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Mr. H. N. Herman spoke last evening on Thermo-chemistry. This branch of chemistry seeks to determine the heat developed in the union and disunion of the atoms making up chemical compounds. Many results have been obtained from the study of these reactions which promise to give us, sooner or later, clearer ideas of the composition of matter.
The few investigators in this field are mostly foreigners. Berthollot and Thomsen have been the two chemists who have given this science its importance. The former is a Frenchman, a very brilliant but rather inaccurate worker; the latter is Dane, and, though more slow, is far surer in his work.
Besides its strictly theoretical importance, this science has a very practical side. Of late Berthollot has been working for the French government in applying the principles of the science to the study of explosives. Much valuable knowledge has thus been obtained about smokeless powder, dynamite, etc. Also at the government torpedo station at Newport in this country this science has been used in studying explosives.
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