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Contents of the September/October 1996 issue of Quantum

Feature articles

The Multidimensional Cube

by Vladimir Dubrovsky

In honor of the quadricentennial of the birth of René Descartes, one of the founders of analytic geometry, we offer a look at one of its outgrowths—the notion of multidimensional space. In particular, this article serves as an introduction to the n-dimensional cube, which will be featured in several articles in this issue.

Resistance in the Multidimensional Cube

by F. Nedemeyer and Y. Smorodinsky

Once you overcome your resistance to the multidimensional cube, you’ll find this application of n-dimensionality quite handy.

Borsuk’s Problem

by Arkady Skopenkov

Another application of the n-dimensional cube—one that caused an intriguing conjecture in combinatorial geometry to unravel.

The Name Game of the Elements

by Henry D. Schreiber

What do the elements with atomic numbers 104 and 106 have in common? Both are named rutherfordium! How can that be? This article proves that chemistry and politics don’t mix.


In the Open Air: The Ashen Light of the Moon

by Alexey Byalko

An investigation of the faint glow of the very young (or very old) moon.

Kaleidoscope: Are You Relatively Sure?

How well do you understand relativity, in all its shifty manifestations?

Math Investigations: Embedding Triangles in Lattices

by George Berzsenyi

Revisiting a problem dating back to the 1980s and a file named Math.Note maintained at the Digital Equipment Corporation.

Physics Contest: The Bombs Bursting in Air

by Arthur Eisenkraft and Larry D. Kirkpatrick

In addition to the usual physics problem, the authors pose a more difficult pedagogical/social question: does it matter whether we learn to solve projectile problems using sports and rescue planes or mortar shells and bombs?

Horological Surprises: Confessions of a Clock Lover

by V. M. Babovic

The cosmic consequences of switching hands.

Toy Store: Chess Puzzles and Real Chess

by Yevgeny Gik

You may think that chess puzzles have no relation to the actual game. But the author begs to differ.

How Do You Figure?: Challenges in Physics and Math

Brainteasers: Just for the Fun of It!

Check out this sample!


Reports on the 1996 math and physics olympiads.

Crisscross Science

Scientific crossword puzzle.

Answers, Hints & Solutions

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