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The Scientific Scrapbook

X-Ray Oldest Land Egg


Edward C. Stevenson, instructor in Physics, and Jabez C. Street, assistant professor of Physics, have discovered the "X" particle.

Nobody knows just what "X" is, but measurements made at Harvard give it a mass that lies between 100 and 160 times that of an electron.

"X" will probably never be identified as it is too big to be an electron and too small to be a proton. Nevertheless, its discovery is a tremendous achievement in Physics.

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Street and Stevenson have also perfected a new atomic "telescope" to study the mysterous break-up of the "X" particles of matter which rush at the earth with terrific energies and then disintegrate.

In contrast to the astronomical telescope the new instrument is designed to reveal the smallest elements of matter.

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Science's conquest of cancer is one step nearer success today because Louis F. Fieser '25, professor of Chemistry, has formulated a more specific definition than research workers have ever had before of the essential structural peculiarities of the chemicals that produce it.

He has produced a chemical known as methylcholanthrene, a complex compound of hydrogen and carbon which is very powerful in producing cancer in test animals. This chemical can also be obtained from the bile acids of the human body; therefore, cancer cay be the result of abnormal physiological actions which lead to the manufacture within the body of some chemical of the methylcholanthrene type.

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Robert Jacobs, instructor in Physics, and Percy W. Bridgman '04, Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, have recently made far-reaching experiments on a new kind of black phosphorous, which they have discovered, and also on different novel types of ice.

The new developments involve very high pressures and intense heat. In their special apparatus, white phosphorous was subjected to heat of 392 degrees Fahrenheit, and pressure of 12,000 atmospheres, equal to 190,000 pounds per square inch. The white phosphorous withstands this pressure for about ten minutes. Then suddenly there is a loud explosion; the phosphorous turns black.

These experiments on solids under high pressure have also produced seven different kinds of water. Each form has new properties; its melting point and many other qualities are different from other kinds of ice.

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Zenith Foundation experiments over the radio show that mental telepathy answers averaged more nearly correct than might be expected on the basis of pure chance as determined by ordinary statistical methods.

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