130 BREATH FIGURES [368
further trials on thick glass have revealed deposits which may be considered dark, though I was not always satisfied that they were so dark as those obtained on flat surfaces with the blow-pipe or hot sulphuric acid. Similar experiments with similar results may be made upon the edges of ordinary glass plates (such as are used in photography), cut with a diamond. The breath deposit is best held pretty close to a candle-flame, and is examined with a magnifier.
In conclusion, I may refer to two other related matters in which my experience differs from that of Mr Aitken. He mentions that with an alcohol flame he " could only succeed in getting very slight indications of any action." I do not at all understand this, as I have nearly always used an alcohol flame (with a mouth blow-pipe) and got black deposits. Thinking that perhaps the alcohol which I generally use was contaminated, I replaced it by pure alcohol, but without any perceptible difference in the results.
Again, I had instanced the visibility of a gas flame through a dewed plate as proving that part of the surface was uncovered. I have improved the experiment by using a curved tube through which to blow upon a glass plate already in position between the flame and the eye. I have not been able to find that the flame becomes invisible (with a well-defined outline) at any stage of the deposition of dew. Mr Aitken mentions results pointing in the opposite direction. Doubtless, the highly localized light of the flame is favourable.
[1913. Mr Aitken returned to the subject in a further communication to Nature, Vol. xc. p. 619,1912, to which the reader should refer.]bably on account of the less effective rubbing and wiping near the closed end. But what exactly is involved in rubbing and wiping ? I ventured to suggest before that possibly grease may penetrate the glass somewhat. From such a situation it might not easily be removed, or, on the other hand, introduced.