[ Information | Background | The CyberTeaser | Quantum News | Miscellaneous Stuff ] Contents of the January/February 1997 issue of QuantumFeature articlesQuestioning Answersby Barry MazurWhen we have solved a problem, we usually kick up our heels and relax. But if we really want to find something new, we should question our answer—that’s when things really get interesting! This article is a case in point. Wobbling Nuclear Dropsby Yuly Bruk, Maxim Zelnikov, and Albert StasenkoWe usually don’t think of an atom’s nucleus being anything like an ordinary drop of water. Yet the liquid-drop model is used in physics to describe nuclear oscillations. A Revolution Absorbedby E. B. VinbergIt took two thousand years for mathematicians to realize that there are more kinds of geometry than the one worked out by Euclid. It took less than two hundred for the non-Euclidean revolution of Gauss, Lobachevsky, and Bolyai to be absorbed into the mathematical mainstream. Below Absolute Zeroby Henry D. SchreiberThey say you couldn’t get there if you tried. But maybe if you didn’t try so hard, or came at it from a different direction …
Cowculations: Superprime Beefby Dr. MuFarmer Paul affectionately calls his best cows his “superprime beef.” (A superprime is any prime number that remains a prime when any number of digits are deleted from the right side of the number—for example, 5939333.) How many superprimes are available for Farmer Paul to use in branding his outstanding heifers? Kaleidoscope: Combs and coulombsA look at electricity by way of the French physicist who discovered it’s first and most fundamental law, replete with questions to ponder and interesting facts to appreciate. Physics Contest: Do You Promise Not to Tell?by Arthur Eisenkraft and Larry D. KirkpatrickDevising a peculiar kind of electronic encryption by means of “destructive” and “constructive” interference (or nodes and antinodes). At the Blackboard I: From a Roman Myth to the Isoperimetric Problemby I. F. SharyginIn Roman mythology, Dido was offered as much land as a bull skin covered. She cleverly cut the skin into several long strips and used them to fence in a large plot. This tale serves as the jumping off point for a discussion of a straightforward problem with an intimidating name. Math Investigations: Revisiting the N-cluster Problemby George BerzsenyiA new research challenge from Dr. Berzsenyi, a longtime proponent of mathematical problem solving and the head of the math department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana. At the Blackboard II: The First Bicycleby Albert StasenkoYou will scour all the standard reference books in vain for any mention of “the great inventor Nga-Nga,” who (the author asserts) invented the first bicycle. Each wheel consisted of two sticks lashed together. Needless to say, the ride was a bit rough … In the Open Air: The Green Flashby Lev TarasovThe physics behind a beautiful but rare atmospheric phenomenon. How Do You Figure?: Challenges in Physics and MathBrainteasers: Just for the Fun of It!HappeningsThe Quantum Bulletin Board. Crisscross ScienceScientific crossword puzzle. Answers, Hints & SolutionsQuantum Control Panel Copyright © 1996–97 National Science Teachers Association |