NewTone was an online journal, that was prepared by Koç University Science Society members. It was published periodically in three months.
Volume 1, No 1, 10th January 2003
Perfect as the wing of a bird may be, it will never enable the bird to fly if unsupported by the air. Facts are the air of science. Without them a man of science can never rise.
Ivan Pavlov (1849 – 1936)
We, as the members of the new born Koc University Science Society, take the facilities that our university offers us as our wings, and try to fly using the knowledge we get through our seek for the facts in life. The online journal “New Tone” is our means of transferring what we have learned to others who are interested. While making research about the topics we are interested in, we have realized that it would give us great please to share what we have learned with our readers. Our greatest aim is to try to provide air for anyone who is eager to fly and to bring in a fresh, young and New Tone to the science world.
Editor: Nesra Yannier
Volume 2, No 2, 30th May 2003
Because we do not understand the brain very well we are constantly tempted to use the latest technology as a model for trying to understand it. In my childhood we were always assured that the brain was a telephone switchboard. (‘What else could it be?’) I was amused to see that Sherrington, the great British neuroscientist, thought that the brain worked like a telegraph system. Freud often compared the brain to hydraulic and electro-magnetic systems. Leibniz compared it to a mill, and I am told some of the ancient Greeks thought the brain functions like a catapult. At present, obviously, the metaphor is the digital computer.
John R. Searle, MINDS, BRAINS AND SCIENCE, p 44
As we try to come up with different models to explain the sophisticated human brain, what we are doing is in fact trying to visualize it, using the amazing ideas that it, itself, has produced. Throughout the human history, mankind has come up with different ideas, novelties and discoveries, which have introduced new tools to the human life. In this edition, we have tried to examine the great establishments of the human brain in different stages of time and to bring a ‘new tone’ to the technological developments. We have tried to explain the introduction of the ideas of the telegraph, radio, lasers, silicon based technologies and the time machine into the human life, revealing the scientific accomplishments that lie behind them, such as electricity, electromagnetic theory, thermodynamics, optoelectronics and special relativity.
In every stage, no matter how sophisticated the model representing the human brain becomes, the brain still continues to challenge itself, never seizing up. Who knows, maybe after some point, we will start to explain the brain with the model of a time machine and then time will start pointing in the opposite direction, going back to the primitive human mind modeled as the telephone switchboard… (What else can it be??)
Volume 1, No 3, 20th December 2014
The start of a new year is an inspirational period of time when the goals and objectives of an entire year are defined and set to motion. As the editors of NewTone, our primary goal for the new year is to draw a wider range of students towards the world of science, give them a chance to explore their curiosities in any field of science and share what they have learned with those that have similar interests. As people from different fields can all have completely different approaches towards things, we are aiming to address a broader audience and combine the different views of the physicists, engineers, mathematicians, economists, chemists etc. in our journal.
In this edition, we have included articles from a variety of fields, including computer science, astronomy, physics, electronics and mathematics. We have also added a new section called ‘Fun’ which consists of jokes, anectodes and caricatures about science, with the aim of bringing some color to our journal and making our readers enjoy more of it. Lastly, we have decided to dedicate one article in each edition to the recent discoveries that we want our readers to be informed about. We are going to start in the next edition with the recent discovery of the sixth form of matter by the American scientists, declaring that they have created a new form of matter, which they believe can lead to the next generation of superconductors for use in electricity generation, more efficient trains and countless other applications.
Looking forward to sharing more with more of you…
Volume 2, No 1, 6th June 2004
“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. It is a seeking that he who wishes may know the cosmic secrets of the world and that they dwell therein.”
Hurston, Z. N.
Scientific research has been going on since centuries and doesn’t seem to come to an end no matter how far we go with our knowledge of the world. Some philosophers have said that all the scientific achievements are nothing but garbage, since nobody can prove that the sun will rise from the east tomorrow just like it did today, and not from the west. Yet, science has managed to endure these theories, and here we are trying to satisfy our curiosity by doing research in different fields of science.
