Slike strani

gical and botanical collections. For two months we had lived an altitude of over 15,000 feet, soaked by the rains and linded by the snow and hail, with little or nothing to eat, and othing to drink but tea, and yet not one of us had a oment's illness from the day we left till we reached our ɔmes again."


In a

OLANTS are permeated by the same gases that make up the atmosphere surrounding them: oxygen, carbon dioxide and trogen. Nitrogen in the form of a gas is neither used nor nerated by any part of plants, unless we except the tuberes of certain roots, and so it occurs in about the same perntage inside the plant as outside of it. On the other hand, th oxygen and carbon dioxide enter into combination with, d are liberated from, the plant tissues in varying amounts different times. The percentage of these two gases in the vities of the plant vary through a considerable range. ies of determinations made by Lawes, Gilbert, and Pugh, in gland, the oxygen ranged from 3 to 10 per cent., and the bon dioxide from 14 to 21 per cent. in plants which had en for some time in the dark, while plants which had been nding in sunlight reversed these figures, and gave 24 to 27 cent. of oxygen and 3 to 6 per cent. of carbon dioxide. The > gases, therefore, bear a somewhat reciprocal relation, their 1 usually being about 25 to 30 per cent. of the total gas in plant.

The variations in the relative amount of oxygen and carbon xide are due to two independent processes incident to the of plants. One of these processes is assimilation, by which green cells of plants in the presence of sunlight, or its ivalent, such as a strong electric light, absorb carbon dioxide liberate oxygen. This process goes on with great rapidity ealthy cells, but is entirely checked upon the withdrawal of t, or when it reaches a certain low intensity. Of course it er takes place in roots, flowers, the central portion of large 15, or other parts which are not green, nor in any fungi or er plants not possessed of green colouring matter.

he other great cause of disturbance in the relation of oxygen carbon dioxide in the plant is the process of respiration. espiration in plants is essentially the same as in animals, consists in a fixation of oxygen and the liberation of carbon ide. It takes place in every living cell, whatever the kind lant, whatever the part of the plant, and whatever the conns of active existence. The rate of respiration varies with temperature, the age of the cell, and the nature of the ical transformations. In normal respiration the amount of en absorbed is approximately the same as the amount of on dioxide evolved. There are, however, certain modified s of respiration in which this does not hold true.

living plants be placed in a vacuum, or in an atmosphere ived of oxygen, it is found that they can still carry on life esses for some time, accompanied with an evolution of carlioxide. The oxygen necessary for this process is obtained the breaking up of compounds in the cells, and it is therecalled intramolecular breathing.

e germination of seeds, which contain a large amount of s somewhat the opposite of this last process. In order to ert the fat into a more directly serviceable food material for lant, a large amount of oxygen enters into the new comion, for which there is no equivalent amount of gas liberated. sequently comes about that oily seeds in germinating aba far larger amount of oxygen than they liberate of carbon de. This is known as vincular breathing.

other variation from normal respiration is known as insolar hing, and which, with still some other modifications, I need top to explain. To this brief statement of plant respiranust be added that much yet remains to be discovered reng the details of the processes.

similation and respiration are the two great causes which b the relative volume of the two variable gases in plants. : shall now turn to the movement of the same two gases, n and carbon dioxide. There has never been a disposition the case of many other plant phenomena, to explain the ment of gases upon any other than purely physical prin. We have therefore to do simply with the question of * Reprinted from the American Naturalist for February.

the aids and hindrances to the establishment of an equilibrium between the gases inside and outside the plant, irrespective of whether the cells are alive or dead.

It has already been stated that the relative amounts of oxygen and carbon dioxide inside the plant are usually very different, and that within a few hours the relation of the two may be completely reversed. To this may be added that the pressure of the gases inside the plant is sometimes more, sometimes less than that of the atmosphere outside the plant, almost never the same. Hales observed in his early work that a mercury gauge connected with the inside of the trunk of a tree showed an internal This pressure when the hot rays of the sun warmed the trunk. was largely due, undoubtedly, to an expansion of the gases in the trunk, by the heat. Such an excess of pressure in water plants is very common, although due to other causes. It may readily be shown by breaking stems under water, when bubbles of gas will be liberated, as undoubtedly many have noticed in gathering water lilies, or other water plants.

On the other hand, the pressure of the gas inside the plant may be less than on the outside. This has long been recognised, but was best demonstrated by Von Höhnel in 1879, to whom it occurred to cut off stems under mercury. In doing so the mercury rose to a considerable height in the vessels of the stem, and as mercury is without capillarity, this can only be ascribed to the greater pressure of the outside air, or in other words, to a partial vacuum in the plant.

