A group of scientists, financed by the Rockefeller Institute, have been secretly carrying on important chemical research work for three months in an out of the way corner of the Mallinckrodt Chemical Laboratory, it was revealed yesterday in a survey of the grounds. Under the direction of Assistant Professor of Chemistry George B. Kistiakowsky, these men, veiled in secrecy and unwilling to divulge their plans, have completed a complicated mass of apparatus, that it is hoped will measure in a more direct and accurate manner the amount of heat evolved in a chemical change, and expect to be several years in perfecting the apparatus. The Rockefeller Institute has put up an unknown amount of money to build the apparatus and to use it for research.
Professor Kistiskowsky explains the value of the expected discoveries by likening them to a person calculating the distance between Boston and New York by direct measurement, while he describes the old methods that he hopes to replace as the same as a person measuring the distance between Boston and New York by going around the world to do it.
There is no definite date when the work will be completed, but it will probably take several years. Now that the apparatus is finished, observations will be made on the burning of organic compounds and calculating the amount of heat absorbed when they burn. All this calculation and measurement will be done directly and not in the old roundabout and inaccurate methods. Professor Kistiakowsky hopes that the accuracy will be ten times better than any other ever attained. If it proves to be so he expects the use of his apparatus will be the greatest value in many fields of chemical research, and that it may make possible some revolutionary discoveries about reactions which evolve host, and coincidentally, about the ultimate structure of matter.