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Opium, Cocaine and Marijuana in American History

Over the past 200 years, Americans have twice accepted and then vehemently rejected drugs. Understanding these dramatic historical swings provides perspective on our current reaction to drug use

By David F. Musto

The Early Life of Stars

Violent collisions of gas dominate the childhood of stars. Eventually nuclear fusion begins, enabling mature stars to burn steadily for billions of years

By Steven W. Stahler

Optical Interferometry of Surfaces

By exploiting the wave nature of light and the power of modern computers, the authors have designed highly sensitive devices for measuring surface texture

By David M. Perry, Glen M. Robinson and Richard W. Peterson

Copper-Alloy Metallurgy in Ancient Peru

More than 1,000 years ago civilization in South America was forged out of copper alloys. Recent excavations have revealed many aspects of copper-alloy metallurgy, from mining to smelting to metalworking

By Izumi Shimada and John F. Merkel

The Austronesian Dispersal and the Origin of Languages

The Austronesian languages of the Pacific spread across 10,000 kilometers of coastline and sea within 1,500 years, the fastest and widest expansion of prehistoric times. Farmers led the way

By Peter Bellwood


  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: July 1991

  • Burning Questions

  • Why are Data from Kuwait Being Withheld?

  • Proteins 2, Malaria 0

  • Birds of a Fever

  • Molecular Trickster

  • Quantum Magnets

  • Live from Off-Center

  • Math Exorcise

  • Biggest Black Hole in the Universe?

  • A Subtle Mind Contemplates Science

  • Stroke Therapy

  • Biological Control of Weeds

  • Along for the Ride?

  • Silicon Lights Up

  • Memorable Revival

  • A Chip-Making Plan to Leapfrog Japan

  • Sound Bytes

  • Fortran Forever

  • 3-D Documents

  • A Matter of Taste

  • Insectoids Invade a Field of Robots

  • Letters


  • Letters to the Editors, July 1991

  • Recommended

    Book Reviews, July 1991

  • Departments

    Games that Networks Play

  • The Poetry of Science

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July 1991

Think Outside the Gift Box