An observation was made by Hales, which we may use to illustrate how such a negative pressure, as it has been called, can be brought about. He cut off a branch, fastened an empty tube to the cut end, and plunged the other end of the tube into a liquid. He found that as evaporation of moisture from the leaves took place, the liquid was drawn up into the empty tube. This phenomenon can now be explained more satisfactorily than could be done at that early day. By evaporation the liquid water inside the plant escapes in the form of vapour, and the space it occupied is filled by the gases, thus rarifying them. This rarifaction may go on in uninjured plants until the internal pressure is greatly reduced. But in the experiment, the pressure is equalised by the rise of the liquid in the tube. A later modification of Hales' experiment is to use a forked branch, place the cut end in water to give a continuous supply of moisture for transpiration, and attach the empty tube to one of the side forks of the stem, cut away for that purpose.

It is self-evident that such condensation and rarifaction of the gases in the plant could not take place if the cell walls were readily permeable to gases. Thus it comes about that one of the most important topics in connection with the movement of gases in the plant, is the permeability of tissue walls of various kinds, and especially those constituting the surface covering of plants.

I shall not attempt to conduct you through the tangle of supposition and fact, errors in experiments, correct and incorrect conclusions, and the general confusion which has come from the labours of physicists, chemists and botanists for the last twentyfive years, during which the subject has received particular attention. The results of the later work have been to cast grave doubts upon the correctness, or at least the interpretation of some of the experiments most relied upon heretofore. Nevertheless many points still lie open for verification, and untouched parts of the subject await investigation.

In the earlier days it was found that the leaves and young stems of plants have their epidermis more or less well supplied with minute openings, called stomata, or breathing pores, which communicate with small air cavities in-ide, which in turn branch out among the cells into a network of minute passages rarifying throughout the plant. This intricate network of intercellular passages affords an air communication throughout the whole plant, and connects directly with the outside atmosphere through the stomata. Subsequent to the discovery of stomata, it was ascertained, that in stems more than one year old, the stomata are replaced by another kind of opening, known as lenticels, which in some form are doubtless to be found in the bark of shrubs and trees of whatever age.

Gases stream into and out of the plant through the stomata and simpler lenticels, according to the law governing the movement of gases through minute openings in thin plates. The rate of movement is accordingly proportional to the square roots of the density of the mixing gases. Such a movement of gases

is known as effusion.

The movement by which gases pass from one part of the

plant to another, through the intercellular spaces, is governed by other laws. It was at first thought that the rate of movement would correspond to that in capillary tubes, according to the well-known law of Poisenille, that it is proportional to the fourth power of the diameter, divided by the length of the tube. But upon testing the matter two years ago, Wiesner found that owing to the extreme minuteness of the intercellular spaces, and their zigzagged and branched condition, this law does not hold, neither does the movement prove to be, proportional to the density of the gases. The discovery of the law of the rate of movement of gases in intercellular spaces, that is, the transpiration of gases, is, therefore, yet to be discovered, together with other interesting facts pertaining to the subject. Poisenille's law does, however, hold good for the movement of gases in the woody ducts, but here it is of limited application, for these do not connect with one another, with the intercellular spaces, or with the exterior of the plant.

The walls of most cells, ducts, and surface covering of plants, except as already mentioned, are imperforate, that is without any openings that can be demonstrated by the microscope. If, gases pass through them, it must be in accordance with some law of diffusion, or osmosis. Many experiments in this line | have been tried, and the results have been of the most diverse character. It is impossible to give a fair idea of the subject in the time at my disposal, and it must suffice to mention a few bare facts.

The most astonishing and important results were obtained by Wiesner, in experiments conducted at Vienna, two years since. It would be a most natural interpretation, it seems to me, to think that the gases are forced from one cell to another, through the cell walls by differences in pressure. Wiesner found, however, that it is impossible to force gases through cell walls of any kind whatever, by any pressure they will stand, acting for any length of time. For instance, a bit of grape skin held up a column of mercury, 70 centimetres high, for seventy-five days, and a piece of cherry skin withstood a pressure of 3 atmospheres for twenty-four hours. Similar experiments were tried with cuticularised, suberised, liquefied and simple cellulose tissues from many sources, and with uniformly the same results, whether the tissues were moist or dry, alive or dead.

