Previous Index Next
Page 142
(previous) (Page 000142) (next)
 
l4 2 FRAGMEN TS OF SCIENCE.

sown in our atmosphere, the light scattered by those parti«
cles would be exactly such as we observe in Our azure skies.
When this light is analyzed, all the colors of the spectrum
are found ; but they are found in the proportions indicated
by our conclusion.

Let us now turn our attention to the light which passes
unscattered among the particles. How must it be finally
affected? By its successive collisions with the particles,
the white light is more and more robbed of its shorter
waves ; it therefore loses more and more of its due propor-
tion of blue. The result may be anticipated. The trans-
mitted light, where short distances are involved, will appear
yellowish. But as the sun sinks toward the horizon the
atmospheric distances increase, and consequently the num-
ber of the scattering particles. They abstract in succession
the violet, the indigo, the blue, and even disturb the pro-
portions of green. The transmitted light under such cir-
cumstances must pass from yellow through orange to red.
This also is exactly What we find in Nature. Thus, While
the reflected light gives us at noon the deep azure of the
Alpine skies, the transmitted light gives us at sunset the
warm crimson of the Alpine snows. The phenomena cer-
tainly occur as tf our atmOSphere were a medium rendered
slightly turbid by the mechanical suspension of exceedingly
small foreign particles.

Here, as before, we encounter our skeptical “ as 7%” It
is one of the parasites of science, ever at hand, and ready
to plant itself and sprout, if it can, on the weak points of
our, philosophy. But a strong constitution defies the para-
site, and in our case, as we question the phenomena, proba-
bility grows like growing health, until in the end the malady
of doubt is completely extirpated. The first question that
naturally arises is, Can small particles be really proved to
act in the manner indicated “P N o doubt of it. Each one
of you can submit the question to an experimental test.

Previous Index Next