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Modern Icebreakers

They have evolved rapidly because of economic pressures to maintain commerce in icebound waters. They feature unusual hull designs and propulsion systems, and most of them are currently built in Finland...

By John D. Harbron


The solar system's most active volcanic world is a moon of Jupiter whose geyser like eruptions and massive lava flows yield evidence of exotic volcanic fluids. Their source of energy is gravitational...

By Torrence V. Johnson and Laurence A. Soderblom

An Early Iron Age Farm Community in Central Europe

Excavations at a site in Bavaria unearth clues to an economy of 1000 to 800 B. C. in which farmers were just beginning to exchange their surplus for the work of specialized craftsmen

By Peter S. Wells

The DNA Helix and How it is Read

X-ray analysis of crystals of three types of double-helical DNA molecule leads to the realization that base-sequence information can be stored in the local structure of the helix

By Richard E. Dickerson

Quantum Gravity

In a quantum-mechanical theory of gravitation the very geometry of space and time would be subject to continual fluctuations, and even the distinction between past and future might become blurred...

By Bryce S. DeWitt

Prey Switching in a Simple Ecosystem

On the island of Newfoundland, which has few species of mammals, lynxes preyed on snowshoe hares until the hare population "crashed." Then the lynxes switched to caribou calves, and the cycle continues...

By Arthur T. Bergerud

The Aerodynamics of Human-Powered Land Vehicles

A bicycle and its rider are strongly impeded by their resistance to the Row of air. Aerodynamic stratagems have brought vehicles that can go 60 mlies per hour on a level road without assistance...

By Albert C. Gross, Chester R. Kyle and Douglas J. Malewicki

The Interpretation of Visual Illusions

The visual system apparently organizes ambiguous retinal images according to rules of inference that exploit certain regularities in the external world

By Donald D. Hoffman


  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: December 1983

  • Science and the Citizen, December 1983

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editor, December 1983

  • Recommended

    Books, December 1983

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, December 1983

  • Departments

    The Authors, December 1983

  • Computer Recreations, December 1983

  • Annual Index 1983

  • Bibliography, December 1983

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