When I teach the quantum chemistry part of our physical chemistry sequence, I usually carve out one or two lectures to talk with my students about some of the wonderfully puzzling aspects of quantum measurements.
In the social sciences, 1995 may turn out to be (the figures aren't available yet) the year in which as many women earned Ph.D. degrees as men did. But in the physical sciences, the ratio is still about four to one.
I've always thought that optical transforms were a great model for the determination of crystal structures using X-ray diffraction, and I've used the ICE (Institute for Chemical Education) kit for this exercise many times.
John Allen Paulos is author of another book that you may have read or heard about, "Innumeracy", in which he describes the decline in the ability of Americans to perform simple mathematics, even arithmetic. In "A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper", he provides some of the reasons why mathematics is important to everyday life.
The Dewar flasks that we use for storage of cryogenic fluids such as liquid nitrogen, oxygen, and helium, and which known outside the laboratory as "thermos bottles" were invented by James Dewar, who was the first person to liquefy hydrogen, and was nearly first in the nineteenth century races to liquefy all of the other gases.
Well, the final version of the National Science Education Standards has finally arrived. If you are involved in curriculum planning for your school or district, or if you want to study the document in detail, you can buy a copy for $19.95 + 4.00 shipping from the National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Lockbox 285, Washington DC 20055 [1-800-624-6242].
In the novel "The Children of Men" by P. D. James, set in the year 2021, mankind is faced with extinction due to the worldwide sterility of human males. Is there a basis for fear that this is actually happening? Or is the reported decline in sperm counts, over the past half-century, even a fact?
After nearly a century of "modern" archaeology in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, it is surprising that any substantial finds remain to be uncovered, but archaeologist Kent R. Weeks discovered last year what appears to be a huge complex of tombs.
The forensic sciences have received a great deal of attention lately, partly as a result of the OJ trial, but in this lengthy piece, the fine writer, John McPhee, writes about the far less-familiar field of forensic geology.
In Culver City, California, David Wilson operates The Museum of Jurassic Technology. There, the visitor learns that the breath of a duck will cure children of fungal infections of the mouth, and that bedwetting is curable by "eating a mouse on toast, fur and all".