surface, the colour, and the internal structure of a body, as well as its chemical composition, have any influence whatever in the quantity of heat which it transmits immediately; and that, in this point of view, the origin and the qualities of the caloric rays become objects of perfect indifference; for it is enough for our purpose that the rays be invariable and identical in all the circumstances in which they are employed. Now this actually is the case with the rays issuing from the well supported flame of a Quinquet lamp placed at a fixed distance.
When we shall have found the ratios of the quantities of heat transmitted by screens of different kinds under the influence of a constant source, then, agreeably to what we have stated in the introduction, we shall examine the changes which those ratios undergo in consequence of the variation of the sources.
All our experiments of comparison have been made with the same calorific radiation. Previously to the commencement of each series the rays were allowed to fall directly on the pile, and the distance of the lamp was modified until the needle of the galvanometer fixed itself at 30° of the scale.
We have remarked in the preliminary considerations, that all the external parts of the thermoscope are sheltered from the caloric rays by means of a large screen of polished metal, having in its central part a hole to correspond with the opening of the pile turned towards the lamp.
In order to establish or to intercept the communication between this aperture and the source of heat securely and commodiously, we make use of a moveable copper screen, consisting of two or three parallel plates fixed on the same support. The side of the pile opposite to the lamp may also be closed and opened by means of a screen altogether similar, and for the following purpose:When, after having observed the effect of any radiation whatsoever, we intercept the action of the source, we must wait until that face of the pile on which the rays of heat are darted has been restored to it natural state before we make a second observation. Now it appears that the heat emitted by the flame penetrates the apparatus with greater ease than it issues from it, because of its natural tendency to an equilibrium. At least the experiment shows that the time requisite to produce the deviation is to that in which the needle recovers its original position nearly as one to five; for the latter is from 7s to 8s and we have seen that the whole deviation is produced in a minute and a half. Whatever be the cause of this difference between the time required for heating and that required for cooling, we must always allow 8s to elapse after one experiment before we proceed to another, if we confine ourselves to the placing of the first moveable screen before the radiating source. But let the opposite side of the pile be opened and a lighted candle brought close to the corresponding face: it is evident that if the