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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, June 1910

Chemical Society

page 67

Chemical Society

"Such men are dangerous."

This Society exists essentially to facilitate the interchange of ideas among students of chemistry, and to promote the study of chemistry. Membership in the Society is open to past or present students of the College, to graduates of the New Zealand University, to Fellows of the Chemical Society of London, and to any other person approved by the Governing Council. The Society meets once a month, when papers upon chemical subjects are read, such papers being generally upon a subject with which the writer has had experimental experience.

Owing to the fact that last year the Society was unable to arrange a convenient hour for meeting, the meetings for 1909 were abandoned. The present year opened very auspiciously, there being an attendance of twenty-three at the annual meeting. Professor Easterfield occupied the chair, and he delivered an address on "Laitance," a non-setting deposit which is formed when cement it put down in sea water. The cause of its formation was clearly shown, and various remedies were suggested. A lively discussion followed an interesting address.

The subject under consideration at the next meeting of the Society was "The Transmutation of Matter." This subject was introduced by Professor Laby, who traced the historical development of radio-activity, at the same time describing the various experiments which have been carried out in order to find the exact nature of radium emanation. He explained how the measurement of the rate of evolution of helium from rocks gives some idea of their age, and he stated that one investigator had estimated the age of a particular mineral as being 240,000,000 years. This exceedingly interesting address was followed by an animated discussion, the main interest of which lay in the evident desire to know what the ultimate constitution of matter really is.