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On the Cover

May-June 2005 Volume 93, Number 3

Baseball pitchers use spin, or lack thereof, to deceive batters about where a pitched ball will cross home plate. Because a batter must begin to swing when a fastball is only two-thirds of the way to the plate, clues about the ball's spin, and therefore trajectory, are crucial to getting a hit. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

Predicting a Baseball's Path

A. Terry Bahill, David Baldwin, Jayendran Venkateswaran

A batter watches the pitcher's motion plus the spin on the ball to calculate when and where it will cross the plate


Science and Religious Fundamentalism in the 1920s *

Edward Davis

Religious pamphlets by leading scientists of the Scopes era provide insight into public debates about science and religion


New Ideas About Old Sharks *

Susan Turner, Randall Miller

A rare fossil sheds light on the poorly understood relationship between early sharks and bony fishes


Polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background *

Matthew Hedman

Astronomers search for clues about the dynamics of the early universe in the ancient afterglow of the Big Bang


The Lion's Mane *

Peyton West

Neither a token of royalty nor a shield for fighting, the mane is a signal of quality to mates and rivals, but one that comes with consequences


* access restricted to members and subscribers


DEPARTMENTS

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Rumours and Errours

Brian Hayes

Failure can lead to greater self-knowledge, but usually it leads to frustration

MACROSCOPE

Ernst Mayr, Biologist Extraordinaire

Lynn Margulis

A tribute to the eminent evolutionary biologist

SIGHTINGS

Capturing Quantum Corrals

Felice Frankel

Don Eigler and Dominique Brodbeck discuss how they took a snapshot of goings-on in the quantum realm

MARGINALIA

Dinosaurs as a Cultural Phenomenon

Keith Stewart Thomson

Why have dinosaurs gained such a hold on the public's imagination?

ENGINEERING

The Bay Bridge *

Henry Petroski

Oakland's Bay Bridge has a colorful history, but it faces an uncertain future

SCIENCE OBSERVER

Improve Your Image

Roger Harris

Were planetary scientists scooped by a chat group of amateur enthusiasts?

Storm Watch

David Schneider

A tempest erupts over the political neutrality of the best-known climate-change panel

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Soupçons for the Soul

Your Number's Up

Fueling the Debate

FROM THE PRESIDENT


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