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<?> # I C k ,f" V- .";.? ?:?,?) rJi^ 0 ? 1 ,y-^ li 2 jj |?W? " %<&?$> ??: i W **& B .<?%* A ? H k r-^% ;' But?Professor Aston Declares That the Terrific Explosive Power of Hydrogen, as Now Revealed, Is More Likely to Serve Life Than to Endanger It 'MM&irS a?ttjwv v. V ^ ; flpt? >J ' -; <"' ?? ? V''V v Professor F. R. Aston, of Cambridge University, England, Whose Announcement of the Discovery of a Tremendous Latent Force in Hydrogen Is of Profound Interest to Scientists. ?Rf SCIENCE has Just dlf covo red a now force, which, if it can be commanded and con trolled. n:av furnish all mankind with heat, light and power In limitless quanti ties. It la the explosive energy of hydrogen* All that Is needed Is to invent a ma chine in which hydrogen may be "jammed into a corner" and forced to break up. Hut?and here's the rub?if such a ma chine is invented, it might bo possible to how up the entire earth with it?just aB you explode a toy balloon by touching it with a lighted cigarette! Don't let this frighten you?or evea cause you a moment's worry. There is no practical danger that th? world will ever come to sucu an ?-?nd. It .-???>nce invents a hydrogen machine, it will also discover some .say of harnessing the power, Just as it has harnessed light ning. The statement that hydrogen, one of tho simplest and common's, elements, con such an amazing force, has just been b>J-l>r. F. It. Aston. Fellow of Trinity , Cambridge, Kngland who has just uring in America on scientific subjects, lie declares that the discovery of th" explosive power of the hydrogen i.- .rr< furnishes the first t? liable theory of years, hut none of the tneones was satisfactory. Or. Aston declares that hydro g> n is the missing link. Th.- scientific importance of tho theory is that it brings into accord the two sciences of geology and physics. In tho [?a t there has been sharp conflict in th-i efforts to reconcile what Is known about cliemis'ry with what is known about the The Famous Painting by Francis Danby, A. R. A., Illustrating the Force of Divine Wrath in Its Action Upon the Earth, as Described in Revelations, VI., 22. Professor Aslon Has Estimated That There is Sufficient Hydrogen in One Teaspoonful of Water to Produce 200,000 Kilowatt Hour* of Electrical Energy. This Is Two nnd Three-Quarter Times Greater Than the Electrical Energy Generated Every Hour by tho Combined Plants at Niagara Fails. Photograph Showing Destruction Wrought by the Terrific Explosion of 4,000 Tons of Ammonium Sulphate Saltpeter at Oppau, Germany, When 2,000 Lives Wers Lost, a Whole Town Wiped Out, Leaving a Crater 300 Feet Wide and <10 Foct Deep Where the Explosion "Let Go." age of tho earth. Geology needed a hun dred million years i>r more- to account ior the various phenomena found within its field. Hut physics made this age impos sible by showing that no known heating element could possibly have lasted so long, basing its contention on the known pres ent rate of exhaustion of these (dements, Hydrogen transforming itself, or being transformed, into helium, is now believed to furnish the explanation. According to Dr. Aston, it is now possible to account in positive physics for almos. any age for tho earth that geology demands hccuusn o! tho extraordinary energy created by tho destruction of hydrogen in masses. To put the discovery in practical terms. It has been shown by experiments that there is enough hydrogen in a teaspoonful of water to produce 2U0.Ono kilowatt hours oi electrical energy, merely by turning tho hydrogen into helium. That energy i?, roughly, equivalent to L'Ta.uOO horsepower. in other words, there is nearly three times as much energy, if it can be re leased. in one teaspoonful of water ?s that produced by ihe hundred million tons thai pour over Niag.ua Falls every hour. Niagara generates ion,otto horsepower hourly. "Should the research worker liscover some means of releasing this energy in a form which could he employed," says Pro fessor Aston, "the human race will have at its command powers beyond the dreams of scientific fiction, but the remote possi bility must always be considered that the energy once liberated will be completely nlor. Inc. Great Britain Kirht-- K<?<>rvi<). uncontrollable and by its intense violence detonate or explode all neighboring sub stances. "If that happens, all the hydrogen on earth might be transformed at once (the hydrogen in the air and the hydrogen in tho oceans), and this most successful ex periment might be published to the rest of the universe in tho form of a new star 01 i xtrnordim.ry brilliance, as the earth blew up in one vast explosion." Almost simultaneously with Dr. Aston's statement conies the announcement that i group of American scientists, including Dr. Robert A. Millikan, who isolated the electron, are engaged in a series of experi ments along thoso very lines They are striving for the construction or "cosmic crucibles" in which matter is to be bombarded by high potentials of elec tricity up to a million voits, with the Idea of "breaking it up" nnd causing new ar rangements or its atoms?exactly as i<i suggested by Dr. Aston for tho "hydrogen machine." one of Dr. Milllkan's laboratories has al ready been fitted tip at Pasadena. Califor nia, and experiments are under way. "A part of our program from a stand point of phvsics." Dr. Millikan is quoted a3 Faying, "involves the use of tremendously high potentials which furnish the on'y pos sible means of bringing to bear here on the.surface of tho earth such enormously concentrated energies as aro presumably at work among tho stars." While scientists aro agreed that the power to he derived from hydrogen in the event it could be "exploded" in some such maehino or crucible, would be great enough to literally "blow up tho earth" If it got out of control?they regard the pos sibility of such an actual happening as about as unlikely as that the world will bo destroyed by final collision with a comet or some other heavenly body. It is a curious fact that old religious teachings by those who took all tho state ments of the prophets literally without making any allowance whatever for alls gorical intent, predicted just such an end for the world as that which Dr. Aston says would occur if it came through a tro mondou.H hydrogen explosion. They expected it to go out one day In fire and flames. Such an imaginative scene is depicted in the famous painting of the "Opening ot the Sixth Seal," repro duced on this page. Harring such almost impossible acci dents as a collision with a foniei or de <:t ruction by human experiment with such cosmic forces as hydrogen and atomic en ergy, science regards it as likely that the earth itself will last hundreds of millions of years more. *ln fact, science believes, it will last much longer than tho human race, eco logical relics, buried in tho strata of tho earth's various ages prove that the climate and temperature of the globe have varle.l greatly at different times. There have been periods when tiio whole ot what is now tho United States of America was covered with arctic glacial ice. Scientists boo no reason why. in t.ie course of mil lions of years, such violent changes in cli mate may not come again, possibly so ex treme that human life will either disap pear entirely or become so changed to meet new conditions, that our successors may bo as different from the man of the present as we aro different from a fish or insect. Or all organic life may first be de rlroyed, and the earth may last for mil lions of years afterward as a "dead world" Mich as tho moon Is supposed to be to day. Millions, perhaps billions of yearp, will pass, however, before such cosmic changes occur. There is no reason, scientifically, lo doubt that the earth will bo a habitable place for sotyo form of life so long ns the sun continues to giye light and heat, and I1 tho sun's heat is one to radio-active en ergy. as some scientists have supposed, or to the disintegration of hydrogen into he lium, as Dr. Aston has just suggested, the earth's chief luminary could remain "on tho job" tor at. least another ten billion years.