What is the Color of Water?

The Manufacturer and Builder 5, 1869

M. W. Spring, according to the Revue Scientifique, has been experimenting at Liege to ascertain the color of water. The water was first boiled for four hours over potash manganate and permagranate, and then distilled twice in platina vessels, and the product received in a silver vessel protected from contact with the air. This water, when evaporated from a well-polished capsule of platina, left no stain. In order to obtain the requisite depth of water for the light to pass through, and make any color it would give visible, M. Spring used glass tubes 16 feet long and rather more than 1½ inches wide. The tubes were closed at both ends by glass flats, and furnished with a pipe through which the water colould be introduced. When pure water was placed in these tubes and white light sent through it, the color "was of a blue of which it is difficult to represent the purity; the finest blue on a fine day in a mountain region, above the grosser emanations of the soil, can alone be compared with it." No change occurred when the water was kept in the tubes for several weeks. The addition of a little lime water, which appeared quite limpid, entirely stopped the passage of the light, "as if ink had been put in."

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