The oil when brought to the surface has the appearance of a whitish-blue water, which gives out brilliant straw-coloured rays, and emits a strong pungent odour.
The whole plant emits a disagreeable odour.
By sublimation in a current of hydrogen it can be crystallized in the form of regular octahedra; it is slightly harder than tin, but is softer than zinc, and like tin, emits a crackling sound when bent.
The great plain in Sheng-king is in many parts swampy, and in the neighbourhood of the sea, where the soil emits a saline exudation such as is also common in the north of China, it is perfectly sterile.
The first group, named the " luminophore," is such that when excited by suitable aetherial vibrations emits radiant energy; the other, named the " fluorogen," acts with the luminophore in some way or other to cause the fluorescence.
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