But in the same set of experiments it was found that if gases cannot be forced through cell walls, they will readily pass All cells permit the pas through by simple osmotic diffusion. sage of gases by diffusion when moist, dependent upon the coefficient of absorption and the density of the gas. Cuticular and corky formations also permit the passage of gases when dry. Thus we see that gases may be forced through the stomata, or breathing pores, by varying pressure, but can only pass through the epidermis and bark of plants by diffusion. We therefore arrive at the conclusion that the gases inside and outside of the plant are brought to an equilibrium by direct interchange through the stomata and intercellular spaces, aided by the comparatively slow process of diffusion through the whole surface of the plant, both above and below ground. J. C. ARTHUR.


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during the term has comprised lectures on the general ser of the Honour School by the Waynflete Professor o physiology of nutrition, by Dr. J. S. Haldane: and on the zerty System, by Dr. E. Starling. Mr. Leonard Hill has underde the course of lectures on elementary physiology. In instruction has been carried on under the superintendente Dr. Haldane and Mr. M. S. Pembrey.


Bulletin of the New York Mathematica! Society, Vol. 4 (New York, 1893)-The contents of this number abstract of a paper (read before the Society, June 4, 181 Prof. W. Woolsey Johnson, entitled "On Peters's Form Probable Error" (pp. 57-61). A clear abstract of Eng Sophus Lie's Theorie der Transformationsgruppen, by Chapman (pp. 61-71), and a similar account of U. Dinis on the theory of functions of a real variable, by J. Harktana 71-76). Notes and new publications complete the number.

Bulletin de l'Académie Royale de Belgique, No. 12-A published corollary of Kepler's laws, by F. Folie. A defe of Dewar's empirical formula for the ratios of the mean vel of the planets from Kepler's third law.-On the common a of surface tension and evaporation of liquids (preliminary : by G. Van der Mensbrugghe. The author endeavoured to in 1886 that the particles of a liquid are at distances apart increase as we approach the surface, and that therefore tension is greatest at the surface. Following up this ve regards surface tension as the elastic force due to tangentia placement of surface particles, and evaporation as prodes molecular displacement beyond a certain limit in a dra normal to the surface. He predicts that a liquid of high s tension will be able to evaporate across another liquid whe a lower density and surface tension, and does not mix w former.-On a new optical illusion, by M. J. Deibœuf—Ori geve reduction of invariant functions in the system variables, by Jacques Deruyts.-Construction of a system of straight lines of the second order and the second by François Deruyts.-Contribution to the study of diase Jules Vuylsteke.—Pupine, a new animal substance, by Griffiths. Two experimental verifications relative to re Billet has calcuinte in crystals, by J. Verschaffelt. refraction takes place on a cleavage face of a crystal cfl spar, the angle of refraction for the extraordinary ray ponding to normal incidence is 6°12', and that the rays with an incidence of 9° 49'. M. Verschaffelt has deer these angles experimentally, and found them to be 5 9° 45' respectively, thus showing a close agreement *. theoretical values.-On the bacterian fermentation of s by M. A. B. Griffiths.-On prejudices in astronomy, Folie. On the constitution of matter and modern pay P. de Heen.

Ann. dell' Ufficio Cent. Meteor e Geodinamico, ser. part iii. vol. xi. 1889. Roma, 1892.-Fumo di Valca dall' Osservatorio di Palermo durante l'eruzione del 1 Ricco. From the obervatory terrace (72m. above sea summits of some of the Lipari islands are visible, be Vulcano (140km. distant) is not so. Any smoke or va exceeds 300m. in height can, however, be seen. The not successful in either photographing or measuring th sions of the smoke cloud, which were, however, e comparison with the size of Alicuri, which had beez determined. At the commencement of the c (January 6, 1889) the smoke column reached a heig and had the form of the pine tree. Several drawings and the form assumed in some cases is very curious. terminates with some thermodynamical calculations. very interesting, but unfortunately based on false pret author supposes that the eruption was caused by the a

OXFORD.-The Curators of the Hope Collections will prod to the election of a Hope Professor in Trinity Term 1893. andidates for the Professorship, of which the emoluments are No per annum, are required to send in their applications, ther with such evidence of their qualifications as they may w to submit to the Curators, on or before May 1, 1893, to Registrar of the University, Clarendon Buildings, Oxford. hues of the Hope Professor are, to give public lectures #vate instruction on zoology with special reference to the vulata, to arrange and superintend the Hope collection of Animals, and to reside in the University for the term of sea-water. ths in every academical year between October 1 and

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He supposes this to be at sea level, and the pressure at this point, concludes the vapour w from water heated to 196° C. only. He seems to be with the solution of H2O in the fluid volcanic glass, the and escape of vapour from it, involving so many da the physicist has not yet supplied us, as to mast: tions of such a nature of a highly romantic rather th


