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Further, in the eclipse observed in Siam in 1875, the H and K lines left the strongest record in the spectrum of the chromosphere, while the line near G in a photographic region of much greater intensity was not recorded at all. In the American eclipse of the present year the H and K lines of calcium were distinctly visible at the base of the corona, in which, for the first time, the observers could scarcely trace the existence of any hydrogen.

To sum up, then, the facts regarding calcium, we have first of all the H line differentiated from the others by its almost solitary existence in Sirius. We have the K line differentiated from the rest by its birth, so to speak, in a Aquilæ, and the thickness of its line in the sun, as compared to that in the arc. We have the blue line differentiated from H and K by its thinness in the solar spectrum while they are thick, and by its thickness in the arc while they are thin. We have it again differentiated from them by its absence in solar storms in

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which they are almost universally seen, and, finally, by its absence during eclipses, while the H and K lines have been the brightest seen or photographed. Last stage of all, we have calcium, distinguished from its salts by the fact that the blue line is only visible when a high temperature is employed, each salt having a definite spectrum of its own, in which none of the lines to which I have drawn attention appear, so long as the temperature is kept below a certain point.


With regard to the iron spectrum, I shall limit my remarks to that portion of it visible on my photographic plates, between H and G. It may be described as a very complicated spectrum, so far as the number of lines is concerned, in comparison with such bodies as sodium and potassium, lead, thallium, and the like; but unlike them, again, it contains no one line which is clearly and unmistakably reversed on all occasions. Compared, however, with the spectrum of such bodies as cerium and uranium, the spectrum is simplicity itself.

Now, among these lines are two triplets, two sets of three lines each, giving us beautiful examples of those repetitions of structure in the spectrum which we meet with in the spectra of almost all bodies, some of which have already been pointed out by Mascart, Cornu, and myself. Now the facts indicate that these two triplets are not due to the vibration of the same molecular grouping which gives rise to most of the other lines. They are as follows. In many photographs in which iron has been compared with other bodies, and in others again in which iron has been photographed as existing in different degrees of impurity in other boilies, these triplets have been seen almost alone, and the relative intensity of them, as compared with the few remaining lines, is greatly changed. In this these photographs resemble one I took three years ago, in which a large coil and jar were employed instead of the arc, which necessitated an exposure of an hour instead of two minutes. In this the triplet near G is very

marked; the two adjacent lines more refrangible near it, which are seen nearly as strong as the triplet itself in some of the arc photographs I possess, are only very faintly visible, while dimmer still are seen the lines of the triplet between H and h.

There is another series of facts in another line of work. In solar storms, as is well known, the iron lines sometimes make their appearance in the chromosphere. Now, if we were dealing here with one molecular grouping, we should expect the lines to make their appearance in the order of their lengths, and we should expect the shortest lines to occur less frequently than the longest ones. Now, precisely the opposite is the fact. One of the most valuable contributions to solar physics that we possess is the memoir in which Professor C. A. Young records his observation of the chromospheric lines, made on behalf of the United States Government, at Sherman, in the Rocky Mountains. The glorious climate and pure air of this region, to which I can personally testify, enabled him to record phenomena which it is hopeless to expect to see under less favourable conditions. Among these were injections of iron vapour into the chromosphere, the record taking the form of the number of times any one line was seen during the whole period of observation.

Now, two very faint and short lines close to the triplet near G were observed to be injected thirty times, while one of the lines of the triplet was only injected twice.

The question next arises, are the triplets produced by one molecular grouping or by two ? This question I also think the facts help us to

I will first state, by way of reminder, that in the spark photograph the more refrangible triplet is barely visible, while the one near G is very strong. Now, if one molecular grouping alone were in question, this relative intensity would always be preserved, however much the absolute intensity of the compound system might vary, but if it is a question of two molecules, we might expect that, in some of the regions open to our observation, we should get evidence of cases in which the relative intensity is reversed or the two intensities are assimilated. What might happen does happen; the relative intensity of the two triplets in the spark photograph is grandly reversed in the spectrum of the sun. The lines barely visible in the spark photograph are among the most prominent in the solar spectrum, while the triplet which is strong in that photograph is represented by Fraunhofer lines not half so thick. Indeed, while the hypothesis that the iron lines in the region I have indicated are produced by the vibration of one molecule does not include all the facts, the hypothesis that the vibrations are produced by at least three distinct molecules includes all the phenomena in a most satisfactory manner.


Lithium. Before the maps of the long and short lines of some of the chemical elements compared with the solar spectra, which were published in the “ Philosophical Transactions " for 1873, Plate 9, were communicated to the Society, I very carefully tested the work of prior observers on the non-coincidence of the red and orange lines of that metal with the Fraunhofer lines, and found that neither of them were strongly, if at all, represented in the sun, and this remark also applies to a line in the blue at wave-length 4603.

The photographic lithium line, however, in the violet, has a strong representative among the Fraunhofer lines.

Applying, therefore, the previous method of stating the facts, the presence of this line in the sun differentiates it from all the others. For the differentiation of the red and yellow lines I need only refer to Bunsen's spectral analytical researches, which were translated in the “ Philosophical Magazine,” December, 1875.

