Page:Scientific Memoirs, Vol. 1 (1837).djvu/17

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surface, or that of the thickness of the layers and their internal structure on the quantities of heat which freely pass through them. I have endeavoured to supply these different omissions, but the undertaking has proved too vast for me, and several parts of it are therefore incomplete. I hope however that I shall be able hereafter to return to these, and to treat them in a manner more satisfactory.

In the mean time I present to the Academy the results of my first researches disposed in two memoirs. That which I offer at present contains an account of the method pursued in the measurement of calorific transmission and the application of the method in the case of an unvarying source acting on bodies of different kinds. In the second I shall explain the facts connected with the succession of the screens and the variation of the sources.

General Considerations on the Free Transmission of Caloric through Bodies, and the Manner of Measuring it by means of the Thermomultiplier.

We have already observed that a diaphanous screen placed at a certain distance from a calorific source stops a portion of the rays which strike its first surface, while the rest pass freely through. We have remarked besides that after a certain time the heat stopped at the anterior surface, and accumulated there by successive radiations, passes on from layer to layer till it reaches the other surface, whence it begins to radiate anew; and that this radiation mingling with the heat which passes through the screen by immediate transmission, prevents its being measured exactly.

When the screens are liquid, the influence of the conducting power of the layers may always be destroyed if we incessantly renew the matter of the screen by means analogous to the strip of water employed by M. Prevost. But it would be always very difficult, and often impossible, to apply this artifice to solid bodies and even to such liquids as can be obtained only in small quantities. In order therefore to attain the same end in a general manner, and to render the experiments in some degree independent of conduction, other means must be employed.

If we consider with due attention the manner in which the second surface of the interposed plate is heated, and the radiation which results from it, we shall see that the latter possesses properties very different from those that belong to the caloric which is freely transmitted. In order to be satisfied of this, we have only to observe that its action changes with the change of distance between the screen and the source; a thing which does not happen, even in the slightest degree, to those rays that are transmitted freely. In fact, it is with the caloric transmitted immediately, as it is with light.