From the April 27, 1929 issue
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A toad that uses its face as a door or stopper for its burrow is the interesting animal that was dug upin the most literal sense of the wordin Cuba by Dr. Thomas Barbour, curator of reptiles and amphibians in the museum of comparative zoology of Harvard College, whose courtesy supplies the cover picture for this week's SCIENCE NEWS-LETTER.
The creature was well known to Cubans as sapo de concha, or shell-headed toad, because of the exceedingly hard, tough covering of the front part of its head, but it had never been found at home, and no one had any notion of the possible uses of its indurated countenance. Then one day Dr. Barbour found a field with many tubelike burrows from 7 to 10 inches deep. At the bottom of each burrow was one of these shell-headed toads, its head so tilted that the hardened skin fitted the hole exactly and formed a perfect defensive stopper.
"UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE" ENTERS SCIENCE
The boundaries of science's delving into the very, very small have been compressed so greatly in the march of the latest theories of physics that scientists have arrived at the limits of their ability to measure accurately.
As complicated as the principle of relativity, as far reaching, some physicists believe, is this new fundamental idea of the universe called the "principle of indeterminacy or uncertainty."
The man responsible for the introduction of this disturbing idea into the flow of scientific thought was present as an inconspicuous individual among the several hundred members of the American Physical Society at its Washington meeting. His name is Prof. W. Heisenberg, and like Einstein, he is a German. This blond, smooth-shaven, reddish-faced young physicist has an almost timid manner as though he were truly unaware of the stir that his theory is sure to make when once philosophers and laymen begin their attempts at its interpretation.
Heisenberg's indetermination principle is destined to revolutionize the ideas of the universe held by scientists and laymen to an even greater extent than Einstein's relativity and the quantum theories. Crudely stated, the new theory holds that chance rules in the physical world.
Old-fashioned physics conceived things as hard and solid and reliable. Measure where a baseball is and how fast it is going and it once was believed that its future position could be predicted. Roughly, that is still true enough for practical purposes of everyday life.
But take electrons, the smallest particles of matter, and Heisenberg's uncertainty makes prediction of what they are to do in the future unreliable. In essence, the future cannot be foretold from the past or the present. These weird-sounding consequences arise from the contention that a particle may have an exact place or an exact speed, but it cannot have both.
MANY NEW ELEMENTS IN SUN
Searching the sun's face with the spectroscope, the magic instrument of the scientist that can analyze and identify elements hundreds of millions of miles beyond the reach of his hand, a California chemist has added 23 elements to the list of the earth-ingredients known to exist in the sun.
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