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      Volume 24, Issue 1

      January 2019,   pages  1-123

    • General Editorial

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    • Editorial

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    • Science Smiles

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    • Seeking Order in Chaos: Mendeleev and the Emergence of the Periodic Table

      Abhinav Godavarthi S Sivaram

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      The International Year of the Periodic Table, proclaimed bythe United Nations to begin January 2019, coincides with theone hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Mendeleev’s publishedPeriodic Table. The Periodic Table marked the comingof age of Chemistry. Mendeleev’s genius lay not in the discoveryof the fact of periodicity, but in his interpretation of itas a fundamental principle, allowing for concrete hypothesesto be tested. His predictions of the properties of elements-tobe,as well as presentation in a simple and easy to understandchart were contributing factors to make it his lasting legacy.The success of the Periodic Table was a triumph of the valueof understanding chemistry based on theory over merely dependingon empirical observations and an ability to relatesuch theory to experiments. Mendeleev’s discovery emergedout of the difficulties he encountered in teaching chemistryand, interestingly enough, it continues to serve that purposetoday. The Periodic Table is taught worldwide early on inscience education. Regardless of scientific technicalities, thePeriodic Table will always stand as a symbol of the beauty inthe simplicity of nature, an order that permeates a seeminglychaotic world of elements with deep scientific and philosophicalunderpinnings. In this article, we trace the origins of thisepoch-making discovery, his life as well as the times in whichMendeleev lived and worked and the present and future impactof his discovery.

    • Fillable Fractions

      Jyotirmoy Sarkar

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      In this article, I present a series of puzzles aiming to reinforcethe following mathematical concepts: fraction, factoring, representationof numbers in different bases, mathematical induction,proving impossibility, limit points, and approximations.

    • Stopping and Reversing Climate Change: Part I

      Frank H Shu

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      This article discusses quantitatively how to stop and reverseclimate change. To stop climate change, we must transitionfrom burning fossil fuels to using clean energy resources thatdo not involve the emission of CO$_{2}$. We discuss the advantagesand disadvantages of renewable energy sources, suchas wind, water, and solar, relative to nuclear fission and thecontinued burning of fossil fuels, coupled to CO$_{2}$ capture andsequestration of the flue gas. A plot of the energy per unitmass, $\epsilon$, against the energy per unit volume, e, shows manyorders of magnitude difference between changes in the mechanicalstate of ordinary matter versus chemical reactionsversus nuclear transformations. These differences raise anapparent paradox concerning how the price of electricity canbe roughly competitive for the commercial technologies basedon the very different fuel types. Explicit and implicit subsidiesfor politically favored fuels give a partial explanation, but theturbines that turn flowing fluids into flowing electricity accountfor most of the result.Reversing climate change requires the world to extract CO$_{2}$from the atmosphere. Through the processes of growth andreproduction, evolution has endowed vegetation with theability to convert carbon dioxide pulled from the atmospherewith water drawn from the soil into liquid and solid organiccompounds. In this first part of the article, we recommendthe carbonisation of the global annual waste from farms andranches into an inert soil enhancer called biochar. We show thatburying biochar back into the soil of farms and ranches ofthe world suffices to lower the CO$_{2}$ concentration in the atmosphereto a safe level by 2100 if some combination of renewables, nuclear power, and fossil fuel usage with carbon capturesion of CO$_{2}$ from total global energy consumption in 2050.In the second part of the article, we will discuss how molten saltbreeder reactors can overcome the four usual objectionsraised by anti-nuclear groups to oppose nuclear fission: (1)sustainability of the fuel cycle, (2) superiority of the economics,(3) security against weapons proliferation, and (4) safetyagainst accidental release of massive amounts of radioactivityinto the environment.

    • The Last Frontier: Unraveling the Secrets of the Brain Using Magnetic Resonance

      Kavita Dorai

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      Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is fast gainingground as a non-invasive technique for neuroimaging. Themethod can capture images of the human brain in real timewhile the subject carries out a cognitive task. This researcharea is still in its infancy but has immense possibilities to explorethe secrets of the human brain, intelligence and thoughtprocesses. This article explains the physics behind the fMRImethod and describes several studies which use fMRI to exploredifferent facets of the human brain such as learningmathematics, and the deep connections between music andcognitive processes.

    • An Introduction to the Classical Three-Body Problem: From Periodic Solutions to Instabilities and Chaos

      Govind S Krishnaswami Himalaya Senapati

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      The classical three-body problem arose in an attempt to understandthe effect of the Sun on the Moon’s Keplerian orbitaround the Earth. It has attracted the attention of some of thebest physicists and mathematicians and led to the discoveryof ‘chaos’. We survey the three-body problem in its historicalcontext and use it to introduce several ideas and techniquesthat have been developed to understand classical mechanicalsystems.

    • A Compelling and Complete Account of $p$-Block Chemistry

      Ramaswamy Murugavel

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    • On the Relationship of the Properties of the Elements to their Atomic Weights

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    • Errata

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    • Science Academies' Refresher Course in Experimental Physics

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    • Flowering Tree

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