From the June 27, 1931, issue


A new and larger turbine electric generator that will use mercury vapor instead of steam and will consume less fuel than corresponding modern steam plants is being constructed in the General Electric Company plant at Schenectady, N.Y.

This 20,000-kilowatt turbine will have twice the output of the mercury vapor engine and generator that General Electric engineers claim has already proved its superior efficiency over steam turbines during a years test at Hartford, Conn. The new plant will be even more efficient than the Hartford station, it is said.


Waves of electrons will soon allow the scientist to obtain a clearer picture of the internal structure of crystals than ever before possible, Dr. C.J. Davisson of the Bell Telephone Laboratories, New York, predicted to the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society in Pasadena, Calif.

Very short wavelengths are available in electron waves, and this results in greater power to photograph the fine crystal structure of matter. Dr. Davisson is a pioneer in the use of electron waves since he won international fame a few years ago by proving that electrons acted like waves in much the same way as light and X-rays. He has also developed lenses for concentrating the beam of electrons. Since the electron may be termed a particle of electricity, his work bridges the previous gap between matter and electricity.


Scientists were given a look into the heart of matter and shown diagrams of the structure of the atomic nucleus when Prof. Wendell M. Latimer of the University of California presented to the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting at Pasadena, Calif., a new theory of the way in which the central portion of the atom is put together.

This is the ultimate and final step determining just what is the structure of the material things about us. In the past few years, scientists have carried their probings into the makeup of matter step by step into the realms of the minute in size. Beneath the seemingly solid surfaces of metals and other substances with which we have daily contact, they first found a multitude of regularly arranged crystals, row on row of them, each made up of molecules, which in turn were shown to be definite arrangements of atoms. X rays have aided greatly in this exploration of submicroscopic crystal worlds. The atom was shown to be fashioned as a very heavy nucleus surrounded by very light particles or waves known as electrons. Prof. Latimer has assumed the task of discovering the architecture of that internal citadel of the atom, which has kept out prying scientific explorers.

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