From the February 25, 1933, issue


In the oldest city that archaeologists have ever explored they have dug up “Adam and Eve” and the serpent.

There they are, the figures of a man and a woman, which have been stamped on clay with a seal. They are a dejected human pair, bent, and stumbling forward. They wear no clothing, except that the faint forms of what might be tall headdresses rise above their heads. Behind the woman towers a snake, like some hovering, powerful evil genius.

Whether the people of Tepe Gawra, the city where the picture was found, called the man and woman “Adam and Eve,” no one knows. Perhaps the two had long, unpronounceable names. But they were figures in a triangle drama that was surely very much the same as that in biblical narrative. This man and woman fell into the clutches of a serpent, and the end of the encounter was triumph for the snake and tragedy for the miserable pair.

The picture was made by an artist who lived about 3700 B.C. The drama of a man, a woman, and a serpent is therefore 2,000 years older than the oldest written portions of the Bible. The fact that the story was memorialized in art, and used on seals, shows that it was even then well established in the world’s literature of “beginnings.”


The existence of a positive electron has been confirmed, and it will be christened the “positron.”

The discovery of this fourth fundamental particle and atomic building block was made last fall by the American physicist Dr. Carl D. Anderson (SNL, Sept. 24, 1932, p. 197: From the September 24, 1932, issue), and now physicists at famous Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, England, have announced confirmation.

Positive electrons were found in cosmic rays by Dr. P.M.S. Blackett, working with G. Occhialini. Their method makes the new positive electron rays photograph themselves. It has a life of only a fraction of a second and meets its end by colliding with an ordinary negative electron.

The Cavendish Laboratory work confirms the discovery and prediction made by Dr. Anderson of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, last September, who on evidence contained in several cosmic-ray photographs reported the probable existence of a new particle of matter, positively charged but with the mass of the familiar negative electron.


Two new isotopes of the element mercury have been discovered by Prof. F.W. Aston of Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, England. They have atomic weights 197 and 203. The detection was made through the obtaining of mass spectra of mercury on new, very sensitive photographic plates. Isotopes 197 and 203 are estimated to be present only to the extent of one-hundredth of 1 percent and six-thousandths of 1 percent, respectively. The mean atomic weight used by chemists is therefore affected only negligibly.

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