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Paper, 'On the limit of the liquid state' by J B [James Ballantyne] Hannay

Reference number: PP/1/25

Date: 1881


Hannay writes: 'The uncertainty which characterises our knowledge of the true condition of a fluid immediately above and below the critical temperature, induced me to enter into a full examination of various fluids, with the object of gaining accurate definitions of the liquid and gaseous states, as well as to arrive at a true conception of the state of matter to which the term vapour can be applied. In a former paper, which the Royal Society has honoured me by publishing, experiments were detailed which seemed to show that the liquid state terminated at the critical temperature, and that no amount of pressure would suffice at any higher temperature to render the fluid capable of exhibiting surface tension or capillarity; in fact, that the state of a fluid above that temperature coincided with the properties we call gaseous.'

Annotations in pencil and ink. Includes one figure of Hannay's experimental apparatus and three graphs of experimental results.

Subject: Chemistry

Received 22 February 1881. Read 10 March 1881 / January 26 1882. Communicated by George Gabriel Stokes.

A version of this paper was published in volume 33 of the Proceedings of the Royal Society as 'On the limit of the liquid state'. An earlier paper of the same name by Hannay was abstracted in volume 31 of the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

Reference number
Earliest possible date
Physical description
Ink and graphite pencil on paper
Page extent
53 pages

Creator name

James Ballantyne Hannay

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James Ballantyne Hannay, Paper, 'On the limit of the liquid state' by J B [James Ballantyne] Hannay, 1881, PP/1/25, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 01 March 2024

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    Dates: 1882 - 1894

    The archival collection known as 'Proceedings Papers' is comprised of manuscripts and occasional proofs of scientific papers sent to the Royal Society which were read before meetings of Fellows and printed in full in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

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