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Mem. Soc. degli Spettroscopisti Ital. vol. xxi. 1892.—La Grandissima Macchia Solare del Febbrajo 1892, by A. Ricco.This memoir is a description of an enormous sun-spot which developed from some small ones that had been noticed during three rotations before January 17. On February 5, they made their grand entry on the solar face on the east side, and by the 7th could be seen by the eye aided only by a smoked glass. The whole spot was composed of a very large one surrounded by smaller ones, and composed of great tongues of flame extending in towards the nucleus, sometimes arranged in a spiral manner. It attained its maximum on February 11, when the whole patch measured, in earth diameters, as follows: Total length, 20; total breadth, 8; the more compact extended 8 in each direction. After this the breaking up of the spot proceeded at a rapid rate, and by rotation the spot passed out of sight on the 18th. On the next rotation the diminution was much more marked. The author gives six observations of latitude, eight drawings, and several spectroscopic observations on the flames.


Royal Society, February 23.—“On the Mimetic Forms of certain Butterflies of the Genus Hypolimnas." By Colonel C. Swinhoe, M.A. Communicated by Prof. E. Ray Lankester, F.R.S.

The object of this investigation is to study the changes undergone by the species of a small group of butterflies as they are traced from one locality to another, and to ascertain the bearing of these facts upon the theory of mimicry.

We find the representatives of the Indian Hypolimnas bolina in a long list of localities in Malaya, Polynesia, and Africa: the local representatives differ from each other and from the Indian form, but they agree in possessing in one or both sexes a more or less superficial resemblance to some conspicuous species belonging to a specially defended group and inhabiting the same locality; the same is true of the three forms of the female of Hypolimnas misippus.

The facts afford the most convincing evidence of the truth of the theory of mimicry enunciated by H. W. Bates.

The study of these numerous but closely-related forms belonging to the genus Hypolimnas also throws light upon such interesting questions as :

(1) The special liability of the female to become mimetic. (2) The ancestral form from which the various mimetic varieties have been derived.

(3) The mimetic resemblance to different species in the same locality.

(4) The divergent conditions under which mimicry appears in closely-related species.

(5) The relation between selection and variation in the production of mimetic resemblance.


Physical Society, February 10.-Annual general meeting. -Mr. Walter Baily, Vice-President, in the chair. -The reports of the Council and Treasurer were read and approved, copies of the balance-sheet being distributed to members. From the former it appears that the society now numbers 371 ordinary members and 12 honorary members, and during the past year the society has lost six members by death, viz. the Rev. T. Pelham Dale, Dr. J. T. Hurst, B. Loewy, C. E. Walduck, G. M. Whippie, and P. W. Willans. Obituary notices accompany the report. The treasurer's statement shows the financial condition of the society to be satisfactory. cordial vote of thanks to the Committee of Council on Education for the use of the rooms and apparatus of the Royal College of Science was proposed by Mr. Shelford Bidwell, seconded by Mr. Blakesley, and carried unanimously. A similar vote was accorded to the auditors, Mr. H. M. Elder and Mr. A. P. Trotter, on the motion of Dr. Gladstone, seconded by Prof. S. P. Thompson. Prof. Ramsay proposed a vote of thanks to the officers of the society for their services during the past year; this was seconded by Prof. Fuller, and carried. Prof. Perry responded. The following gentlemen were declared duly elected to form the new council :-President: Prof. A. W. Rücker, F.R.S. Vice-Presidents: Walter Baily, Major-General E. R. Festing, F. R.S.; Prof. J. Perry, F.R.S.; Prof. S. P. Thompson, F.R.S. Secretaries: H. M. Elder, 50, City Road, E.C.; and T. H. Blakesley, 3, Eliot Hill, Lewisham, S E. Treasurer: Dr. E. Atkinson, Portesbery Hill, Camberley,

