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Contents of the November/December 1996 issue of Quantum

Feature articles

The Advent of Radio

by Pavel Bliokh

With the telegraph under their belts and a wealth of physical laws at their disposal, why couldn’t scientists in the mid-19th century create a “wireless telegraph” (that is, radio)? What was the missing link?

Inscribe, Subtend, Circumscribe

by Vladimir Uroyev and Mikhail Shabunin

In the Divine Comedy Dante wrote of drawing “a triangle inside a semicircle that would have no right angle.” The great poet was no mathematician, at least when it came to triangles. This article consists of variations on the theme of the Inscribed Angle Theorem.

A Flight to the Sun

by Alexey Byalko

This article, which appeared in our sister magazine Kvant in 1986, mulls over some of the problems involved in sending a scientific probe to the Sun. (Four years later, the Ulysses spacecraft was released from the Space Shuttle Discovery and in 1994 entered a polar orbit of the Sun.)

Ax by Sea

by Boris Kordemsky

Actually, we’re talking about ax + by = c—a problem genre that traces its origins to Diophantus, some 1,600 years ago.

Illustration by Vasily Vlasov


Cowculations: Feeding Rhythms and Algorithms

by Dr. Mu

A new column devoted to computer programming!
Here Dr. Mu ponders how to get the most chow from the wacky system Farmer Paul has instituted.

In the Lab: In Foucault’s Footsteps

by M. Emelyanov, A. Zharkkov, V. Zagainov, and V. Matochkin

A simple experiment demonstrating the Coriolis force.

Kaleidoscope: Billiard Math

Why just play pool when you can play with the shape of the pool table itself?

Physics Contest: The Nature of Light

by Arthur Eisenkraft and Larry D. Kirkpatrick

Getting at the particle nature of electromagnetic radiation via the Compton effect.

At the Blackboard I: Shady Computations

by Chauncey W. Bowers

How a shadow’s edge can violate Nature’s speed limit (the speed of light), and how we can clear up the paradox.

Math Investigations: In Memoriam: Paul Erdös (1913-1996)

by George Berzsenyi

Some problems posed by the great Hungarian mathematician, who passed away on September 20.

At the Blackboard II: Not All is Revealed

by Albert Stasenko

Meditations on the Uncertainty Principle and other forms of indeterminacy.

Fundamentals: A Prelude to the Study of Physics

by Robert J. Sciamanda

Some guiding thoughts for novices on the construction of models and on their role in science.

Toy Store: The Game of Battleships

by Yevgeny Gik

How to achieve naval superiority on a paper sea.

How Do You Figure?: Challenges in Physics and Math

Brainteasers: Just for the Fun of It!

Check out this sample!


The Quantum Bulletin Board.

Crisscross Science

Scientific crossword puzzle.

Answers, Hints & Solutions

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