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INTRODUCTION BY THE

TRANSLATOR

In writing this English version of Blondlot's communications to the French Academy, the translator's constant endeavour has been to preserve that simplicity and straightforwardness which render the original a model of scientific exposition. That this object has been attained he will not venture to assert, but he hopes that, at any rate, the reader will be enabled to follow the successive stages of thought in the mind of the discoverer as he progresses from experiment to experiment in a hitherto unexplored domain. If this hope be fulfilled, the book will be welcome not only to those who desire to make acquaintance with “N” rays, but also to all lovers of scientific research, as well as to beginners who wish to attain to scientific methods.

The translator has to thank sincerely Professor Reinold, who has been kind enough to revise the translation, and suggest several valuable improvements.

“N” RAYS

C

On the Polarization of XRays (Feb. 2, 1903).

Note 1. HITHERTO the attempts made to polarize “X” rays have remained fruitless. I asked myself whether “X” rays emitted by a focus tube are not polarized as soon as emitted. I was led to put to myself this question by considering that the conditions of asymmetry which should exist for the polarization of such rays are in this case exactly satisfied. For each ray is generated from a cathode ray, and the two rays define a plane ; thus, through each ray emitted by the tube a plane passes, in which, or normally to which, the ray may well have special properties, this being, in fact, an asymmetry characteristic of polarization. Now, if this polarization exists, how can the fact be ascertained ? It struck me that a small spark, such

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