NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCESby@scientificamerican

NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

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The speaker described in detail the various operations, exhibited the different kinds of apparatus employed, showed the operations, and exhibited the finished sections. In some rocks a thin chip can be broken off, others require to be sawn, and for the latter purpose the diamond saw is best. Having obtained the chip, it is first polished on one side, then cemented to a little square of glass, and the other side polished in the same way. The sections must not be too thick, nor too thin; they are usually made from a hundredth to a thousandth of an inch thick. Lathes employed in polishing minerals require to be provided with conical spindles, so that the wear, due to grit and emery dust getting on them, may be readily taken up. The grinding wheel may be either horizontal or vertical; the former has the advantage that the mineral can be held in either hand; with the latter only the right hand can be employed, and that in an awkward and tiresome position. Mr. Julian then referred briefly to the kinds of emery, its preparation by elutriation, etc., and cautioned operators against using rouge or tin putty powder in polishing rock sections, although they may be employed in polishing certain minerals and gems. The object of making the rock sections being to study their constituents and determine what minerals enter into their composition, it is important that no foreign substance, liable to adhere to the specimen and to be mistaken for one of its ingredients, be placed on the section while grinding. Lastly, the minerals are mounted on glass, with or without covers, by means of Canada balsam. Square glasses are to be preferred to the long and narrow strips, usually employed, as less liable to break in the center, and more easily revolved on the stage of a microscope.
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Oldest US science mag (est. 1845). Features contributions from Einstein, Tesla & 150+ Nobel laureates.


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