Its crimson flame-coloration was observed by C. G.
It fuses easily in the electric arc. It oxidizes superficially when heated, but fairly rapidly when ignited in an oxidizing blowpipe flame, forming a black smoke of the oxide.
The methods of chemical analysis may be classified according to the type of reaction: (I) dry or blowpipe analysis, which consists in an examination of the substance in the dry condition; this includes such tests as ignition in a tube, ignition on charcoal in the blowpipe flame, fusion with borax, microcosmic salt or fluxes, and flame colorations (in quantitative work the dry methods are sometimes termed " dry assaying "); (2) wet analysis, in which a solution of the substance is treated with reagents which produce specific reactions when certain elements or groups of elements are present.
Of the principal workers in this field we may notice Friedrich Hoffmann, Andreas Sigismund Marggraf (who detected iron by its reaction with potassium ferrocyanide, and potassium and sodium by their flame colorations), and especially Carl Scheele and Torbern Olof Bergman.
Another type of dry reaction, namely, the flame coloration, had been the subject of isolated notices, as, for example, the violet flame of potassium and the orange flame of sodium observed by Marggraf and Scheele, but a systematic account was wanting until Cartmell took the subject up. His results (Phil.