Plate 7, Fig. 13, shows another experiment carried out in the month of March,1927. The day and night part of the experiment can easily be discriminated. We find in the lower half of the picture three distinctly marked lines. The explanation is very simple. It was a rather hot spring day, with bright sunshine falling directly upon the filter paper and after a relatively short time the first border line formed, the rising process stopped. Clouds passed over the sun for a short while, but it was sufficient to make the Silver nitrate rise again and stop after a few minutes. Once more the sun was over-clouded, and again the solution started to rise, coming then to the ultimate stop for the day, with a dark brown band, without the formation of the vertical lines. During the night the silver formed delicately fan-like forms, intersected by many radiating lines. The colour was a warm soft brown in the early morning hours. The big white spot in the middle was disappointing; it seemed to spoil the otherwise harmoniously formed and coloured experiment. It was also not easy to explain why just one particular spot was free of radiating lines and the silver not reduced. The filter paper was carefully examined for defects; but the texture was perfect, the white spot had been penetrated with the solution as thoroughly as the rest of the filter paper and yet it was void of form and colour. We made these experiments each day and photographed each experiment immediately after its completion, to keep a perfect record over a long time.Afterwards the originals were kept in a dark room, wrapped in black paper, to preserve them as long as possible. After some time we looked again and found completely unknown pictures. Fig. 14 on Plate 7 is the same experiment as Fig. 13, but photographed a few days later. What has happened to the experiment? The beautiful, delicate structure of the feathery, fan-like pattern has disappeared. The colours have become darker, and powerful forms have developed. An incredible change has occurred.Where at first the disappointing white spot seemingly spoiled the result obtained,something new is now visible. A slow developing process has taken place in the darkroom, similar to the developing process with which we are familiar in photography.But—where is the object we have photographed?
Many questions stand before our searching minds. So we go on day after day, month after month, and then year after year. We ask the substance of silver to reveal its secrets to us.
Each day another form appears. All we can do is to place these forms before us,and try to understand their language. For this publication it is necessary to limit myself to two typical examples for each month; in this manner it will be possible to place a fair average for a whole year before the eyes of the reader.
Plate 8, Figs. 15 and 16 are two of the experiments made in the month of April,1927. In Fig. 16 the photograph has been taken after the forms had fully matured,in Fig. 15 the photo was taken at an earlier stage; thus, we still can see the subtle radiating structure, although the forms which will appear later are already faintly indicated. Compared with the previous month, it seems as if the forms are more powerful.
For the month of September, we chose only one typical example, but decided to show various stages in the process of developing. Plate 13, Fig. 25 shows the experiment immediately after it was finished. There is a great difference in the coloration between the lower and upper part. The strong colours indicate that it was a beautiful sunny day. The sun has inscribed manifold lines radiating through the part formed during the day.
The night part is scarcely visible. We can barely discriminate the border line,and from there, stream downward various lines which look as if they were engraved with a hard pencil. The colour was extremely light brown.
Plate 13, Fig. 26 shows the same experiment photographed a few days later. It is obvious that the lower part has undergone a further darkening, as well as the upper part. We see beautifully engraved graceful lines, and the often observed fan-like feathery-structure. A closer observation will reveal an indication of the form which will develop still later.
Plate 14, Fig. 27 shows the same experiment, photographed again sometime later.It seems as if the lower part has cleared, and the upper part has darkened considerably.The forms develop further and the middle part, which will later on show the final picture, stands out much more clearly already than in the previous photograph.
Plate 14, Fig. 28 is the same experiment photographed when the middle part was fully developed. At the same time we observe the withdrawal of some of the finer structures still visible on the earlier photographs.
- III – INTERRUPTED EXPERIMENTS WITH SILVER NITRATE
- V – EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIMENTS WHICH MAY BE OBSERVED DURING THE COURSE OF A YEAR