Cosmic rays may help to prophesy the weather. This first practical use for the mysterious radiations from outer space was recently announced by Dr. R. A. Millikan, Calif. Institute of Technology physicist.

The “cosmic rays” are more penetrating than radium or X-rays, but it is not known whether they affect human beings.

Dr. Millikan, who discovered the source of the rays (P. S. M., July, ’28, p. 13), has measured their strength with his new electroscope, and is able to determine high-altitude atmospheric conditions.




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England Now Has Gasoline Made from Coal (Feb, 1934)

England Now Has Gasoline Made from Coal

British motorists may now enjoy the novelty of buying gasoline made from coal, which has just been placed on public sale. The event marks the beginning of a great chemical industry by which England hopes to put 65,000 men to work and to end her dependence upon imported petroleum. A monster plant now rising at Billingham-on-Tees will transform 1,000 tons of coal daily into the synthetic fuel, using a process already in successful operation in a smaller experimental plant at the same site.

Cosmic Rays Trapped in Mountain-Top Laboratory (Nov, 1936)

Cosmic Rays Trapped in Mountain-Top Laboratory

The Story of a Strange Outpost of Science, Nearly Three Miles Above Sea Level, Where Man Seeks the Answer to a Riddle of Nature

By John E. Lodge

ON A lonely 14,000-foot mountain peak, fifty miles west of Denver, Colo., two scientists have just moved into the only house of its kind on earth. Shaped like a wedge tent and completely sheathed with copper, it stands among bare, wind-bitten bowlders, far above the timber line. It is the world’s first permanent cosmic-ray laboratory.

Here, Dr. Joyce B. Stearns and Dr. Fred D’Amour, of the University of Denver, are studying the mystery bullets which bombard the earth from outer space. With clicking, chattering instruments, they will seek answers to such teasing problems as the exact nature of the rays, where they are born, and how they affect human life.

Spectacular Fireworks (Aug, 1936)

Spectacular Fireworks


IN making fireworks, if the experimenter will always remember that he is dealing with explosives that may pop off at any moment, and therefore exercises constant caution, the various spectacular night displays outlined in the accompanying article are not any more dangerous than playing with matches. At all times, care must be exercised in grinding the ingredients. Always use a clean mortar; always powder each chemical separately; when mixing, dump the required portions on a sheet of dry paper and use a wooden spatula, or gently rock the contents of the paper back and forth. Although the author is only fifteen years old he has been making fireworks for years and has not yet had one of them go off accidentally. The formulas contained in this article have all been tried and tested, and will be found to work perfectly.

Maybe Einstein Uses a “Four-Dimensional” Language (Jun, 1939)

Maybe Einstein Uses a “Four-Dimensional” Language
Your magazine is tops with me because of the way it takes scientific topics and projects and makes them accessible and understandable to the layman. It would be tragic if the layman were forced to gather all his scientific knowledge by deciphering the language of the scientist of today. Even the average college professor cannot fully comprehend the following words of Einstein: “The empirical quantum of the gravitational equation bridges the corpuscles of the material eschatology by subliminal energy evolved counterclockwise out of analogous infinities.” More power to the editor!—S.A.S., Moorhead, Minn.

How To Win At Science Fairs (Dec, 1960)

How To Win At Science Fairs

by Ronald Benrey

YOU CAN WIN at a Science Fair as long as one thing interests you more than winning does. This is your project itself. It is going to be judged on scientific thought, creative ability, and presentation. You will really have to know the field your project is concerned with. This takes effort. Since you lack the means of a professional laboratory, you will have to do much with little. This takes trial and error and just plain work. Your presentation must be attractive and clear.

IF Atomic Fuel Were Shared… (Mar, 1954)

IF Atomic Fuel Were Shared…

The world would be healthier, wealthier and wiser, say AEC scientists, discussing President’s daring proposal to United Nations.

editor’s note: President Eisenhower’s dramatic proposal to the United A at ions that a world pool of fissionable materials he created for peaceful purposes had no greater appeal to any hearts and minds than those of nuclear scientists. Popular Science Monthly invited some of them, on the staff of the Atomic Energy-Commission’s labs at Brookhaven, N. Y., to tell yon what they think of the plan’s potentialities. Their discussion, recorded on magnetic tape, is transcribed here. The various speakers are: William A. Higinbotham, Harry Palevsky, Drs. Clarke Williams, Marvin Fox and Charles P. Baker, physicists; Mrs. Beth Baker, a chemist; and Wesley S. Griswold, of PSM’s editorial staff.

Science Will Not Destroy Man—But Ignorance May (Jan, 1949)

Science Will Not Destroy Man—But Ignorance May

The fear of war, the fear of atomic bombs and the fear of science have in many minds blended into one. This is dangerous confusion.

Power may destroy civilization. Engines and chemicals may. Even materialism may do so. But none of these is science. Altogether, they are only the first returns from man’s study of nature; little more than a good beginning. If they destroy mankind it will be because man has not learned enough of nature. He must learn more quickly, especially of human nature. As Alexander Pope wrote long ago: “A little learning is a dangerous thing. ” Man is in danger from too little knowledge, not from too much. Science is yet too young.

FUN with the HALOGENS (Sep, 1939)




WHENEVER the members of the halogen family put on an act, you can be sure there will be something doing in the way of entertainment. The nimblest of the family quartet undoubtedly is chlorine. You have seen this actor in several roles before—bleaching dyes, and attacking metals with accompanying pyrotechnics, for example—if you have followed this series of articles. Iodine has made a personal appearance before you as a chemical detective, revealing latent fingerprints on paper. Another member of the family, fluorine, has shown you its remarkable power of etching glass when teamed with hydrogen.