criticism. His calculation of the number of Pultusk stones is a remarkable example of what can be done with mathematics when all the factors are not taken into account. In 1868, Krantz supplied for the British Museum collection Pultusk stones weighing 3,545, 845, 793, 256 (half a stone), 139 ½ gm., and twelve others weighing together 243 gm. Towards the end of such a series it is the common practice to weigh the smaller stones together in one lot ; and evidently the 212 (not 210) stones with an aggregate weight of 1 kgm. formed the tail-end of Krantz's stock. In 1908, Krantz was still offering Pultusk stones weighing 565, 492, 382 gm., and numerous others of less than 100 gm. While it is perfectly true that the best museums strive to acquire and preserve the best specimens, it is scarcely a balanced argument to quote, to the exclusion of these, a small private collection in Moravia, in which fragments of all the meteorites represented amounted to only 2 kgm.

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  1. III Albert Bridge Road, London, S.W.ll.

    • L. J. SPENCER


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