Referee report by T. R. Robinson on 'On the Spectra of Ignited Gases and Vapours, with Especial Regard to the Different Spectra of the Same Elementary Gaseous Substance' by J. Plücker and J. Hittorf

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                                described should be referred to it. It gave me 
some trouble to get a clear notion of their place 
from the mere words of their description.
In speaking of the fact that the lines of his second spectrum 
swell out when the energy of the discharge is increased 
he says of the Hydrogen bands that “the wave length 
of the light constituting them remains the same 
when thus expanded “. This must be an oversight 
for even with one prism the blue and violet band 
are sometimes six or seven minutes broad;
in which case the [text?] of the two edges can not be the
same. This had best be corrected.
There is a want of detailed information as 
to force of discharge, distance of electrodes, and 
surface of jars, all which are important elem =
ents of a discussion of the facts. These might per =
haps be supplied 
Among some statements as to which I am rather 
sceptical I will mention two 
Dr Plucker says that Geisler’s mercurial Airpump 
exhausts so completely that the discharge of Ruhm =
korffs small Induction machine will not pass through 
its vacuum. My reason for thinking there is some 
mistake here is that (besides the presence of hygrometric 
water adhering to the glass which he admits) such a vacuum can not 
be better than a good Torricellian one in which 
there is always present enough of mercurial vapour 
to conduct. Mr Gassiot found this to be the case 
till he cooled the tube far below the freezing point 
of mercury. Perhaps in Dr Pluckers experiment, the 
condenser of the Induction machine may have 
been disconnected. I may add that he was 
anticipated by Mr Gassiot in inferring that Elec =
tricity cannot be conducted in the absence 
of ponderable matter 
                            
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Manuscript details

Author
Johann Wilhelm Hittorf , Johann Wilhelm Hittorf , Julius Plücker
Reference
RR/5/186
Series
RR
Date
1864
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Referee report by T. R. Robinson on 'On the Spectra of Ignited Gases and Vapours, with Especial Regard to the Different Spectra of the Same Elementary Gaseous Substance' by J. Plücker and J. Hittorf, 1864. From The Royal Society, RR/5/186

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