THE AMATEUR SCIENTIST
On the fascination of microscopy and some curious amateur observations of the moon.
Conducted by Albert G. Ingalls
ADAM’S lack of foresight when he named the creatures of the earth (Genesis 2:19) certainly made things difficult for his scientific descendants. If he had made a list of the animals as he named them, how easy it would now be, for instance, to label a microscope slide! As it is, the rediscovery and renaming of the world’s organisms has been slow, painful work. Aristotle knew about 520 animals and Theophrastus could identify approximately the same number of plants.
A “Down the CELLAR” Chem Lab
by FREDERICK O. SCHUBERT
Here are some interesting experiments you can perform with simple chemicals, with notes on building the beginnings of your own basement chemistry lab. More next month!
NOW that we’ve succeeded in shoving Andy, the grease monkey, and the rest of the “hangar gang” over a bit for the lab boys, let’s get together and make real use of our “chem” pages.
SCIENCE IS A PRISONER OF WAR
WHO won the war is already an old argument. But certainly science, forging the final weapon, stopped the war. Yet, a year later, science is still literally a prisoner of war.
When science was mobilized, the military services quite properly invaded the universities. They had to halt the basic research. They put the men and machines of science to work on the pressing necessities that mothered radar, sonar, loran, and a thousand other urgent applications of that basic research. The scientists did their work well, including the actual manufacture of such things as the rockets and the trained atoms.
“HOT DOGS” IN THE LAB
by Harry M. Schwalb
Condensed from The Laboratory In 1939 the hot dog hit the front pages of the international press when President Roosevelt’s wife served it to the king and queen of England. And as 1955 draws to an end, Americans, by devouring over 8y2 billon tangy “red hots,” have made the frankfurter or wiener (formulation’s the same, though the wiener is a bit shorter) a major phase of the meat industry, outranking everything but ice cream in popularity on the national menu.
15 Million Volts to Shatter Atom
GOLD from lead was the aim of the old alchemists; the modern electro-chemist may accomplish it, with the apparatus shown above; yet it is not to be expected that gold so obtained will repay the cost of production. The quantity will be small, compared with the expense of the apparatus and of the power required. The purpose of this investigation is to obtain more information concerning the nature of the atom and the mysteries of its complicated structure.
SCIENCE NEWS of the MONTH
Estimates of Universe’s Size Vary
•IN the latest estimate of the size of the universe, contained in the Smithsonian tables of scientific data, there is considerable latitude. The largest estimate of the mileage, that of Dr. Edwin Hubble, is 190 billion light-years, or 1,140 sextillion miles. The smallest is that of Dr. Willem de Sitter, 76 quintillion miles, or 13 million light-years. The ratio is that between a mile and a third of an inch, or 15,000 to one, between these guesses. At any rate, it’s a long walk before breakfast.
There is a lot of really interesting, important science on this one page. We have cosmic expansion, nuclear fission, Kaluza–Klein theory, proto-computing, the advancement of fluoroscopy, an incorrect model of planetary formation, and um… a way to identify criminals by their sinuses.
Science News of the Month
TO ATTEMPT ATOMIC DISINTEGRATION BY MAGNETS
BY the use of atomic protons, or nuclei of hydrogen atoms, Drs. Ernest O. Lawrence and M. Stanley Livingston, of the University of California, expect to bombard atoms of other substances and, by breaking up their nuclei, to achieve transmutation, or conversion of one metal into another.
ADVENTURES of the POISON SQUAD
by James Nevin Miller
IN THE city of White Plains, N. Y., not so long ago, more than 700 people suddenly were stricken with a mysterious ailment. City authorities thought the case was food poisoning. But just what kind, puzzled them. True enough, it was learned that all the victims had eaten chocolate eclairs, cream puffs or Boston cream pies. However, none of the custard-filled pastries appeared to be “spoiled” although it was suspected that contaminated custard filling might have been the source of the poisoning.
Getting a Line on the Aurora
ON A clear, moonless night a diffuse glow or a well-defined arch of pale pearly light is seen low over the northern horizon. Gradually the light grows brighter and presently long beams shoot up in great fan-like sheaves. In ghostly procession they shift back and forth across the sky.
Uncle Sam’s Poison Squad Safeguards Your Food Supply
by C. MORAN
Poisoned food epidemics are becoming increasingly rare, thanks to the eternal vigilance waged by government squads of “poison chasers” who relentlessly track down contaminated food shipments. This article tells you how to guard against poisoned food in your home.
“TELEGRAM for the chief,” sang out an office boy, dropping the message on the secretary’s desk. It read: “Twenty people poisoned; two dead. Community fear running high. A fiend must be at work.”