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Paradoxes of Musical Pitch

Certain series of tones appear to ascend or descend infinitely in pitch. Other patterns change when shifted in key and indicate an influence of speech on the perception of music

By Diana Deutsch

Naked Mole Rats

Most of these colonial rodents are nonreproductive workers who attend a fertile queen. In this regard, their social structure closely resembles that of some insects

By Paul W. Sherman, Jennifer U. M. Jarvis and Stanton H. Braude

How Cosmology Became a Science

The discovery of the cosmic microwave background in the 1960s established the big bang theory and made cosmology into an empirical science

By Stephen G. Brush

Evolution Comes to Life

Reconstructing extinct humans as they were in life poses many unfamiliar and awkward problems for paleontologists accustomed to interpreting evolution from bones and teeth alone

By Ian Tattersall

Dynamics of Kilauea Volcano

Kilauea is one of the most thoroughly studied volcanoes in the world. That scrutiny is helping scientists to understand how volcanoes work and to predict where other destructive eruptions might occur

By John J. Dvorak, Carl Johnson and Robert I. Tilling

Air Trains

The nearly 100-year-old dream of building a vehicle able to fly atop a magnetic cushion has captured the imagination of a U.S. senator and a few graying engineers who predate the pocket calculator.

By Gary Stix

Bacterial Endotoxins

An integral part of many bacteria, these molecules are at once brutal and beneficial to humans. Efforts are under way to block the bad effects and harness the good

By Ernst Theodor Rietschel and Helmut Brade

Achieving Electronic Privacy

A cryptographic invention known as a blind signature permits numbers to serve as electronic cash or to replace conventional identification. The author hopes it may return control of personal information to the individual

By David Chaum

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