SCIENCE NEWS of the MONTH
Metallic Sandwich Analyzed by X-rays
• BY holding up a layer of thin strips of different metals to X-ray radiation, a Swedish chemist, Dr. Hamos, can identify each of those in the pile by its characteristic “secondary radiation,” or rays shot out under the influence of X-ray bombardment. The secondary rays are then analyzed with an ultra-violet spectroscope; and each metal gives a different line when photographed. By this means, ore specimens can be analyzed without dissolving them in chemicals.
If you think the world’s falling apart, read about the miracles of science America’s younger generation is performing!
by S. J. Johnson
IF THE bones of departed spirits actually do turn in their graves, someone ought to read this story near the tomb of Robert Fulton; if this were done, old Bob probably would spin in his coffin like a whirling dervish. For this is a story about young people whose ideas are way ahead of the times but who, instead of being laughed at, actually are encouraged to get to work on them!
I’ve always loved that the Heaviside Layer sounds like the name describes its properties, but was actually just discovered by a guy named Heaviside. Obviously it confused the writer or editor of this piece because they spelled it “Heavyside”. I wonder if there is a term for eponyms that sound like they are descriptive words.
W3XFE TRANSMITS ON ALL WAVELENGTHS
THE nation’s most unique radio station, which has the only permit ever granted by the Federal Communications Commission to transmit continuously on all radio frequencies, is in operation at Kensington, Maryland. Known as special experimental station W3XFE, the all-wave transmitter sends only to itself, using special apparatus.
Understanding LAWS of SCIENCE
—is easiest when an experiment shuts out all extraneous effects and lets one principle alone shine through. Try these six simple demonstrations to see how strikingly clear their principles become To demonstrate why exposed airplane parts are streamlined or given a tear-drop shape, place a piece of cardboard, bent into such a shape, in front of a candle as shown. Now blow at the rounded end of the model. The air from your breath follows the form and blows the candle flame straight from you, almost as if the obstacle were not there.
This article is trying to describe the discovery of the isotope carbon-13 in 1929
Twin Discovered for Carbon
CARBON is the latest chemical element to be shown to have a twin. Last winter two California physicists showed that oxygen, long supposed to be single, was not only double, but triple. Now Dr. Arthur S. King, of the Mt. Wilson Observatory, and Dr. Raymond T. Birge, of the University of California, have found a kind of carbon that is heavier than the ordinary form. Carbon is one of the most essential elements in living matter. These experimenters heated carbon in a vacuum in an electric furnace to a temperature around 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. When the light that it emitted was analyzed with a spectroscope, the usual bright bands of the spectrum appeared.
Girls Could Help Fill Science Need
In the hue and cry for more scientists America should look to its gifted girl students, a Michigan State University researcher has indicated.
Girls have shown the same ability as boys to do high-level work of a scientific nature, according to Dr. Elizabeth Monroe Drews, who made a four-year study of gifted adolescents in Lansing. Mich.
Beating the Celestial Strip-Tease
by Bill Williams
THE Eskimos call them “the dancing souls of the dead.” The ancient Norsemen said they were Valkyries carrying warriors to Valhalla. Modem scientists call them a “celestial strip-tease.” But communication engineers call the Northern Lights a plain pain in the neck.
The Northern Lights—the Aurora Borealis —have been the subject of superstition and folk-lore for ages. There have been tales as fabulous as the eerie lights themselves—of immense radium mines in the Arctic that glow at night, of frigid goddesses of the glacial ice, of vast fires that bum beyond the rim of the earth.
So long as the ghostly Gay White Way of the Heavens did nothing more to disturb us than frighten a few superstitious people, scientists paid no particular attention to them.
SCIENCE NEWS of the MONTH
Interstellar Traveler Visits New England
• WHEN a bright meteor shoots across the sky, astronomers appreciate a report from any observer who is able to describe its apparent path. One such report is useless; but several permit calculations of the true motion. One meteor, which went across Connecticut last October, was travelling 100 miles a second; it was therefore from outside our system, since the highest velocity to be obtained from the sun’s attraction is less than 30 miles a second at the orbit of the earth.
Your Body Heat Is Sufficient to Cook Pan of Potatoes
SCIENTISTS have learned that our bodies are living machines of the combustion type in which the burning of fuel (food) is accompanied by the consumption of oxygen, liberation of heat energy and production of carbon dioxide as is the case in all combustion engines. Scientists find that the heat from a single person, if properly focussed, would be sufficient to cook potatoes.
Science Makes it Possible
Steam Melts Iron.
In the flame produced by the combination of hydrogen and oxygen, refractory metal melts like wax. But this flame is merely the production, from its elements, of water vapor— commonly called steam!—J. Milota.
Straight Tunnel Sags.
If a tunnel 40 miles long is perfectly straight, so that one might see through it, the center is 260 feet below the water level of either end; because of the curvature of the earth in that distance.