Surrey. Demonstrator: C. Vernon Boys, F.R.S., Physical Laboratory, South Kensington. Other members of Council: Shelford Bidwell, F. R.S., W. E. Sumpner, Prof. G. Fuller, J. Swinburne, Prof. J. V. Jones, Rev. F. J. Smith, Prof. G. M. Minchin, L. Fletcher, F. R.S., Prof. O. Henrici, F. R.S., James Wimshurst.-In response to invitations for suggestions regarding the working of the society, Prof. S. P. Thompson said all must appreciate the efforts of the late Council, and particularly of the honorary secretaries, in making the society better known. But he could not help thinking that there were many persons amongst teachers of physics and scientific amateurs whose active sympathies it was desirable to engage, who were not yet associated with the society. Perhaps the time of meeting was not convenient for all, but he thought much might be done by freely circulating particulars of what was going on at the meetings. The daily papers merely announced the meetings, but said nothing as to the place of meeting or the papers to be read. In his opinion the society did not take the position in the scientific world to which it was entitled, and he wished to inspire members with a determination to bring its claims prominently forward.—Mr. Blakesley pointed out that almost all the scientific and technical papers gave full announcements of the meetings and of the papers to be read.-Mr. W F. Stanley said Friday afternoon was not convenient for scientific men engaged in trade. -The meeting was then resolved into an ordinary science meeting.-Dr. J. H. Gladstone, F. R.S., read a paper on some recent determinations of molecular refraction and dispersion. The paper relates to the new metallic carbonyls, the metals indium and gallium, sulphur, and to liquefied oxygen, nitrous oxide, and ethylene. The carbonyls were found to be extremely refractive and enormously dispersive. For iron pentacarbonyl, Fe(CO), the molecular refraction for the line a of hydrogen was found to be about 68.5, and the molecular dispersion between y and a of hydrogen 6.6. For nickel tetra-carbonyl, Ni(CO), the corresponding numbers are 577 and 5'93. In discussing the results it was pointed out that if the molecular refraction of CO be taken as 84, the value expected in organic substances, then the atomic dispersions of nickel and iron come out greatly in excess of the known values as determined from solutions of their salts. The author considers the most probable explanation of the excessive refractions and dispersions of the carbonyls is to be sought in the peculiar arrangement of the CO, and on optical as well as chemical grounds accepts the ring formulæ indicated by Mr. Mond in his lecture at the Royal Institution, viz. :—

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On this supposition the molecular refraction of CO comes out 119 from the nickel compound and 11'3 from the iron ore, whilst the molecular dispersion (-a) is about 13 in each case. indium and gallium the atomic refractions calculated from latest data are 137 and 116 respectively. Sulphur has been examined in the states of solid, liquid, and gas, and also in simple chemical combination and in solution, all the resulting numbers for its atomic refraction being remarkably concordant. For the line C this is about 16. The dispersions in all the different states are also in close agreement. Numbers relating to carbon and chlorine are also given. The specific refractions of oxygen, nitrous oxygen, and ethylene in the liquid states had been recently determined by Profs. Liveing and Dewar. For liquid oxygen the refraction equivalent (3 182) differs little from that deduced from gaseous oxygen at ordinary temperatures (3'0316), and also corresponds fairly closely to the 30 obtained by Landolt from organic compounds. Liquid nitrous oxide gave 11418 and 11840 as the molecular refractions for the red ray of lithium and the line G respectively. In discussing these numbers it was pointed out that nitrogen in nitrous oxide was not in the same condition as nitrogen in ammonia. The latest determinations with liquid ethylene gave the molecular refraction for the line A as 1741, the theoretical value being 17:40, thus showing very close agreement.-Mr. E. C. C. Baly made a communication on separation and striation of rarefied gases under the influence of the electric discharge.

