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J. Perelman
"Entertaining physics". Book 1.
Chapter 5. Properties of liquids and gases

A CURIOUS FEATURE OF KEROSENE

Who had to deal with an oil lamp, he probably familiar with the unfortunate surprises, due to the peculiarity of kerosene. You fill the tank, wipe it dry outside, and an hour later find it wet again.

The fact that you are not completely replaced the burner and kerosene, in an effort to spread on the glass, he crawled out on the outer surface of the tank. If you want to protect yourself from such “surprises”, you should probably tightly screw the burner.

This creep kerosene very unpleasant way feels on ships, machines which consume fuel (or oil). On such vessels, if not taken positively impossible to transport any goods, except as kerosene or oil, because these liquid crawling out of the tanks through the invisible hole, spread not only on the metal surface of the tanks themselves, but strongly penetrate everywhere, even in the clothes of the passengers, telling all subjects its ineradicable smell. Attempts to combat this evil often remain inconclusive. English humorist Jerome didn't exaggerating when in the novel “Three men in a boat” talked about the kerosene following:

“I don't know substances can seep everywhere than kerosene. We kept him on the bow of the boat, and it leaked out at the other end, having impregnated his smell everything that came his way. Seeping through the hole, he fell into the water, fouling the air and the sky, poisoned life. Sometimes kerosene wind blew from the West, sometimes from the East, and another time it was North kerosene wind or maybe South, but if he flew from the snow of the Arctic, or was born in the Sands of the desert, he always reached us, rich aroma of kerosene. In the evenings, this fragrance has destroyed the beauty of the sunset, and the rays of the month positively exuded kerosene... Tied the boat to the bridge, we went to walk around the city, but horrible smell followed us. It seemed that the whole city was soaked them”. (Actually, of course, was soaked them only dress travelers.)

The ability of kerosene to moisten the outer surface of the tanks gave rise to the incorrect belief that kerosene can penetrate metals and glass.

Entertaining physics J. Perelman

 




System Orphus

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