Definition for AM-MO'NI-UM


A name given to the supposed metallic basis of ammonia. It is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen, containing a greater proportion of the latter than is contained in ammonia. If mercury, at the negative pole of a galvanic battery, is placed in contact with a solution of ammonia, and the circuit is completed, an amalgam is formed, which, at the temperature of 70° or 80° of Fahrenheit, is of the consistence of butter, but at the freezing point is a firm and crystalized mass. This amalgam is supposed to be formed by the metallic basis, ammonium. – Davy. Thomson.

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