INTRODUCTION

It is generally believed that the metamorphic processes in nature occur in the presence of water or water vapor or some other pneumatolytic agent. Laboratory experiments bear out this belief at least insofar as they demonstrate acceleration of many reactions involving solids by gaseous agents in contact with them. While it is often evident that these gases form intermediate reaction complexes which later combine with one or the other component to form the end product, their role is not always well understood, because in many cases little is known about the mechanism of the reactions which take place between solids in the absence of these gaseous catalysts. When two solids are brought into intimate contact, reactions may take place by interdiffusion or by distillation of one solid upon the other. It will be shown later that diffusion plays an important role in the reactions involving solid CaO, MgO, and . . .

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