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Contents of the March/April 1997 issue of Quantum


Feature articles

Swinging from Star to Star

by Vladimir Surdin

How the “slingshot effect” is used to accelerate spacecraft deep into the cosmos.

Illustration by Sergey Ivanov

Desperately Seeking Susan on a Cylinder

by A. Chkhartishvili and E. Shikin

A geometric approach to problems of search and detection.


Whistling in Space

by Pavel Bliokh

It’s not an idle pastime—it’s a phenomenon that allows us to study the near-Earth region without leaving the ground.


Squaring the Hyperbola

by Andrey Yegorov

This article takes a different approach to the exponential function: it starts with a definition of the logarithm and then proceeds to its inverse function: the exponent.


Departments

Kaleidoscope: Volumes without Integrals

by I. F. Sharygin

Applications of a principle formulated by Francesco Bonaventura Cavalieri in 1629.


Physics Contest: Mars or Bust!

by Arthur Eisenkraft and Larry D. Kirkpatrick

In honor of the Mars Global Surveyor (launched November 7, 1996 and due to reach the Red Planet on September 12, 1997), a set of problems on a Martian theme.


Cowculations: Bottling Milk

by Dr. Mu

The challenge of finding an efficient algorithm for distributing milk among bottles of varying sizes.


At the Blackboard I: A Planetary Air Brake

by D. C. Agrawal and V. J. Menon

Determining how much viscous drag from the atmosphere slows the Earth’s rotation.


Looking Back: The Long Road to Longitude

by A. A. Mikhailov

A historical look at the problem of longitude and how to determine it.


At the Blackboard II: Three Physicists and One Log

by Roman Vinokur

When three friends carry a log, who bears the brunt and who gets off easy?


Math Investigations: The Equalizer of a Triangle

by George Berzsenyi

Questions related to a special line that divides a triangle into two parts with equal perimeters and equal areas.


In the Lab: Stirring up Bubbles

by T. Polyakova, V. Zablotsky, and O. Tsyganenko

Something curious happens when you stir a boiling liquid under certain conditions ...


How Do You Figure?: Challenges in Physics and Math


Brainteasers: Just for the Fun of It!

Check out this sample!


Happenings

The Quantum Bulletin Board.


Crisscross Science

Scientific crossword puzzle.


Answers, Hints & Solutions


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