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crystals of the same stone may absorb a much larger quantity. That this may be so was clearly established in the experiments with the coarsely crystallized marbles examined by the commission. When these were submitted to a liquid which slightly tinged the stone, the coloration was more intense around the margin of each crystal, indicating a greater amount of absorption in these portions of the surface.
The marble which was chosen for the Capitol is a dolomite, or is composed of carbonate of lime and magnesia in nearly atomic proportions. It was analyzed by Dr. Torrey of New York, and Dr. Genth of Philadelphia. According to the analysis of the former, it consists, in hundredth parts, of
Carbonate of lime,
365 Carbonate of protoxide of manganese,
(a trace) Mica,
•472 Water and loss,
.610 The marble is obtained from a quarry in the southeasterly part of the town of Lee, in the State of Massachusetts, and be. longs to the great deposit of primitive limestone which abounds in that part of the district. It is generally white, with occasional blue veins. The structure is fine-grained. Under the microscope it exhibits fine crystals of colorless mica, and occasionally also small particles of bisulphuret of iron. Its specific gravity is 2 8620; its weight 17887 lbs. per cubic foot. İt absorbs 103 parts of an ounce per cubic inch, and its porosity is great in proportion to its power of resistance to pressure. It sustains 23,917 lbs. to the square inch. It not only absorbs water by capillary attraction, but, in common with other marbles, suffers the diffusion of gases to take place through its substance. Dr. Torrey found that hydrogen and other gases, separated from each other by slices of the mineral, diffuse themselves with considerable rapidity through the partition.
This marble, soon after the workmen commenced placing it in the walls, exhibited a discoloration of a brownish hue, no trace of which appeared so long as the blocks remained exposed to the air in the stone-cutter's yard. A variety of suggestions and experiments were made in regard to the cause of this remarkable phenomenon, and it was finally concluded that it was due to the previous absorption by the marble of water holding in solution a small portion of organic matter, together with the absorption of another portion of water from the mortar.
To illustrate the process, let us suppose a fine capillary tube, the lower end of it immersed in water, and of which the internal diameter is sufficiently small to allow the liquid to rise to the top, and be exposed to the atmosphere; evaporation will take place at the upper surface of the column, a new portion of water will
be drawn in to supply the loss; and if this process be continued, any material which may be dissolved in the water, or mechanically mixed with it, will be found deposited at the upper orifice of the tube, or at the point of evaporation.
If, however, the lower portion of the tube be not furnished with a supply of water, the evaporation at the top will not take place, and the deposition of foreign matter will not be exhibited, even though the tube itself may be filled with water impregnated with impurities. The pores of the stones so long as the blocks remain in the yard, are in the condition of the tube not supplied at its lower end with water, and consequently no current takes place through them, and the amount of evaporation is comparatively small; but when the same blocks are placed in the wall of the building, the absorbed water from the mortar at the interior surface gives us the supply of the liquid necessary to carry the coloring material to the exterior surface, and deposit it at the outer orifices of the
pores. The cause of the phenomenon being known, a remedy was readily suggested, which consisted in covering the surface of the stone to be imbedded in mortar with a coating of asphaltum. This remedy has apparently proved successful. The discoloration is gradually disappearing, and in time will probably be entirely imperceptible.
This marble, with many other specimens, was submitted to the freezing process fifty times in succession. It generally remained in the freezing mixture for twenty-four hours, but sometimes was frozen twice in the same day. The quantity of material lost was .00315 parts of an ounce. On these data Captain Meigs has founded an interesting calculation, which consists in determining the depth to which the exfoliation extended below the surface as the effect of its having been frozen fifty times. He found this to be very nearly the ten-thousandth part of an inch. Now, if we allow the alternations of freezing and thawing in a year on an average to be fifty times each, which, in this latitude, would be a liberal one, it would require ten thousand years for the surface of the marble to be exfoliated to the depth of one inch. This fact may be interesting to the geologist as well as the builder.
Quite a number of different varieties of marble were experi. mented upon. A full statement of the result of each will be given in the reports of the committees.
At the meeting of the Association at Cleveland, I made a communication on the subject of cohesion. The paper, however, was presented at the last hour; the facts were not fully stated, and have never been published." I will, therefore, occupy your time in briefly presenting some of the facts I then intended to communicate, and which I have since verified by further experiments and observations.
In a series of experiments made some ten years ago, I showed that the attraction for each other of the particles of a substance in a liquid form was as great as that of the same substance in a solid form. Consequently, the distinction between liquidity and solidity does not consist in a difference in the attractive power occasioned directly by the repulsion of heat; but it depends upon the perfect mobility of the atoms, or a lateral cohesion. We may explain this by assuming an incipient crytsallization of atoms into molecules, and consider the first effect of heat as that of breaking down these crystals, and permitting each atom to move freely around every other. When this crystalline arrangement is perfect, and no lateral motion is allowed in the atoms, the body may be denominated perfectly rigid. We have approximately an example of this in cast-steel, in which no slipping takes place of the parts on each other, or no material elongation of the mass; and when a rupture is produced by a tensile force, a rod of this material is broken with a transverse fracture of the same size as that of the original section of the bar. In this case every atom is separated at once from the other, and the breaking weight may be considered as a ineasure of the attraction of cohesion of the atoms of the metal.
