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    Is there a possibility that recent war developments will make a difference?President Carnahan will have all yearbook materials in the printer^hands in about two weeks and will have something in the October andNovember Journals about convention plans.

    Miss Ada Weckel, long an active member and officer of the Associati3n,died on July 10th. Her death closes an active career in the field of scienceteaching and is a great loss to the Association and the community whichshe served so many years.

    Respectfully submitted,HAROLD H. METCALF, Secretary


    Germany^s territorial loss, under the Potsdam agreement, of Upper andLower Silesia with their great coal and iron resources, is a great blow to herindustrial standing, but their possession by Poland will greatly increasethe importance of that nation in the manufacturing field.The agreement shifts Poland to the west, and in the territorial changes

    Poland comes out with less acreage, but with gains in natural resources,seacoast, shipping ports, and control of navigable rivers. Only time will tellwhether or not her economic gains fully balance her land losses.The western boundary of Poland, according to reports, will be the Oder

    river in the north, and a line to the Czechoslovakian border extendingfrom the great bend in the river south of Frankfurt. The area coming toPoland includes the eastern part of Pomerania province in Prussia, mostof Lower and all of Upper Silesia. The Silesias were once a part of Poland.They were lost in the eighteenth-century Polish partitions, but still have alarge population of Polish people, particularly in the rural areas.

    Silesia is an area some 200 miles in length from northwest to southeast,and from 50 to 75 miles wide, projecting between prewar Poland andCzechoslovakia. It is a region of mountains, hills and fertile valleys, withthe upper Oder running down its center. The area of the former GermanSilesi.a was approximately 14,000 square miles, nearly twice the size ofNew Jersey. In addition to coal and iron, it produced oil, timber, textilefibers, food crops, cattle, sheep and wool.The area of Pomerania east of the Oder is about the size of New Jersey

    and has similar physical characteristics. It is flat, with a range of low hills,and has, in general, a thin sandy soil, numerous lakes, and some timber.It produces potatoes, rjye, oats, sheep, cattle, hogs and geese. It containsimportant former German ports on the Baltic.

    In addition to the above acquisitions, Poland will acquire much of EastPrussia, and the former Free City of Danzig, the great port near the mouthof the navigable Vistula river which can now furnish water transportationfrom great inland areas of Poland to the Baltic sea. These .acquisitionswiden the so-called Polish corridor to the Baltic from a 60-mile prewarstrip to a Baltic seacoast about four times as great.The area that Poland loses to the Soviet Union, roughly 60,000 square

    miles, is considerably greater than the area gained from Germany. It ispractically the area east of the so-called Curzon line, which extends fromthe southern extremity of Lithuania to Czechoslovakia. This is largely anagricultural and grazing area, but includes a considerable part of thePripet marshes. A large proportion of its prewar population were WhiteRussians and Ukrainians.


    HARRY WILLIAM MOUNTCASTLE RETIRESHarry William Mountcastle retired in June as head of the department of

    Physics and Astronomy at Western Reserve University after 38 years ofservice with that Cleveland institution.Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1875, he reached retirement age last Febru-

    ary 5.Professor Mountcastle is known in the scientific world chiefly for his

    achievement in research into the propagation of electromagnetic wavesalong wires," the thermal conductivity of glass, the magnetic rotatory dis-persion of sodium vapor, high frequency oscillations and the optical be-havior of metals. He made important contributions to the science of trans-mitting electrical waves over wires while employed as a physicist by theAmerican Telephone and Telegraph Co. before coming to Western Reservein 1907.

    His work at Western Reserve University has also gained him a widereputation as a teacher, elucidating the difficult problems of Physics andAstronomy to thousands of students. He made physics important both as ascience and as a cultural subject. During the first World War he was activein government service and during the present World War has devotedhimself to the instruction of air crew students and technical students in thesubjects of aviation and radio.

    NEW SPENCER POLARIZING MICROSCOPEResearch scientists working on Spencer instruments have developed a

    new polarizing microscope. The optical system of this instrument containsPolaroid material in place of the usual calcite polarizing prisms.The optical characteristics have been found to parallel closely those of

    calcite equipment. The sensitivity of the extinction point compares favor-ably with calcite, and there is remarkable freedom from residual color.The shorter length of the polarizing unit and the elimination of severalglass-air surfaces reduces the amount of stray light, resulting in a notice-able increase in contrast in the image. This improvement is particularlyimportant in obtaining the maximum brilliance for interference figure work.The heavy stand, built for critical work, is so adaptable that it will

    satisfy most of the requirements of the petrographer, geologist, mineralo-gist, biologist and chemical microscopist.The new Spencer Polarizing Microscope, No. 42 with available acces-

    sories, will meet the requirements of most polarized light microscopy. Itis particularly adapted to the needs of the industrial laboratory and is alsoadmirably suited as a teaching instrument.A bulletin (M136) will be sent upon request.This new instrument is manufactured by the American Optical Com-

    pany, Scientific Instrument Division, Buffalo, New York.

    A definition is not something to be learned. It is to be understood. . . .The best test of ones understanding is ability to use the definition in thesolution of problems. . . . The solution of many numerical problems is anessential part of any course in physics. No definition, principle or relationis fully understood until it can be used for this purpose.

    A. A. KNOWLTON, Physics for College Students


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