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Gas-Cooled Nuclear Power Reactors

Although the U.S. has only one such reactor, they have served well overseas. They have an attractive safety feature: a loss-of-coolant accident such as the one at Three Mile Island is all but impossible...

By Harold M. Agnew

The Decay of the Proton

The proton is known to have a lifetime at least 10 20 times the age of the universe, but theory indicates that it may not live forever. If it is not immortal, all ordinary matter will ultimately disintegrate...

By Steven Weinberg

The Beta-Lactam Antibiotics

The penicillins and cephalosporins are chemically characterized by the beta-lactam ring. Their molecular structure has been much modified to increase their efficacy and combat resistant bacteria...

By E. P. Abraham


These unusual bacteria are genealogically neither prokaryotes nor eukaryotes. This discovery means there are not two lines of descent but three: the archaebacteria, the true bacteria and the eukaryotes...

By Carl R. Woese

The Allocation of Resources by Linear Programming

Abstract, crystal-like structures in many geometrical dimensions can help to solve problems in planning and management. A new algorithm has set upper limits on the complexity of such problems...

By Robert G. Bland

The Regulation of Temperature in the Honeybee Swarm

Honeybees must be warm in order to fly. Therefore the temperature of an immobile swarm must be closely controlled so that when scout bees have found a new nest site the swarm is ready for a fast takeoff...

By Bernd Heinrich

The Formation of the Earth from Planetesimals

The rocky inner planets of the solar system may have formed by coalescence in a swarm of small, colliding bodies in orbit around the sun. The process can be simulated with a computer

By George W. Wetherill

Lead and Silver in the Ancient Aegean

The two metals are linked because they were smelted from the same ores. The characteristic pattern of the abundances of the isotopes of the lead shows that most of the ore came from only two sources...

By Nol H. Gale and Zofia Stos-Gale


  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: June 1981

  • Science and the Citizen, June 1981

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, June 1981

  • Recommended

    Books, June 1981

  • Mathematical Recreation

    Mathematical Games, June 1981

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, June 1981

  • Departments

    The Authors, June 1981

  • Bibliography, June 1981

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