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Observations

Observations

Opinion, arguments & analyses from guest experts and from the editors of Scientific American

Do Physicists Make the World a Better Place?

Do Physicists Make the World a Better Place?

This past week, I’ve been attending the Foundational Questions Institute conference on the nature of time, and in the coming weeks, I hope to share with you some of the mind-blowing things I’ve found out...

September 2, 2011 — George Musser
Damage from Extreme Weather Increasing

Damage from Extreme Weather Increasing

Hurricane Irene is part of a worsening trend. Weather disasters have grown more frequent and more costly over the past 30 years in the U.S.,

September 1, 2011 — Christine Gorman

Contagion Spreads Truths about Bioterrorism

NEW YORK—Just as a true outbreak might, the new viral thriller Contagion , opening this weekend, begins unremarkably enough. A simple cough, heard against a black screen.This is no ordinary hack, of course...

September 1, 2011 — Katherine Harmon

Timeline Showcases Life of Scientific American Founder for Magazine's 166th Anniversary

Scientific American , the oldest continuously published magazine in the U.S., turns 166 years old on August 28, thanks in part to a New England man who decided to use the latest communications technology available in 1845, the printing press, to tell readers about more of the latest, and sometimes weirdest (or so it looks now), technology available—patents, inventions and other "curious works" in the fields of mechanics, chemistry, manufacturing, architecture and other arts and trades...

August 26, 2011 — Robin Lloyd

Can Hurricanes Be Controlled?

Everyone likes to talk about the weather, and maybe someone could do something about it someday. From the dances and prayers of the past, we get to the weather-modification technology of the 24th century (at least, that's what I recall from an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation ).Controlling cyclones is an effort entirely different from, say, making it rain...

August 25, 2011 — Philip Yam

The Highlights (and Lowlights) of Apple's Steve Jobs Era

Apple has been on a decade-long roll starting with the its game-changing MP3 music player—the iPod— in November 2001 right through its monumental, if brief, climb earlier this month to become the most valuable U.S...

August 25, 2011 — Larry Greenemeier

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Dwindling Supply. Increasing Demand.

Dwindling Supply. Increasing Demand.

Solving the Water Crisis