Chemical Society, February 3.-Dr. W. H. Perkin, VicePresident, in the chair. The following papers were read:The connection between the atomic weight of the contained metals and the magnitude of the angles of crystals of isomorphous series, by A. E. Tutton. The author has made a detailed goniometrical investigation of twenty-two salts belonging to the RM(SO4)2,6H,O series of double sulphates containing as the alkali metal R potassium, rubidium or cæsium, and as the dyad metal M magnesium, zinc, iron, manganese, nickel, cobalt, copper, or cadmium. On classifying the salts into three groups according to the alkali metals which they contain, it is found that the geometrical and other properties of the salts containing rubidium as the monad metal, lie between those of the corre sponding potassium and cæsium salts. Thus the caesium salts show the greatest power of crystallising, those of potassium the least, whilst the salt containing rubidium occupy an intermediate position in this respect. Similar behaviour is observed with regard to the crystalline habits of the various salts; each of the three groups is characterised by the possession of a distinctive habit. The crystalline habit of the salts containing potassium is widely different from that of the salts containing caesium; the specific characteristic habit of the rubidium salts is of an intermediate nature. There is a difference of some two degrees or so between the axial angles (B) of the potassium and cæsium salt crystals containing the same dyad metal; the magnitude of the angle B in the corresponding rubidium salt is approximately the mean of these two. The differences between the axial angles are hence approximately proportional to the differences between the atomic weights of the contained alkali metals if the dyad metal remain the same. The magnitudes of all the angles between the faces of the crystals of the salts of this series containing rubidium as the alkali metal lie between, though not ordinarily midway between, the magnitudes of the corresponding angles upon the crystals of the potassium and cæsium salts containing the same dyad metal. The alkali metals exert a preponderating influence upon the geometrical form of the crystals, the magnitudes of the angles being altered on displacing one alkali metal R by the next higher or lower to an extent attaining a maximum, in certain angles, of more than a degree, whilst the displacement of the dyad metal M by any other of the same group is unattended by any material change in the angular magnitudes.-The preparation of phosphoric oxide free from the lower oxide, by W. A. Shenstone and C. R. Beck. Phosphoric oxide may be freed from the lower oxides by distilling it over platinum sponge in presence of excess of oxygen. -Contributions to our knowledge of the aconite alkaloids: Part iv., on isaconitine (napelline), by W. R. Dunstan and E. F. Harrison. The authors have examined the alkaloid isaconitine C33H45NO12, which occurs together with its isome ride aconitine in the roots of Aconitum napellus. It is present to as great an extent as aconitine, and is obtained in the pure state as a colourless, friable, varnish-like mass. Its alcoholic solution is feebly dextrorotatory. The salts somewhat resemble the corresponding aconitine salts in physical properties. On attempting to prepare an aurichloride, aurochlorisaconitine, C33H(AuCl)NO12, results. Isaconitine is gradually hydrolysed by mineral acids or water yielding the same products as does aconitine, viz. aconine and benzoic acid

C33H45NO12 + H2O = C6H41NO11 + C7H6O2. Whilst aconitine is a most violent poison, even in excessively minute doses, relatively large quantities of isaconitine must be administered to small animals in order to produce a toxic effect, which effect is the result of a physiological action in the main distinct from that of aconitine. It seems doubtful whether isaconitine would prove toxic to man, except when given in very large doses.-Contributions to our knowledge of the aconite alkaloids: Part v., the composition of some commercial speci mens of aconitine, by W. R. Dunstan and F. H. Carr. The great differences in toxic power exhibited by different samples of aconitine have led the authors to examine sixteen specimens of "aconitine from A. napellus." Most of the samples were amorphous; these contained little or no aconitine, but were chiefly composed of aconine, isaconitine, and homoisaconitine, all of which appear to be very slightly, if at all, toxic. Of the crystalline specimens examined, only two were pure, most of them being contaminated with more or less amorphous alkaloid. Hence it is not surprising that great differences have been observed in the mode of action and toxic power of commercial "aconitine."-Synthesis of oxazoles from benzoin and nitriles,

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A number of instances of this reaction are cited. The above oxazole, when treated with ammonia, is converted into the corresponding imidazole identical with Japp and Wynnes methyldiphenylglyoxaline. The action of nitrosyl chloride and of nitric peroxide on some members of the olefine series, by W. A. Tilden and J. J. Sudborough. Ethylene dichloride alone results from the interaction of ethylene and nitrosyl chlonde Propylene and butylene yield with nitrosyl chloride a mix cre of dichloride and nitrosochloride, whilst trimethylene (amylene) is almost entirely converted into nitrosochloride.-Piperazine, by W. Majert and A. Schmidt. The authors correct certain erroneous statements regarding the physical and chemical characters of piperazine. They have prepared the following series of hydrates of piperazine, the hexhydrate, which crystallises from dilute aqueous solutions, being the most readily formed::75°

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Linnean Society, February 16.-Prof. Stewart, President, in the chair.-Mr. Clement Reid exhibited and gave an account of some seeds of Paradoxocarpus carinatus, an extinct Pliocene and Pleistocene plant from the Cromer fossil bed. Mr. Reid also exhibited and described some examples of Fotamogeton headonensis, a new type of pond weed from the Oligocene strata of Hordle Cliff in Hampshire. His remarks, which were listened to with great interest, were elucidated with the aid of diagrams, and were criticised by Mr. W. Carruthers and others. Mr. J. E. Harting exhibited some dried plants of a so-called Greek tea (Sideritis theezans, Boissier), which during a recent visit to Thessaly he had found to be extensively used there, as an infusion in lieu of tea. He also exhibited some photographs of Thessalian scenery, showing the geological and botanical character of the country bordering the great plain of Larissa. Dr. Otto Stapf pointed out on the map the scene of Bornmueller's recent botanical explorations in Persia, and gave some account of the flora of that region as far as has at present been ascertained.-On behalf of Mr. C. B. Plowright, a paper, communicated by the President, was read on the life history of the Ecidium on Paris quadrifolia.-On behalf of Mr. J. C. Willis, who was unfortunately prevented by illness from attending, a paper was read entitled Contributions to the natural history of the flower." This paper, the first of a series, dealt with the fertilisation by insects of plants belonging to the genera Claytoma, Phacelia, and Monarda.-Some observations on British worms, by the Rev. H. Friend, were read on his behalf by the Secretary.