In Plate 4 two spectra of the chloride of lithium are given, one of them showing the red line strong and the yellow one feeble, the other showing merely a trace of the red line, while the intensity of the yellow one is much increased, and a line in the blue is indicated. Another notice of the blue line of lithium occurs in a discourse by Professor Tyndall, reprinted in the “Chemical News," and in a letter of Dr. Frankland's to Professor Tyndall, dated November 7, 1861. This letter is so important for my argument that I reprint it entire from the “ Philosophical Magazine," vol. xxii, p. 472 :

“On throwing the spectrum of lithium on the screen yesterday, I was surprised to see a magnificent blue band. At first I thought the lithic chloride must be adulterated with strontium, but on testing it with Steinheil's apparatus it yielded normal results without any trace of a blue band. I am just now reading the report of your discourse in the 'Chemical News, and I find that you have noticed the saine thing. Whence does this blue line arise ? Does it really belong to the lithium, or are the carbon points or ignited air guilty of its pro

duction ? I find these blue bands with common salt, but they have neither the definiteness nor the brilliancy of the lithium band. When lithium wire burns in air it emits a somewhat criinson light; plunge it into oxygen, and the light changes to bluish-white. This seems to indicate that a high temperature is necessary to bring out the blue


Postscript, November 22, 1861.—“I have just made some further experiments on the lithium spectrum, and they conclusively prove that the appearance of the blue line depends entirely on the temperature. The spectrum of lithic chloride, ignited in a Bunsen's burner flame, does not disclose the faintest trace of the blue line; replace the Bunsen's burner by a jet of hydrogen (the temperature of which is higher than that of the Bunsen's burner) and the blue line appears, faint, it is true, but sharp and quite unmistakable. If oxygen now be slowly turned into the jet, the brilliancy of the blue line increases until the temperature of the flame rises high enough to fuse the platinum, and thus put an end to the experiment."

These observations of Professors Tyndall and Frankland differentiate this blue line from those which are observed at low temperatures. The line in the violet to which I have already referred is again differentiated from all the rest by the fact that it is the only line in the spectrum of the sun which is strongly reversed, so far as our present knowledge extends. The various forms of lithium, therefore, may be shown in the following manner.

FIG. 5.





It is remarkable that in the case of this body which at relatively low temperature goes through its changes, its compounds are broken up at the temperature of the Buusen burner. The spectrum, e.g. of the chloride, so far as I know, has never been seen..

Hydrogen. All the phenomena of variability and inversion in the order of intensity presented to us in the case of calcium can be paralleled by reference to the knowledge already acquired regarding the spectrum of hydrogen.

Dr. Frankland and myself were working together on the subject in 1869. In that year (“Proc. Roy. Soc.," No. 112) we pointed out that the behaviour of the h line was hors ligne, and that the whole spectrum could be reduced to one line, F.

“1. The Fraunhofer line on the solar spectrum, named h by Ångström, which is due to the absorption of hydrogen, is not visible in the tubes we employ with low battery and Leyden-jar power; it may be looked upon, therefore, as an indication of relatively high temperature. As the line in question has been reversed by one of us in the spectrum of the chromosphere, it follows that the chromosphere, when cool enough to absorb, is still of a relatively high temperature.

“ 2. Under certain conditions of temperature and pressure, the very complicated spectrum of hydrogen is reduced in our instrument to one line in the green, corresponding to F in the solar spectrum.”

As in the case of calcium also, solar observation affords us most precious knowledge. The h line was missing from the protuberances in 1875, as will be shown from the accompanying extract from the Report of the Eclipse Expedition of that year:

“During the first part of the eclipse two strong protuberances close together are noticed ; on the limb towards the end these are partially covered, while a series of protuberances came out at the other edge. The strongest of these protuberances are repeated three times, an effect of course of the prism, and we shall have to decide if possible the wave-lengths corresponding to the images. We expect à priori to find the hydrogen lines represented. We know three photographic hydrogen lines: F, a line near G, and h. F is just at the limit of the photographic part of the spectrum, and we find indeed images of protuberances towards the less refrangible part at the limit of photographic effect. For, as we shall show, a continuous spectrum in the lower parts of the corona has been recorded, and the extent of this continuous spectrum gives us an idea of the part of the spectrum in which each protuberance line is placed. We are justified in assuming, therefore, as a preliminary hypothesis, that the least refrangible line in the protuberance shown on the photograph is due to F, and we shall find support of this view in the other lines. In order to determine the position of the next line the dispersive power of the prism was investigated. The prism was placed on a goniometer table in minimum deviation for F, and the angular distance between F and the hydrogen line near G, i.e., Hy, was found, as a mean of several measurements, to be 3'. The goniometer was graduated to 15", and owing to the small dispersive power, and therefore relatively great breadth of the slit, the measurement can only be regarded as a first approximation. Turning now again to our photographs, and calculating the angular distance between the first and second ring of protuberances, we find that distance to be 3' 15". We conclude, i herefore, that this second ring is due to hydrogen. We, therefore,

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