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SCIENTIFIC USE OF THE IMAGINATION. 147

and from a whitish blue it passes to a more or less perfect
white. If the action be continued long enough, we end
by filling the tube with a dense cloud of sulphur-particles,
which by the application of prOper means may be rendered
visible.

Here, then, our ether-waves untie the bond of chemical
affinity, and liberate a body—sulphur—which at ordinary
temperatures is a solid, and which therefore soon becomes
an object of the senses. We have first of all the free
atoms of sulphur, which are both invisible and incompetent
to stir the retina sensibly with scattered light. But these
atoms gradually coalesce and form particles, which grow
larger by continual accretion, until after a minute or two
they appear as sky-matter. In this condition they are in-
visible themselves, but competent to send an amount of
wave-motion to the retina sufficient to produce" the fir-
mamental blue. The particles continue, or may be caused
to continue, in this condition for a considerable time,
during which no micrOSCOpe can cope with them. But
they continually grow larger, and pass by insensible grada-
tions into the state of cloud, when they can no longer elude
the armed eye. Thus without solution of continuity we
start with matter in the molecule, and end with matter in
the mass, sky-matter being the middle term of the series of
transformations.

Instead of sulphurous acid, we might choose from a
dozen other substances, and produce the same effect with
any of them. In the case of some—probably in' the case
of all—it is possible to preserve matter in the Skyey con-
dition for fifteen or twenty minutes under the continual
operation of the light. During these fifteen or twenty
minutes the particles are constantly growing larger, with-
out ever exceeding the size requisite to the production of
the celestial blue. Now, when two vessels are placed be-
fore you, each containing sky-matter, it is possible to state

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