control of insect pests. If the detonating fuse is looped successively around a few blocks of TNT or cartridges of dynamite, and if these are strung around a large tree, the tree may be felled very quickly in an emergency. In military operations it may be desirable to "deny a terrain to the enemy" without occupying it oneself, and the result may be accomplished by scattering mustard gas over the area. For this purpose, perhaps during the night, a long piece of Primacord may be laid through the area, looped here and there in circles upon which tin cans of mustard gas (actually a liquid) are placed. The whole may be fired, when desired, by a single detonator, and the gas adequately dispersed.
If the quantity of the primary explosive used to initiate the explosion of a high explosive is increased beyond the minimum necessary for that result, the velocity with which the resulting explosion propagates itself through the high explosive is correspondingly increased, until a certain optimum is reached, depending upon the physical state of the explosive, whether cast or powdered, whether compressed much or little, upon the width of the column and the strength of the material which confines it, and of course upon the particular explosive which is used. By proper adjustment of these conditions, by pressing the powdered explosive to the optimum density (which must be determined by experiment) in steel tubes of sufficiently large diameter, and by initiating the explosion with a large enough charge of dynamite or other booster (itself exploded by a blasting cap), it is possible to secure the maximum velocity of detonation. This ultimate maximum is of less interest to workers with explosives than the maximum found while experimenting with paper cartridges, and it is the latter maximum which is generally reported. The physical state and density of the explosive, and the temperature at which the determinations were made, must also be noted if the figures for the velocity of detonation are to be reproducible.
Velocities of detonation were first measured by Berthelot and Vieille, who worked first with gaseous explosives and later with liquids and solids. They used a Boulenge chronograph the precision of which was such that they were obliged to employ long
Nadar, Paris). Founder of thermochemistry and the science of explosives. He synthesized acetylene and benzene from their elements, and alcohol from ethylene, studied the polyatomic alcohols and acids, the fixation of nitrogen, the chemistry of agriculture, and the history of Greek, Syriac, Arabic, and medieval chemistry. He was a Senator of France, Minister of Public Instruction, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Secretary of the Academy of Sciences, and is buried in the Panthéon at Paris.
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