All chemists learn, as a sort of subtext to the topic, that a solution is a perfect mixture. Sugar dissolved in water, for example, has some sucrose molecules that are near each other, and some far apart, but the average does not vary. Demonstrators may homogenize a solution by shaking or stirring it. Daedalus's new imperfect solution will be much more regular.

He recalls nitrogen trichloride, that remarkably unstable molecule. Even a slight touch or slight heating will set it off: 2NCl3 = N2 + 3Cl2. This extreme sensitivity must depend on the ease with which two molecules can destroy each other to produce the highly stable dinitrogen molecule, N2. A single molecule could not form it, and should be more stable. So, says Daedalus, a hot, dilute solution of nitrogen trichloride should show a novel form of fluorescence. Whenever two molecules come together, they should react, liberating stable N2; but on their own they should just stay in solution.

Now if two molecules happened to meet and decompose all at once, they would liberate a single photon with a wavelength of 260 nanometres in the far ultraviolet, a tricky spectral region. Probably, however, some molecular decomposition mechanism would liberate several less energetic photons in rapid sucession. With luck, one of this shower would be visible, or at least perceptible to a near-UV detector.

When first made, and warmed to instability, Daedalus's non-statistical solution will fluoresce furiously as all the NCl3 molecules near each other mutually annihilate, giving flashes of light. The fluorescence will then slow down to a dim 'steady state'. Occasionally, molecules some distance apart may, by thermal wandering, make the erratic journey to a lethal encounter with each other. But most active molecules will be safely apart. A viscous solvent may be needed, to slow the rate at which single molecules make this lethal journey.

Fluorescence measurements will thus show whether single molecules 'feel' macroscopic viscosity; and if not, what viscosity they do feel. They should reveal the true laws of solution. The wandering of molecules will be open to study. Daedalus even hopes that his non-statistical solution will crystallize, or at least show a higher freezing-point than an ordinary one. Of course, it must be kept quite still. Any attempt to shake or stir it will bring distant molecules together. They will annihilate each other in a great glow.