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Scientists At 'U' Catch, Measure Tiny Bit Of Air

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Scientists At ‘U' Catch, Measure Tiny Bits Of Air

Scientists at the University have come pretty close to catching nothing in a bottle and measuring it.

They did it by launching rocket-propelled bottles in the upper atmosphere in an investigation of space for the U. S. Army Signal Corps. The bottles didn’t orbit.

In space they opened and quickly shut. Then they returned to earth full—or empty —of substances collected 60 miles up.

The scientists, headed by Research Engineer Leslie M. Jones, found their yield to be very little—almost nothing.

When a bottle full of upper atmosphere was recovered at sea level, its contents amounted to a one-hundredth part of a half-inch cube of air, Jones said. He explained the heavier pressure at sea level compressed the catch practically to nothingness.

Jones said neon and helium bases were found in minute amounts in the upper atmosphere.

He made a report on his work this week in Moscow as a member of the U. S. National Committee of the International Geophysical Year.