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Fusion Power with Particle Beams

In one approach to controlled fusion a pellet of fuel is imploded by an external energy source. Supplying the energy with intense beams of particles is being explored in the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.

By Gerold Yonas

The Assembly of a Virus

The tobacco-mosaic virus is made up of a strand of nucleic acid encased in a rod of one kind of protein. The two components come together spontaneously but in a way that is unexpectedly complex

By P. Jonathan, G. Butler and Aaron Klug

The Optics of Long-Wavelength X Rays

The X rays of crystallography and medical radiography are "hard," or short-wavelength. The "soft," or long-wavelength, X rays are being examined for microscopy, astronomy and microelectronics

By Ralph Feder and Eberhard Spiller

The Acquisition of Language

How do children learn to speak? It seems they do so in a highly methodical way: they break the language down into its simplest parts and develop the rules they need to put the parts together

By Breyne Arlene Moskowitz

Rich Clusters of Galaxies

Some 10 percent of all galaxies belong to rich clusters, systems with thousands of members embedded in hot gas. Such a cluster is a gravitational maelstrom with giant galaxies close to its center

By Paul Gorenstein and Wallace Tucker

The Mechanisms of Abrasive Machining

Much machining is done not by cutting but by abrasion. How the abrasive grains do their work is investigated so as to improve the efficiency of the abrasion process

By Leonard E. Samuels

The Reward System of the Brain

Two decades ago it was discovered that the brain has "pleasure centers." These centers are now seen as belonging to a system of pathways that appear to play a role in learning and memory

By Aryeh Routtenberg

The Wright Brothers' Flight-Control System

The Wrights' gliders and powered "Flyers" had an elevator in front instead of in the rear. The system has seemed inherently unstable, but it appears that the Wrights had good reasons for selecting it

By Frederick J. Hooven

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago, November 1978

  • Science and the Citizen, November 1978

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, November 1978

  • Recommended

    Books, November 1978

  • Mathematical Recreation

    Mathematical Games, November 1978

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, November 1978

  • Departments

    The Authors, November 1978

  • Bibliography, November 1978

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November 1978

See the World from a Different Perspective

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