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Features

Physics in the U.S.S.R.

An interview with Robert E. Marshak and Robert R. Wilson, two of the U. S. physicists who were invited to attend the recent meetings in Moscow and to visit Russian physical laboratories

By E. P. Rosenbaum

The Origin of Submarine Canyons

Many theories have been proposed to account for these rugged features of the earth's crust. It now seems that they are cut by streams of turbid water which flow along the ocean bottom

By Bruce C. Heezen

Information and Memory

If a man sees six marbles, he can usually name their number without counting. With more marbles, he often makes mistakes. This indicates a limitation of perception that is overcome by resourceful stratagems

By George A. Miller

The Settlement of Polynesia

Where did the romantic inhabitants of these Pacific islands come from? The answer to the question begins to emerge from variations in their tools, their physique and, most important, their language

By Donald Stanley Marshall

The Effects of Radiation on Solids

The orderly atomic arrangement characteristic of metals and other crystals determines many of their properties. Energetic radiation disturbs the order and thus can drastically alter the properties

By Frederick Seitz and Eugene P. Wigner

Sickle Cells and Evolution

Why has the hereditary trait in which the red blood cells are sickle-shaped persisted for so many generations? The surprising answer is that under some conditions it is actually beneficial

By Anthony C. Allison

Living Insecticides

For almost a century entomology has sought to control harmful insects with their own infectious diseases. This dream is now being realized, notably in the artificial infection of a caterpillar that eats alfalfa leaves

By Edward A. Steinhaus

Time Reversal

Nothing in the laws of physics prevents time from running backward as well as forward, in microscopic events. But the law of averages is against it in the macroscopic world

By John M. Blatt

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: August 1956

  • Science and the Citizen: August 1956

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, August 1956

  • Recommended

    Books

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist

  • Departments

    The Authors

  • Bibliography

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August 1956

Think Outside the Gift Box