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Features

Metal Clusters and Magic Numbers

Investigations of tiny lumps of metal can help bridge the gap in physicists' understanding of the differences between isolated atoms and bulk solids

By Matthias Brack

Williams Syndrome and the Brain

To gain fresh insights into how the brain is organized, investigators are turning to a little known disorder

By Howard M. Lenhoff, Paul P. Wang, Frank Greenberg and Ursula Bellugi

Tracking a Dinosaur Attack

The efforts of a sculptor and a paleontologist reveal details of a 100-million-year-old skirmish

By David A. Thomas and James O. Farlow

Exploiting Zero-Point Energy

Energy fills empty space, but is there a lot to be tapped, as some propound? Probably not

By Philip Yam

Building the Biggest

The Longest Suspension Bridge

The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge has broken many records and weathered an earthquake-even while it is being completed

By Satoshi Kashima and Makoto Kitagawa

Building a New Gateway to China

The largest public-works upgrade on earth calls for, among other things, a new airport, two world-class bridges and two submerged crossings of Victoria Harbor

By John J. Kosowatz

Do we Still Need Skyscrapers?

The Industrial Revolution made skyscrapers possible. The Digital Revolution makes them (almost) obsolete

By William J. Mitchell

Departments

  • The Case for Relic Life on Mars

  • The World's Tallest Buildings

  • From the Editor

    Building Excitement

  • Letters

    Errata

  • Letters to the Editors, December 1997

  • Recommended

    The Scientific American Young Readers Book Awards

  • Anti Gravity

    Full of Sound and Furry

  • 50, 100 & 150 Years Ago

    50, 100 and 150 Years Ago: New 3-D Photography, Darwin Right Again and Smoke Scrubber

  • In Brief

    In Brief, December 1997

  • Profile

    Molding the Web

  • Mathematical Recreation

    Cat's Cradle Calculus Challenge

  • Amateur Scientist

    Taking Back the Final Frontier

  • Science and the Citizen

    No Bones About It

  • Say that Again?

  • Smoke Alarm

  • Slaying the Age Paradox

  • By the Numbers

    Freshwater Fish at Risk in the U.S.

  • Working Knowledge

    The Polygraph--Working Knowledge

  • Connections

    On Track

  • Departments

    Annual Index

  • Technology and Business

    Newton 1, Einstein 0

  • X-Ray Sound

  • Pollution-Purging Poplars

  • On-Line Advertising Goes One-on-One

  • In Focus

    The Big Shrink

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December 1997

Think Outside the Gift Box