The effect, however, is quite different when we attempt to pull apart a rod of lead. The atoms or molecules slip upon each other. The rod is increased in length, and diminished in thickness, until a separation is produced. Instead of lead, w may use still softer materials, such as wax, puty, &c., until at length we arrive at a substance in a liquid form. This will stand at the extremity of the scale, and between extreme rigidity on the one hand, and extreme liquidity on the other, we may find a series of substances gradually shading from one extremity to the other.
According to the views I have presented, the difference in the tenacity in steel and lead does not consist in the attractive cohesion of the atoms, but in the capability of slipping upon each other. From this view, it follows that the form of the material ought to have some effect upon its tenacity, and also that the strength of the article should depend in some degree upon the process to which it had been subjected.
For example, I have found that softer substances, in which the outer atoms have freedom of motion, while the inner ones by the pressure of those exterior are more confined, break unequally; the inner fibres, if I may so call the rows of atoms, give way first, and entirely separate, while the exterior fibres show but little indications of a change of this kind.
If a cylindrical rod of lead three quarters of an inch in diameter be turned down on a lathe in one part tv about half an inch, and then be gradually broken by a force exerted in the direction of its length, it will exbibit a cylindrical hollow along its axis of
half an inch in length, and at least a tenth of an inch in diameter. With substances of greater rigidity this effect is less apparent, but it exists even in iron, and the interior fibres of a rod of this metal may be entirely separated, while the outer surface presents no appearance of change.
From this it would appear that metals should never be elongated by mere stretching, but in all cases by the process of wiredrawing, or rolling. A wire or bar must always be weakened by a force which permanently increases its length without at the same time compressing it.
Another effect of the lateral motion of the atoms of a soft heavy body, when acted upon by a percussive force with a hammer of small dimensions in comparison with the mass of metal, for example, if a large shaft of iron be hammered with an ordinary sledge,-is a tendency to expand the surface so as to make it separate from the middle portions. The interior of the mass by its own inertia becomes as it were an anvil, between which and the hammer the exterior portions are stretched longitudinally and transversely. I here exhibit to the Association a piece of iron originally from a square bar four feet long, which has been so hammered as to produce a perforation of the whole length entirely through the axis. The bar could be seen through, as if it were the tube of a telescope.
This fact appears to me to be of great importance in a practical point of view, and may be connected with many of the lamentable accidents which have occurred in the breaking of the axles of locomotive engines. These, in all cases, ought to be formed by rolling, and not with the hammer.
The whole subject of the molecular constitution of matter offers a rich field for investigation, and isolated facts, which are familiar to almost every one when attentively studied, will be made to yield results alike interesting to abstract science and practical art.
ART. VI.-ON THE OCCURRENCE OF THE ORES OF IRON IN THE
AZOIC SYSTEM.-By J. D. WHITNEY.*
The object of the present communication is to call attention to the geological position and mode of occurrence of one of the most interesting and important classes of the ores of iron, namely, those which are associated with rocks of the Azoic System.
The term Azoic, first employed by Murchison and De Ver
* Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Ninth Meeting, held at Providence, R. I., August, 1855, p. 209.
neuil in their description of the geology of the Scandinavian Pe. ninsula, has been adopted by Mr. Foster and myself in our Re. ports on the Geology of the Lake Superior Land District, and has been shown by us to be applied with propriety to a series of rocks which cover an immense space in the Northwest. We have called attention to the fact, that this system of rocks, wherever it has been demonstrated to exist, has been found characterized by the presence of deposits of ores of iron, developed on a scale of magnitude beyond anything which occurs in any of the succeeding geological groups or systems of rocks.
In illustration of these views, we have briefly described some of the great ferriferous districts of the world, and particularly those of Lake Superior, Scandinavia, Missouri, and Northern New York, all of which exhibit a most marked analogy with each other, both in regard to the mode of occurrence and the geological position of the orės. The two last-named regions, however, not having been thoroughly examined by us in person, we were obliged to content ourselves with information obtained from others, in making a comparison of their most striking features.
Strongly impressed with the interest attaching to this subject, I availed myself of the first opportunity, after the publication of our Report, to visit the iron regions of Missouri and Northern New York, from the last-named of which I have just returned, after a careful examination of the most important localities where ore is now mined in that district. While it is intended to take another opportunity for giving a minute and detailed account of this region, I may be permitted to recapitulate here the principal points maintained by Mr. Foster and myself, to the general correctness of which my more recent explorations have furnished me with additional evidence.
We maintain therefore,
1. That deposits of the ores of iron exist in various parts of the world, which in extent and magnitude are so extraordinary as to form a class by themselves. The iron regions mentioned above, offer the most striking examples of the deposits now referred to.
2. That the ores thus occurring have the same general character, both mineralogically and in their mode of occurrence, or their relations of position to the adjacent rocks.
3. That these deposits all belong to one geological position, and are characteristic of it.
The extent of the workable deposits of the ores of the useful metals is usually quite limited. Most of the veins which are wrought in mines throughout the world are but a few feet in width, often not more that a few inches. This is true of the ores occurring in veins. In sedimentary metalliferous deposits, such as those of the ores of iron in the carboniferous, the horizontal