Royal Meteorological Society, February 15-Dr. C. Theodore Williams, President, in the chair.-The following papers were read:-Report on the phenological observations for 1892, by Mr. E. Mawley. The Royal Meteorological Society has for a number of years past collected observations on natural periodical phenomena, such as the date of the flowering of plants, the arrival, song, and nesting of birds, the first appearance of insects, &c. These observations were supervised and discussed by the Rev. T. A. Preston until 1888, since which time they have been under the direction of Mr. E Mawley. The year 1892 was on the whole very cold and back. ward. The frequent frosts and dry weather during the first tive months greatly retarded vegetation, and consequently all the early wild flowers were very late in coming into blossom. Bush fruits and strawberries were, as a rule, good and fairly plentiful. Plums and pears were almost everywhere a failure, and apple were considerably under the average. The wheat crop was a very light one, owing in part to the attacks of blight brought

on in many places by the frost in June. Oats, beans, and peas were much under the average, while barley was the chief crop of the year. Potatoes, turnips, and mangolds were above the average. During August butterflies were very numerous, the clouded yellow butterfly being exceptionally abundant.Relation between the duration of sunshine, the amount of cloud, and the height of the barometer, by Mr. W. Ellis. This is a discussion of the observations ma ie at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, during the fifteen years 1877-91, from which it appears that in the months from February to October there is, on the whole, a distinct probability of increased sunshine and correspondingly less cloud with increase of barometer reading. The winter in all conditions of the barometer is uniformly dull. Mr. Ellis says that it is evident that high barometer in summer presages increased sunshine, that the effect is less pronounced in early spring and late autumn, and that it becomes slightly reversed in winter.-Winter temperatures on mountain summits, by Mr. W. Piffe Brown. In this paper the author gives the lowest winter temperature on the summit of Y Glyder fach, four miles E.N.E. from Snowdon, and 3262 feet above sea level, as recorded by a minimum thermometer during the last twentyfive years. The lowest temperature registered was 9° during the winter 1891-2.

Zoological Society, February 14.-Osbert Salvin, F. R.S., Vice President, in the chair.-The secretary read a report on the additions that had been made to the Society's menagerie during the month of January 1893.-Prof. G. B. Howes exhibited and made remarks on an abnormal sternum of a Marmoset (Hapale iacchus) in which the mesosternal elements of the opposite sides were distinct, and alternately disposed, and discussed its probable bearings upon the sternum of the Anthropomorpha, particularly as represented by the orang.-Prof. T. Jeffrey Parker, F.R S., read a paper on the cranial ostelogy, classific ation, and phylogeny of the Dinornithida, The author gave a detailed description of the skull in various genera and species of Moa, founded upon the exa nination of more than 120 specimens. A detailed comparison with the skulls of the other Ratitæ followed, as well as an extensive series of measurements. -The bearing of the facts ascertained upon the classification of the family was discussed. The author recognised five genera od Dinornithida, arranged in three subfamilies as follows: Subfamily DINORNITHINE, genus Dinornis; subfamily ANOMALOPTERYGINÆ, genera Pachyornis, Mesopteryx, and Anomalopteryx; subfamily EMEINE, genus Emeus. The phylogeny of the group was then discussed. Mesopteryx was considered to be the most generalised form, while Dinornis and Emeus were both highly specialised, but in different directions. other Ratitæ, Apteryx came nearest to the Moas in the structure of its skull, and strong affinities were shown to the New Zealand genera by Dromæus and Casuarius. Struthio and Rhea, on the other hand, showed no special affinities, so far as the skull is concerned, either to the Australasian forms or to one another.-Mr. R. Lydekker read a paper on the presence of a distinct coracoidal element in adult sloths, and made remarks on its homology. It was shown that in two skeletons of sloths in the British Museum the shoulder-girdle exhibited a distinct coracoidal element. This element, like the coracoid process of the human scapula, was correlated with the precoracoid of the lower vertebrates; and the question was then discussed as to the name by which it should properly be called.-A communication was read from Dr. G. Radde, containing an account of the present range of the European bison in the Caucasus.


