The action of these acids on many metals was also studied; Glauber obtained zinc, stannic, arsenious and cuprous chlorides by dissolving the metals in hydrochloric acid, compounds hitherto obtained by heating the metals with corrosive sublimate, and consequently supposed to contain mercury.
A sublimate may be formed of: sulphur - reddish-brown drops, cooling to a yellow to brown solid, from sulphides or mixtures; iodine - violet vapour, black sublimate, from iodides, iodic acid, or mixtures; mercury and its compounds - metallic mercury forms minute globules, mercuric sulphide is black and becomes red on rubbing, mercuric chloride fuses before subliming, mercurous chloride does not fuse, mercuric iodide gives a yellow sublimate; arsenic and its compounds - metallic arsenic gives a grey mirror, arsenious oxide forms white shining crystals, arsenic sulphides give reddish-yellow sublimates which turn yellow on cooling; antimony oxide fuses and gives a yellow acicular sublimate; lead chloride forms a white sublimate after long and intense heating.
The precipitate formed by sulphuretted hydrogen may contain the black mercuric, lead, and copper sulphides, dark-brown bismuth sulphide, yellow cadmium and arsenious sulphides, orange-red antimony sulphide, brown stannous sulphide, dull-yellow stannic sulphide, and whitish sulphur, the last resulting from the oxidation of sulphuretted hydrogen by ferric salts, chromates, &c. Warming with ammonium sulphide dissolves out the arsenic, antimony and tin salts, which are reprecipitated by the addition of hydrochloric acid to the ammonium sulphide solution.
As a general rule the modification stable at higher temperatures possesses a lower density; but this is by no means always the case, since the converse is true for antimonious and arsenious oxides, silver iodide and some other substances.
The insufficiency of this argument, however, is shown by the data for arsenious and antimonious oxides, and also for the polymorphs of calcium carbonate, the more symmetrical polymorphs having a lower density.