The experiment is repeated during the night and Fig. 6 on Plate 3 gives a good impression of the difference in strength of the formative forces during the night. An overwhelming wealth of forms pours down, or rather rises up. The border line shows clearly here and there the characteristic vertical stripes of Silver nitrate; on the other hand we notice as well the subtle intersections derived from the Iron activity, and the multitude of arrows which point to the interaction of these two substances.
The great importance of studying the behaviour of substances during day or during night must be emphasised. Chemical reactions are different in their violence if the substances react upon each other during daytime or during the night. A reflection of this process is visible in the different strengths of the formative forces displayed in these experiments.
As a further proof of the difference between a day and night experiment, another example is given with a mixture of Silver nitrate, Iron sulphate and Lead nitrate.Three substances are brought into play; two of them nitrates and one a sulphate.Again the chemical reaction can be observed, the deposit is formed, after these three substances are mixed in 1% solutions and equal quantities. It must be mentioned,although we do not wish to press this point further here, that it makes a difference if the mixture is made so that the two nitrates are mixed first, and then the sulphate is added; or Silver nitrate is added to Iron sulphate, the chemical reaction is allowed to pass, and then the Lead nitrate is added; or Lead nitrate is added to Iron sulphate,the chemical reaction sets in and then we add Silver nitrate.
The mixture of these three metal salts produces again another type of pattern.Silver nitrate has its own pattern and so has Iron sulphate; the question arises: What is the pattern of Lead nitrate? It is not possible to make it visible. Lead nitrate forms milky white, opaque crystals, which also readily dissolve in water; but the rising lead nitrate leaves no trace behind in the filter paper. Only a very faint line marks the border. No colour, no form appears. But if we mix this elusive substance with the two others which produce forms abundantly, lead changes the formation of Silver nitrate and Iron sulphate and thus reveals to us some of its own characteristic formative force. The experiment is carried out during daytime and if we study the result obtained on Plate 4, Fig. 7, we notice that the forms are again arrow like. In their initial stage they look similar to the silver-iron arrows, but if we study the fully grown individual forms, then we notice the fundamental difference due to the presence of Lead nitrate. The forms are plump compared with silver-iron formations. The outlines are less clear. The whole character is more coarse. If we try to borrow an expression from the geological sphere, we might say the formation looks like that of a rock which has undergone the process of weathering. Somehow a process of aging is expressed. The forms become crinkled. I must apologize for using these expressions;I know that I trespass over the limits allowed for a scientific description, but in proceeding with my study of matter, it will become clearer and clearer that purely scientific descriptions prove insufficient for various phenomena we encounter. An artistic viewpoint will have to be introduced. Years ago when I tried to convey to an audience,with the help of lantern slides, the difference between an experiment of Silver nitrate mixed with Iron sulphate, with another experiment where the three substances, Silver nitrate, Iron sulphate and Lead nitrate were mixed, I used the following simile: Silver and Iron compared with silver-iron-lead, seems like a young, fresh face compared with an old, wrinkled face. I still find that this comparison is not inexpressive. The forms built with the help of Lead nitrate added to Silver nitrate and Iron sulphate add weight and something that gives an impression of age. But it is not a weight which we can measure on scales, it is the impression of weight on a different level from the one which is accessible to our ordinary means of weighing objects.
The experiment is repeated during the night, and the result is depicted on Plate 4, Fig. 8. The impression of weight is still stronger in this experiment. The single forms seem to fall down heavily, whereas the forms due to the interaction of Silver nitrate and Iron sulphate fly lightly, like a shower of meteorites.
Figs. 1—8 are a few examples selected from thousands of experiments carried out since 1920, to demonstrate that specific formative forces can be found in matter,and that these forces differ fundamentally if they are at work during day or during night. Of course it is possible to study the differences due to day and night on many more substances and with other means than filter paper tests. For instance the force of crystallisation varies enormously during day or night; here much can be found in observing the single forms, the speed with which crystallisation starts, the amount of substance crystallised in a certain time and so on.
- SPIRIT IN MATTER