From the December 3, 1932, issue


Quick as a wink is a great deal too slow.

This proverbial epitome of speed is beaten a dozen times over by the newest trick in scientific high-speed photography, which can take 13 “frames” of motion pictures of a human eye during the fortieth of a second it spends in getting shut. It doesn’t even need to extend itself in doing it, either, for it is able to make a perfectly clear and sharp picture in a hundred-thousandth of a second.

The new apparatus has been developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by two engineers, Dr. H.E. Edgerton and K.J. Germeshausen. It can be used for either motion pictures or “stills,” or for visual observation of rapidly revolving or vibrating machinery.


Super-radium, a hypothetical element or group of elements resembling radium but with vastly greater energy content, whose wasted fragments are now our most potent radioactive elements and whose wandering rays, at large in the universe for 10,000 million years, are the much-discussed cosmic rays, formed part of the picture of the world “in the beginning” as delineated by the noted young Belgian physicist, the Abbé G. Lemaitre of the University of Louvain, in an address at the Johns Hopkins University.

Such a hypothetic element might help explain the present discrepancies between the apparent age of Earth as calculated by the newer school of mathematical physics and the seemingly much greater age demanded by modern astronomy. The universe seems to be rushing apart with almost incredible yet constantly increasing speed, the Abbé Lemaitre said. The most distant nebulae we can see are apparently receding at a velocity one-fifteenth that of light, or 12,000 miles a second; nearer nebulae are running away at lesser rates. Mathematical considerations based on these phenomena by such modern physicists as Prof. Einstein, Dr. Willem de Sitter of Holland, and the Abbé Lemaitre himself lead to the conclusion that this cosmic dispersal has been going on for about 2,000 million years.


When the neutron was detected this year at the famous Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge, England, it was not heralded as the discovery of a new chemical element.

Yet it can be so considered, and Dr. W.D. Harkins, the University of Chicago chemist, has suggested to the National Academy of Sciences that this remarkable new kind of matter should be recognized as a chemical element of atomic number zero and that it should be accorded a secure place in the list of chemicals.

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