The thermal decomposition of unirradiated mercuric oxalate and the effects of pre-irradiation by X-rays, γ-rays, and sunlight were examined. Pre-irradiation accelerated the subsequent decomposition in all cases. Considerable radiolysis occurred when using γ-rays, but there was no detectable loss in weight when using sunlight or X-rays. The effects of γ-rays and light on the thermal decomposition were similar in that an initial burst of gas preceded the main acceleratory and decay periods. The initial reaction was studied in detail in each case and activation energies determined.
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