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Contents of the May/June 1998 issue of Quantum

Feature articles

The Force Behind the Tides

by V. E. Belonuchkin

If the tides are caused by the gravitational attraction of the Moon, why are there two simultaneous high tides instead of one? This article clears up that question and others involving that enchanting celestial body.

The Force Behind the Tides
Art by Vasily Vlasov

Is Bingo Fair?

by Mark Krosky

Can an understanding of the probabilities involved in Bingo be used to gain an advantage?

Tied into Knot Theory

by O. Viro

When mathematicians try to study an everyday phenomenon, they usually replace it with a convenient mathematical object. Ordinary knots, made of rope, have shared this fate.

Visionary Science

by V. Novoseltsev

An examination of halos, sun dogs, and other atmospheric optical phenomena. Extraordinary cases of these events may help explain certain historical “visions” and unidentified objects.


Gradus Ad Parnassum: Symmetry, Part II

by Mark Saul and Titu Andreescu

A second look at symmetry in algebra, with particular attention paid to polynomials and their roots.

Kaleidoscope: The Nature of an Ideal Gas

by A. Leonovich

Test your knowledge of ideal gas behavior and learn such interesting tidbits as who coined the word “gas.”

Looking Back: Light Pressure

by S. V. Gryslov

The history of attempts to measure the pressure light exerts on objects.

Physics Contest: Depth of Knowledge

by Larry D. Kirkpatrick and Arthur Eisenkraft

A look at the importance of air resistance, with a gentle admonishment not to strap “a bramble bush of outdoor gear” to the roof of your car.

At the Blackboard I: Mathematical Relay Races

by Don Barry

Teamwork adds excitement and anxiety to a math competition-turned-relay-race. Are you anchor material?

At the Blackboard II: Homogeneous Equations

by L. Ryzhkov and Y. Ionin

Examples of what mathematicians call homogeneous equations abound in high school mathematics. But just what exactly is a homogeneous equation?

Cowculations: Come, Bossy

by Dr. Mu

Help Bud, the family dog, round up the cows more efficiently.

In the Lab: Amusing Electrolysis

by N. Paravyan

Use this simple setup to probe some lesser-known aspects of electrolysis.

How Do You Figure?: Challenges in Physics and Math

Brainteasers: Just for the Fun of It!

Check out this sample!

Crisscross Science

Scientific crossword puzzle.

Answers, Hints & Solutions

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