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Acid Rain

In recent decades the acidity of rain and snow has increased sharply over wide areas. The principal cause is the release of sulfur and nitrogen oxides by the burning of fossil fuels

By Gene E. Likens, Richard F. Wright, James N. Galloway and Thomas J. Butler

Linear-Chain Conductors

A few materials with a linear or columnar architecture conduct electricity well only along a single axis. The one-dimensional organization of such a material shapes its electronic properties...

By Arthur J. Epstein and Joel S. Miller

The Acoustic Microscope

Research on ultrasonic imaging technology has given rise to a new experimental tool capable of generating pictures with a resolution comparable to that of light micrographs

By Calvin F. Quate


The mysterious 1976 Legionnaires' disease epidemic has been traced to a previously unknown bacterium. Legionellosis, the infection the bacterium gives rise to, has turned out to be not very rare after all...

By David W. Fraser and Joseph E. McDade

The Photosynthetic Membrane

The conversion of light energy into chemical energy by green plants is accomplished in the thylakoid membrane of the plant cell. Electron microscopy reveals the asymmetry that makes the conversion possible...

By Kenneth R. Miller

The Lava Lakes of Kilauea

The eruptions of the Hawaiian volcano leave pools of molten basalt that can take as long as 25 years to solidify. They provide a natural laboratory for studying the nature of magma from the earth's mantle...

By Dallas L. Peck, Thomas L. Wright and Robert W. Decker

The Evolution of the Crocodilians

Some 200 million years after these reptiles arose and diversified three families remain: alligators, crocodlles and gavials. They are the last of the archosaurians, the ruling reptiles of the Mesozoic...

By Eric Buffetaut

Constructive Mathematics

This approach is based on the belief that mathematics can have real meaning only if its concepts can be constructed by the human mind, an issue that has divided mathematicians for more than a century...

By Allan Calder


  • 50 and 100 Years Ago, October 1979

  • Science and the Citizen, October 1979

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, October 1979

  • Recommended

    Books, October 1979

  • Mathematical Recreation

    Mathematical Games, October 1979

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, October 1979

  • Departments

    The Authors, October 1979

  • Bibliography, October 1979

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