Monday, May 09, 2011

vernier's chemistry

The only German piece out this month is a news story on Harry Anderson's "Vernier chemistry" using the mathematical principle of the Vernier scale (a device consisting of two scales with different numbers of divisions lacking a common denominator, e.g. 9 and 10, invented 380 years ago) for the construction of well-defined molecular rings.

Schieblehre inspiriert Aufbau von Nanoringen, Spektrum der Wissenschaft Nr 5, S. 21

The beginning of the text and a link to the PDF (restricted access) is here.

As you can tell from the number of reader's responses, I got the explanation of the Vernier scale the wrong way round. In fact, the additional, slightly different scale is squashed (typically by 10:9), while I wrote that it was stretched. I think I had this wrong version in my head since the age of five or so, so it didn't occur to me to get the caliper out and check.

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