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Contents of the November/December 1997 issue of Quantum


Feature articles

Hands-on (or -off?) Science

by Alexey Byalko

Have you ever wondered why a metal object at room temperature feels colder than a wooden object at room temperature? Here’s your chance to explore the physics of thermal perception.


Forked Roads and Forked Tongues

by P. Blekher

Prevarication and obfuscation can be formidable obstacles to finding the truth if you are not armed with the tools of logic.

Art by Dmitry Krymov

Interstellar Bubbles

by S. Silich

What, where, and why they are. An in-depth look at the interaction between stars and interstellar gas.


Unidentical Twins

by V. N. Vaguten

The surprising utility of conjugate numbers.


Departments

Gradus Ad Parnassum: Circular Reasoning

by Mark Saul and Benji Fisher

Quantum’s newest column kicks off with a step-by-step examination of inscribed angles.


Kaleidoscope: Do You Have Potential?

Try your hand at some problems with potential and then relax while perusing potentially shocking historical tidbits.


Looking Back: Van der Waals and His Equation

by B. Yavelov

Retrospective perspective on bringing ideal gases back to reality.


Physics Contest: Elephant Ears

by Arthur Eisenkraft and Larry D. Kirkpatrick

Our contest problem oscillates from simple problems to some challenging graphical and mathematical analysis.


At the Blackboard: The Ins and Outs of Circles

by I. F. Sharygin

Inscribed and circumscribed circles may have more in common than you think.


At the Blackboard II: Number Cells

by Thomas Hagspihl

Fill in the blanks (if you can).


Cowculations: Hindsight

by Dr. Mu

Dr. Mu turns to his trusty computer after a monthlong gambling spree.


In the Lab: Jingle Bell?

by N. Paravayan

What’s that bell doing in a vacuum?


How Do You Figure?: Challenges in Physics and Math


Brainteasers: Just for the Fun of It!

Check out this sample!


Happenings: The 1997 International Physics Olympiad in Ontario

by Dwight E. Neuenschwander

Plus: The Quantum Bulletin Board.


Crisscross Science

Scientific crossword puzzle.


Answers, Hints & Solutions


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