Skip to main content

Features

The Cratering of Indochina

The countries of the area are pitted with an estimated 26 million bomb and shell craters. What are the long-term ecological effects of this massive physical alteration of the terrain likely to be?

By Arthur H. Westing and E. W. Pfeiffer

How we control the contraction of our muscles

Voluntary muscular movements are driven by a servomechanism similar in many respects to the automatic feedback system employed to control power-assisted steering in an automobile

By P. A. Merton

Black Holes

If a massive star collapsed to a sufficiently small volume, light could not escape from it. A rotating black hole could account for the radiation of gravitational waves from the center of the galaxy

By Roger Penrose

Plate Tectonics

The earth's surface is divided into a mosaic of rigid, shifting plates. As they move apart, slide past each other and converge, new crust is generated, continents drift and mountains are formed

By John F. Dewey

Total Intravenous Feeding

It is now possible to feed a person entirely by vein for prolonged periods. The technique provides sufficient calories, amino acids and other nutrients to promote growth, weight gain and wound healing

By Jonathan E. Rhoads and Stanley J. Dudrick

The Planning of a Maya Ceremonial Center

The center at Lubaantún in British Honduras called for a huge investment in labor and materials. When a choice had to be made between cutting costs and adhering to the plan, the plan won out

By Norman Hammond

Tree Rings and Climate

It is well known that tree rings reflect the age of a tree. Variations in the ring pattern of many trees in a region can be statistically analyzed to determine climates of the past

By Harold C. Fritts

The Great Automobile Race of 1895

This event, covering a difficult 1,200-kilometer course from Paris to Bordeaux and back, established the viability of the automobile and the superiority of the internal-combustion engine over steam

By Jacques Ickx

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: May 1972

  • Science and the Citizen: May 1972

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, May 1972

  • Recommended

    Books

  • 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
May 1972

See the World from a Different Perspective

Subscribe to Scientific American MIND