D O C U M E N T 3 3 9 O C T O B E R 1 9 2 4 3 4 3
I am now hoping to complete these experiments in a short time, that is, to obtain
whatever is attainable by this method. If you approve, I would very much like to
implement your suggestions of yesterday. But I also don’t want to meddle in any-
one else’s business, if others have already started; I shall therefore await your reply.
This apparatus will also present difficulties, I fear. Should the water slowly vapor-
ize without the formation of bubbles? Then it would be quite difficult to evaporate
a sufficient amount in a short time. Or should the water be boiling? In that case, so-
called cascade ions form massively, as they do in any gas that has been guided
through a washing bottle. As soon as ions are involved, however, it is to be expected
that the ions that are carried along would balance out the mass charge of the vapor
stream. One must therefore absorb these ions with a so-called ion trap. For this, one
can either direct the overheated steam through a condenser or multiply the ions by
cooling the steam to such an extent that they can be separated out through a filter
or centrifuge pot. In both cases, though, we run up against the difficulty you men-
tioned, that ions could be torn off the apparatus walls. Heating by an induction coil
will work very well, especially if one affixes to the interior of the vessel an iron core
wound with copper wire.
I regret very much that Brussels does not lie on the route between Leyden and
Berlin, since this research would be much easier if you were closer at hand for me
with your advice.
In thanking you once again for having allowed me to work in this field, I remain,
very respectfully and sincerely yours,
A. Piccard.
339. To Wander J. de Haas and Geertruida de Haas-
[Leyden, 17 October 1924]
Dear De Haases!
With a somewhat bad conscience I take my pen in hand and remember my prom-
ise to visit you now, which I cannot
But: You will soon be in Leyden, where
we shall be seeing one another pleasantly and frequently; and you really don’t need
anyone around right now, because you are in that moving state so familiar to
Tomorrow I am leaving with the Ehrenfests to visit
That is always the
highpoint of my stay in Holland.—It really is splendid that you are coming to Ley-
den. Then, let us lay another egg together, God willing, hopefully one as fine as
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