Fantasy & Science Fiction

FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION: SUBJECTS MENTIONED IN ISAAC ASIMOV'S SCIENCE COLUMN (by date)
Index | Abbreviations
 
Issue Date  Column Title  Subject  Comments
1958 DEC  Catching Up With Newton  surface gravity, escape velocities  Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation, gravitational force in relation to distance, surface gravity & escape velocities in the solar system, effects on satellites & spaceships
1958 NOV  Dust of Ages, The  micrometeorites  atmosphere's meteoric dust, its quantity(28.6 mil. tons in the atmosphere at any one time); over Earth's history(5 bil. years), only 1/1000th of Earth's mass; meteoric dust is mostly iron, & most iron in Earth's crust is meteoric
1959 APR  Life's Bottleneck  elements in living tissue, the ocean  composition & elements of the ocean, a copepod(mostly water; oxygen, hydrogen); essential elements & those in short supply; euphotic zone, land-based life, elements in need limit life on Earth
1959 AUG  Ultimate Split of the Second, The  ultra-small units of time  using speed of light in defining units of distance & time, including ultra-short intervals of time; smallest unit of time, light-fermi, the time at which strong nuclear interactions take place; hyperons, mesons
1959 DEC  Thin Air  atmosphere (part 1)  history of how man has viewed the atmosphere, from Aristotle's 'element of air', through Torricelli's barometer, Boyle's Law, hot-air balloonists discoveries of the upper atmosphere, the discovering 'layers' of the atmosphere
1959 FEB  Love Those Numbers  large numbers  the history of large & exremely large numbers; billion invented in France in 15th century; exponential numbers, & numbering systems(French-American, & English-German)
1959 JAN  No More Ice Ages?  ice ages, greenhouse effect, CO2  carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the carbon dioxide cycle, reactions to form carbonates - balanced ecology; what starts an ice age; what man is doing to throw off the equilibrium
1959 JUL  Battle of the Eggheads  intellectual bigotry  attitude of Americans toward science(subject of his article, #919, 1957 APR); snobbery among the educated, humanities vs. sciences, intellectual aristocracy & bigotry, after Sputnik; Cold War mentality
1959 JUN  Planet of the Double Sun, The  Alpha Centauri  specifics of the double-star system Alpha Centauri, closest neighbor to our solar system; duplicating the A.C. system in our solar system, how would our solar system, lives, cultures, histories be different
1959 MAR  Nothing  vacuum of space, interstellar dust  does a true vacuum exist anywhere in Universe?; man-made vacuums, interstellar space, intergalactic space(lowest density of matter); mass of the Observable Universe; estimates mass of intergalactic matter is 280 times the mass of all the galaxies stars
1959 MAY  Of Capture and Escape  escape velocities  velocities needed to escape gravitational fields of Earth, the Moon, the other planets; Earth's velocity(66,600 mph) around the Sun; solar escape velocity; addendum on Boyd's article(#1139)
1959 NOV  C for Celeritas  speed of light, e=mc²  Einstein's equation e=mc²; Asimov discusses at length its use and, especially, the units involved: the dyne, the erg & joule, the terms 'work' & 'force', the speed of light; addendum to his 1959 JUL science essay(#1266)
1959 OCT  Height of Up, The  temperature extremes & measurements  history of measuring temperatures, first by Galileo in 1603, thermometers & different temperature scales, interconversion equations; addendum discusses the Réaumur scale, gives three problems for readers to solve(answers follow)
1959 SEP  Varieties of the Infinite  infinity, transfinite numbers  meaning of infinite & infinity(infinite is Latin for endless, infinity is quality of endlessness); infinite and transfinite numbers, fractions, points in a line, pi; the symbol 'C', for 'continuum'

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