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Contents of the September/October 1997 issue of Quantum


A special issue devoted to
the 25th anniversary of the publication of
The Limits to Growth


Feature articles

The Limits to Growth Revisited

by Kurt Kreith

The Limits to Growth provided a framework for thinking about the Earth’s ability to sustain both humankind and our industrial economy. This introductory article presents that framework and recounts the excitement and controversy surrounding the the book’s publication of LTG. It also describes software (STELLA) for developing quantitative scenarios that take into account a myriad of factors affecting the health of the closed system called Earth.


Overshooting the Limits

by Bob Eberlein

Using the system dynamics software Vensim, the author shows that adjustment to limits need not involve a monotonic approach to a plateau.


The World in a Bubble

by Joshua L. Tosteson

Inside the simulated Earth of Biosphere 2 in the Arizona desert, sustainability became a life-or-death issue during Mission One as oxygen levels continued to drop, despite all attempts to manage the chemistry involved.

Art by Sergey Ivanov

Learning from a Virus

by Matthias Ruth

The software tools used to model the Earth as a whole can also be applied to more discrete problems—in this case, the spread of a disease through a population.


The Far from Dismal Science

by Dean Button, Faye Duchin, and Kurt Kreith

Wassily Leontief harnessed the power of computers to develop what he called input–output economics (how economies use resources like iron, coal, and petroleum to produce goods like automobiles and refrigerators). This article describes an effort to harness I–O economics to take account of the “bads” produced by an economy as well as the nonrenewable resources required to sustain it.


Departments

Kaleidoscope: The World3 Model

A graphical representation of the revised World3 model that appears in Beyond the Limits (the 1991 sequel to The Limits to Growth).


Physics Contest: Cool Vibrations

by Arthur Eisenkraft and Larry D. Kirkpatrick

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


At the Blackboard: An Ant on a Tin Can

by Igor Akulich

It’s the old question: “What’s the shortest distance between two points?” But in this case, it can’t be “a straight line”!


Cowculations: Bad Milk

by Dr. Mu

A challenge for our readers: find the temperature which milk will turn sour twice as fast as it does at 50F.


In the Lab: Physics in the Kitchen

by I. I. Mazin

Three simple experiments involving boiling water.


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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