The introduction of the vacuum vessel by Dewar has been of great service in all the work on liquefied gases. A vacuum vessel is a double-walled glass vessel, as shown in Fig. 1, G. The space between the inner and outer walls of the vessel is exhausted by means of an air pump before it is closed. The vessel is therefore surrounded by a vacuum. As heat is not conducted by a vacuum, it is possible to keep specimens of liquefied gases in such vessels for a surprisingly long time. Heat enough can not pass through the
Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 55.djvu/50
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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
and have produced lower temperatures. In the latest form of apparatus used by Olszewski, liquid ethylene is used as the coolingagent. Its boiling point is -102° C. (-151.6° F.). By causing it to boil rapidly under diminished pressure a temperature below the critical temperature of oxygen can be reached. As early as 1891 Olszewski obtained as much as two hundred cubic centimetres of liquid air by this method, Dewar has also made use of liquid ethylene. This was passed through a spiral copper tube surrounded by solid carbonic acid and ether. It was then passed into a cylinder surrounded by another cylinder containing solid carbonic acid and ether. A spiral copper tube, which runs through the outer cylinder and also through the inner cylinder in which the ethylene was boiling under diminished pressure, carried the air. This was liquefied and then collected in a vacuum vessel below. Later he found that air can be liquefied by using liquid carbonic acid alone as the cooling agent. A sectional drawing of his apparatus described in 1896 is given herewith. As he remarks: "With this simple machine, one hundred cubic centimetres of liquid oxygen can readily be obtained, the cooling agent being carbon dioxide, at the temperature of -79°. If liquid air has to be made by this apparatus, then the carbonic acid must be kept under exhaustion of about one inch of mercury pressure, so as to begin with a temperature of -115°."