Skip to main content


A Study of Aspirations

The development of a "self-anchoring" scale makes it possible to study the hopes and fears of people in different countries and to find where each man thinks he stands in his own world

By Hadley Cantril

The Rotation of Stars

As the sun turns, its equator moves at two kilometers per second. Some stars turn at 550 kilometers per second, fast enough to spin off matter. Such measurements are clues to the history of a star

By Helmut A. Abt


The term is applied to subtle types of behavior recently observed in a primitive worm. Heretofore such behavior had been associated only with animals standing much higher in the evolutionary scale

By Jay Boyd Best

Crises in the History of Life

How is it that whole groups of animals have simultaneously died out? Paleontologists are returning to an earlier answer: natural catastrophe. The catastrophes they visualize, however, are not sudden but gradual

By Norman D. Newell

Shock Waves and High Temperatures

New versions of the shock tube, the device that is used to produce shock waves under controlled conditions in the laboratory, can heat a gas to temperatures approaching those of thermonuclear reactions

By Malcolm McChesney

The Fungi of Lichens

Lichens are composite plants, associations of fungi and algae. The problem is to separate the two partners and study the fungi in isolation, and then to try to put the lichen together again

By Vernon Ahmadjian

The Clock Paradox

This celebrated consequence of the special theory of relativity is that two clocks that are moving with respect to each other run at different speeds. The effect rests on nothing other than the Pythagorean theorem

By J. Bronowski


  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: February 1963

  • Science and the Citizen: February 1963

  • An Assyrian Trading Outpost

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, February 1963

  • Erratum

  • Recommended


  • Mathematical Recreation

    Mathematical Games

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist

  • Departments

    The Authors

  • Bibliography

Purchase To Read More

Already purchased this issue? Sign In to Access
Select Format
February 1963

See the World from a Different Perspective

Subscribe to Scientific American MIND