There is a wonderful story about physicist P.A.M Dirac, who was a topologist as well. One day he was visiting a friend. They were discussing physics while the friend's wife knitted. Dirac watched her intently throughout. On the way home he had an Aha! experience, turned right around and returned to the friend's house, and asked to speak with the wife. He told her that there was another way of creating knitted stitches and proceeded to describe in some detail how it would be done. Once she understood his explanation she replied, "Yes, it's called purling!"
posted by Robert Rabinoff
March 3, 2013
About once a month at Sigma Xi headquarters, we liven up the lunch hour with an American Scientist Pizza Lunch talk. In these informal lectures, scientists describe new research to nonscientists. The series is light on jargon but heavy on solid science. Each Pizza Lunch offers an in-depth look at its subject, whether it's bedbugs or the smart grid. Click below to read about and download these talks -- and to subscribe!
JSTOR, the online academic archive, now contains complete back issues of American Scientist from its inception in 1913 (as Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.
The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.
View the full collection here.