Of the

Junior Scientific Club, Feb. 17.-In the Morphological Laboratory. The President in the chair.-Mr. A. L. Still gave an exhibit of a variety of a common pheasant, which was shot near Croydon. This proved to be an extremely light-coloured young cock.-Mr. H. Balfour gave an exhibit of some modern Klepsydræ, such as are now used in guard rooms in many parts of Northern India and Burmah. He also showed some water clocks from Burmah, one of which was of interest as having come from the Imperial Palace of Mandalay, where it was the public standard of time.-Dr. Leonard Hill read an account of his researches on the gas evolved from muscles.-Mr. H. V. Reade read a paper on consciousness, and the unconscious, citing several cases of dual personality, and showing that memory could be explained by purely physiological reasoning.


Royal Society, February 6.-Sir Arthur Mitchell, K. C. B., Vice-president, in the chair.-Mr. John Aitken read a paper on the particles in fogs and clouds. In a paper read some time since on the water particles in clouds, Mr. Aitken came to the conclusion that there was a relation between the density of the clouds and the number of water particles present. In May last year he made further observations, and got results opposite to the former. Instead of the density being nearly proportional to the number of water particles present, it was much short of proportionality, and the particles were small in size. Mr. Aitken points out that the size of the particles of water changes with the age of the clouds, and concludes that his first observations were made upon old clouds, while the latter series were made upon newly-formed clouds. He also considered the question of the persistence of fog-particles. There are two kinds of fog. In one the particles tend to persist, in the other they do not. That is, in one case, change of size of the particles takes place rapidly; in the other it does not. In town fogs it is not so much the number of dust particles that is of importance as their composition. If town dust were composed of particles having an affinity for water the fogs would have shorter duration.-Sir Douglas Maclagan described and explained an apparatus designed by Mr. J. Buchanan Young, Public Health Laboratory, Edinburgh University, for counting bacterial colonies in roll cultures.-A note, by Prof. Anglin, on properties of the parabola, was read. Mr. A. J. Herbertson read a preliminary note on the hygrometry of the atmosphere at Ben Nevis. He finds that the observations already made agree well with the formula y = ax + b wc; where y is the difference between the readings of the dry and wet bulbs, x is the temperature of the dry bulb, w is the weight of moisture per litre, and a b c are



Royal Dublin Society, January 18.-Prof. W. J. Sollas, F. R.S., in the chair.-Dr. J. Joly, F. R. S., read a paper on the cause of the bright colours of Alpine flowers. The conditions of insect life upon the higher Alps are referred to in this paper as bearing upon the question. Observations made by the author show that many thousands of bees and butterflies frequently perish in the cold of night-time on Swiss glaciers and firns. The author advocates the view that the scarcity of fertilising agents promotes a struggle for existence in the form of a rivalry to attract the attention of the fewer fertilisers by vivid colouring.-Prof. G. A. J. Cole read a paper on hemitrypa hibernica, M'Coy.-A paper was read on a suggestion as to a possible source of the energy required for the life of bacilli, and as to the cause of their small size, by Dr. G. Johnstone Stoney, F. R. S., Vice-President.-Prof. W. J. Sollas, F.R.S., read a paper on the law of Gladstone as an optical probe.

February 22.-Prof. W. J. Sollas, F. R. S., in the chair.— Mr. Thomas Preston read a lecture note on the principle of work, showing that since the virtual work of a force is equal to the movement of an equal force at right angles to it, the principle of virtual work follows immediately as a corollary to the theorem of movements.-Prof. D. J. Cunningham, F.R.S., communicated a paper by Prof. A. M. Paterson on the human sacrum.— Prof. A. C. Haddon communicated a paper by Miss Florence Buchanan on Eunice phylocorallia, n. sp., commensal with Lophohelia prolifera.


Academy of Sciences, February 20.-M. de LacazeDuthiers in the chair.-Description of an instrument to show the small variations in the intensity of gravitation, by M. Bouquet de la Grye. The instrument, which has been set up in a cellar of the Dépôt de la Marine, consists of an iron tank containing hydrogen confined over mercury, with three tubes leading out through the bottom. Two of these tubes are bent upwards to about 40 cm. above the ground. One of them is used for filling the tank with mercury, the other for letting in the hydrogen, which is accomplished by letting mercury run out through the third pipe at the bottom. The second pipe ends in a horizontal tube made of glass, through the walls of which the fluctuations of the column of mercury sustained by the elastic force of the hydrogen can be observed. By means of an alcohol thermometer immersed in the mercury on the top of the tank, changes of temperature of one-thousandth of a degree are indicated by a move

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