Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science






During the course of extensive investigations of the properties and behavior of silicic acid gels, the study of the conductivity of these substances was begun in the hope that data could be assembled to throw some light on the mechanism of gelation. The experiments to be described are a continuation of the work on conductivity carried out at Union College under the direction of Dr. C. B. Hurd. H. Swanker (1), in 1932, making use of a Wheatstone bridge at 1000 cycles, failed to find any change in conductivity, but R. W. Gurry (2), using refined methods, was able to detect small changes as the gels set. Subsequently the technique of measurement was further improved by R. Slobod (3) in 1935, and R. E. Russel (4) in 1936. Slobod's curves showed a definite increase in conductivity, but his own experiments and those of Russell made those results appear doubtful. Russell, continuing the work of Slobod on the equilibrium phenomena arising, studied the treatment of the electrodes.