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The Ultimate Atom

When a positive electron is emitted by a radioactive nucleus, it may briefly join with a negative electron to form "positronium." This simple system confirms the logic of quantum electrodynamics

By H. C. Corben and S. DeBenedetti

Spider Webs and Drugs

The regularity of the delicate structures made by spiders is one of the wonders of nature. Now abnormalities in these patterns are used to study the mechanism by which drugs produce their effects

By Peter Witt

Robert Hooke

This 17th-century Englishman was a prodigious scientist and inventor. To mention a few of his achievements, he made basic contributions to physics, chemistry, meteorology, geology, biology and astronomy

By E. N. da C. Andrade

Power Reactors

The goal of economic atomic power is still in the distance. To discover the best approach to it, the U. S. is building five separate types of experimental nuclear power stations

By Alvin M. Weinberg

Mycenae, City of Agamemnon

It flourished some 1,000 years before the rise of classical Greece. New discoveries of its magnificent tombs shed light on one of the great civilizations of the prehistoric world

By George E. Mylonas


This word borrowed from an African tribe refers to the most severe and common nutritional disorder of man. Only recently discovered, it is caused by a deficiency of protein in the diet

By Hugh C. Trowell

Ice Islands in the Arctic

In 1946 an Air Force plane north of Alaska discovered a single floe covering 200 square miles. Now parties land on these huge floating platforms to study the Arctic and how to survive in it

By Kaare Rodahl

Children's Books

A fifth Christmas review of books about science for younger readers

By James R. Newman


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