The Mayflower Compact
The roots of the Constitution are found in a hastily written charter
Cape Cod, November 11, 1620. – The principle of government by written contract was established in the New World in part because of a mix-up in directions. A band of devout religious separatists, now known as the Piligrims, decided in 1620 to leave England for what they hoped would be the more religiously tolerant shores of the Colonies. To help with expenses, they joined a larger group of non-separatists in an agreement with a joint stock company to settle in the colony of Virginia. After a seven-week journey aboard the Mayflower, the sighted Cape Cod and headed for harbor. The problem was, Cape Cod wasn’t in Virginia, the territory in which they had contacted to settle. As word of the error made way around the ship, several of the more rugged individualists in the party made noises that they would “use their own liberty when they came ashore, arguing that this was not the land for which they had contracted and was, therefore, no-mand land. Fearing anarchy, 41 of the ships passengers pledged allegiance to the King and formed a new colony on the basis of a single, hastily written compact. One of the writers, William Bradford, went on to govern Plymouth Colony for 31 years. (more…)
Technology for defense
(By TRW System group, written by the Public relations Department, 1972)
When we think of national defense, we perhaps most often think of the gigantic ballistic missile network – the Titan II and Minuteman ICBM’s that stand poised in underground silos across the country. But there are many other areas of military preparedness which, though less publicized, are just as important. Some of these, in which TRW has been deeply involved, are briefly discussed below. (more…)
Spectrum of Light
The spectrum runs from high frequencies of visible light to low ones – violet, blue, green, yellow, orange and red (light is a wave motion; its frequency is the number of wave crests, say, entering a detection instrument, such as a retina, in a given unite of time, such as a second. The higher the frequency the more energetic the radiation). (more…)
The Ins and Outs of a Right Triangle
The relationships between the angles of a right triangle and its sides have been studied by mathematicians for millennia. Among the important trigonometric concepts are:
Sine: Ina right triangle, the ratio of the opposite side of a given acute angle to the hypotenuse is known as the sine of that angle.
Cosine: In a right triangle, the ration of the adjacent side of an acute angle to the hypotenuse is known as the cosine of that angle. (more…)
In such interdimensional contemplations, we need not be restricted to two dimensions. We can imagine a world of one dimension, were everyone is a line segment, or even the magical world of zero-dimensional beasts, the points. But perhaps more interesting is the question of higher dimensions.
We can imagine generating a cube in the following way: take a line segment of a certain length and move it an equal length at right angles to itself. That makes a square. (more…)
This branch of mathematics deals with points, lines, planes, and figures and their properties, measurement, and spatial relationships.
Angles: Angles are expressed in degrees, which are fractions of a circle. A circle has 360 degrees.
An acute angle is greater than zero degrees and less than 90.
A right angle has 90 degrees. The lines forming the angle run perpendicular to each other. (more…)
Fascination with geometrical figures is evident not only in scientific and artistic endeavors, but also in literature.
For instance, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is a 1884 satire by Edwin A. Abbot. The famous work has since been placed into the public domain, as confirmed by Authorama. An excerpt is presented below.
Concerning the Inhabitants of Flatland (more…)
Placing Math on a Timeline
The study of numbers has been both practical and sublime for millennia.
Without numbers it would be impossible to set a clock, keep score, or create a symphony. If numbers had not been needed the civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and China would not have felt it necessary to invent counting systems, which they then applied to their commerce and government. An early appreciation for the principles of geometry helped the Egyptians construct the pyramids and accurately record their boundaries. (more…)
Building Blocks of Matter
The periodic table of elements include them all
The periodic table of the elements was first devised in the 19th century to show the atomic weights of the elements and to group them by similar properties. The discovery of protons and electrons in atoms in the early 20th century gave rise to a new and more accurate arrangement of the elements in a periodic table. The new arrangement is based on the atomic number of protons (positively charged particles) present in the atomic nucleus of an element. (more…)
Can it be true? Twist Bioscience, a company accelerating science and innovation through rapid, high-quality DNA synthesis, just struck a contract with Microsoft and the University of Washington to encode vast amounts of information on synthetic genes. That’s, they will make and use synthetic DNA to store digital data.
All digital data needs to be stored on media. It needs to be re-encoded from time to time. New methods for long-term, secure storage for large amount of data are badly needed, as the quantity of digital data is doubling every two years. And Twist Bioscience researchers have discovered new ways to stuff digital information – including in our DNA, which can last thousands of years intact. (more…)