In this volume, the majority of the articles are comprised of the research projects that students in our university have done in various fields. In addition, we have taken in one article that is written by a student intuitively, rather than by research. This article consists of the explanation of an interesting fact: that the number of 5’s and 6’s found in the result of 10,000 factorial are equal. It also includes a C code demonstrating this amazing fact which cannot be figured out by straightforward calculation.
Another article that we have included is “Zodiac and Astrology: Science or Superstition?”. This article is the summary of one of the speeches given to elementary school children from around Istanbul, who were invited to our university for a project that the Koc University Science Society students had prepared with the aim of teaching them different aspects of science and math.
Lastly, the News section has been added to our journal. Our aim is to put in an article about one of the latest achievements in science to this new section in each volume. All students are welcome to pick a topic about a scientific achievement that they are willing to do research about and submit it to one of the editors.
Wishing you a very nice summer vacation…
Vol 2, No 2, 18th April 2005
Think New, Think Different…Think LATERALLY!!!
Some time ago I received a call from a colleague, who asked if I would be the referee on the grading of an examination question. He was about to give a student a zero for his answer to a physics question, while the student claimed he should receive a perfect score and would if the system were not set up against the student.
The instructor and the student agreed to an impartial arbiter, and I was selected. I went to my colleague’s office and read the examination question: “Show how it is possible to determine the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer.” The student had answered: “Take the barometer to the top of the building, attach a long rope to it, lower it to the street, and then bring it up, measuring the length of the rope. The length of the rope is the height of the building.”
I pointed out that the student really had a strong case for full credit since he had really answered the question completely and correctly. On the other hand, if full credit were given, it could well contribute to a high grade in his physics course. A high grade is supposed to certify competence in physics, but the answer did not confirm this. I suggested that the student have another try at answering the question. I was not surprised that my colleague agreed, but I was surprised when the student did.
I gave the student six minutes to answer the question with the warning that the answer should show some knowledge of physics. At the end of five minutes, he had not written anything. I asked if he wished to give up, but he said no. He had many answers to this problem; he was just thinking of the best one. I excused myself for interrupting him and asked him to please go on. In the next minute, he dashed off his answer which read:
“Take the barometer to the top of the building and lean over the edge of the roof. Drop the barometer, timing its fall with a stopwatch. Then, using the formula x=0.5*a*t^2, calculate the height of the building.”
At this point, I asked my colleague if he would give up. He conceded, and gave the student almost full credit. In leaving my colleague’s office, I recalled that the student had said that he had other answers to the problem, so I asked him what they were.
“Well,” said the student. “there are many ways of getting the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer. For example, you could take the barometer out on a sunny day and measure the height of the barometer, the length of its shadow, and the length of the shadow of the building, and by the use of simple proportion, determine the height of the building.”
“Fine,” I said, “and others?”
“Yes,” said the student.” There is a very basic measurement method you will like. In this method, you take the barometer and begin to walk up the stairs. As you climb the stairs, you mark off the length of the barometer along the wall. You then count the number of marks, and this will give you the height of the building in barometer units.
“A very direct method.”
“Of course. If you want a more sophisticated method, you can tie the barometer to the end of a string, swing it as a pendulum, and determine the value of g at the street level and at the top of the building. From the difference between the two values of g, the height of the building, in principle, can be calculated.”
“On this same tact, you could take the barometer to the top of the building, attach a long rope to it, lower it to just above the street, and then swing it as a pendulum. You could then calculate the height of the building by the period of the precession”.
“Finally,” he concluded, “there are many other ways of solving the problem. Probably the best,” he said, “is to take the barometer to the basement and knock on the superintendent’s door. When the superintendent answers, you speak to him as follows: ‘Mr. Superintendent, here is a fine barometer. If you will tell me the height of the building, I will give you this barometer.’”
At this point, I asked the student if he really did not know the conventional answer to this question. He admitted that he did, but said that he was fed up with high school and college instructors trying to teach him how to think, to use the ‘scientific method’ and to explore the deep inner logic of the subject in a pedantic way, as is often done in the new mathematics, rather than teaching him the structure of the subject. With this in mind, he decided to revive scholasticism as an academic lark to challenge the Sputnik-panicked classrooms of America
by Alexander Calandra, The Saturday Review, December 21, 1968, p 60.
Calcite by Süleyman Cenk YILDIZ