"N" Rays/How the Action of "N" Rays Ought to be Observed

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"N" Rays by Prosper-René Blondlot, translated by Julien François William Garcin
How the Action of "N" Rays Ought to be Observed

How the Action of "N" Rays should be observed

It is indispensable in these experiments to avoid all strain on the eye, all effort, whether visual or for eye accommodation, and in no way to try to fix the eye upon the luminous source, whose variations in glow one wishes to ascertain. On the contrary, one must, so to say, see the source without looking at it, and even direct one's glance vaguely in a neighbouring direction. The observer must play an absolutely passive part, under penalty of seeing nothing. Silence should be observed as much as possible. Any smoke, and especially tobacco smoke, must be carefully avoided, as being liable to perturb or even entirely to mask the effect of the "N" rays. When viewing the screen or luminous object, no attempt at eye-accommodation should be made. In fact, the observer should accustom himself to look at the screen just as a painter, and in particular an "impressionist" painter, would look at a landscape. To attain this requires some practice, and is not an easy task. Some people, in fact, never succeed.