Web edition: March 3, 2003
Game herds of the African veldt have long been a marvel to travelers because of the extraordinary variety of animals seen together: zebras, gnus, antelope of many species, even elephants and ostriches, mingling in a wonderful patchwork quilt of moving life. Only lions and other predators are outsiders to this Assisian fellowship.
So also it is in the gentle waters among the corals in the warmer seas. In the photograph reproduced on the cover of this issue of the Science News Letter two species of fish of the Florida coral beds are seen as peaceful companions: yellow goatfish above, yellow grunts below, like a herd of antelope with a couple of zebras as volunteer additional members. The photograph was taken by Dr. W. H. Longley of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.
The neutron is not a mere close combination of electron and proton acting like a fundamental particle of nature, but it actually is an elementary particle itself.
This is the conclusion of Dr. Franz N.D. Kurie, the 26-year-old research fellow in the Sloane Physics Laboratory, Yale, after experiments on atomic collisions in which neutrons take part.
When Dr. Chadwick of Cambridge, England, last year discovered the neutron, it was held that it is an electrically neutral combination of the more familiar electron and proton.
By measuring the angles at which protons are ejected from nitrogen atoms, Dr. Kurie found that the neutron does not conform to the configuration described by physicists. Two views of neutrons have been held: that it is either like a dumbbell, with a positive and negative charge separated by a small distance with their effects cancelled; or is like an onion, with a sphere of one kind of electricity surrounded by a layer of the other kind so that again the charge is cancelled.
The direction in which either of these models of the neutron would eject protons has been calculated and it has been found that the dumbbell type should eject them all perpendicularly to its own path, while the onion type would eject some straight ahead, with about ten times as many being thrown off perpendicularly.
Dr. Kurie's experiments with neutrons did not confirm either of these theories and he believes that the neutron is not built according to either of the accepted models. He concludes that the neutron is an elementary particle possessing an individuality and discrete qualities as do the electron and proton.
The petroleum that engineers know lies beneath the ground ready to be extracted just about equals the total world production of oil to 1933.
The world's proven oil reserves are estimated at over 24 billion barrels, Valentin R. Garfias of New York City told the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers. The world production to date aggregates nearly 23 billions. About 61 percent of the proven oil reserves are located in the American continent and close to 33 percent are in the Near East fields of Russia, Iraq and Persia.