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50, 100 & 150 Years Ago: July 2021

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Madame Curie honored; immortality for humans

1971: An illustration shows a card problem presented by Martin Gardner in his monthly column Mathematical Games: “Nine heart cards are arranged to form a magic square so that each row, column and main diagonal has the largest possible constant sum, 27. (Jacks count 11, queens 12, kings 13.) Allowing duplicate values, what is the largest constant sum that can be formed with nine cards from a deck?”  Credit: Jerome Kuhl; Scientific American, Vol. 225, No. 1; July 1971

This article was originally published with the title “50, 100 & 150 Years Ago” in Scientific American 325, 1, 79 (July 2021)




    Mark Fischetti is a senior editor at Scientific American. He covers all aspects of sustainability.

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    Credit: Nick Higgins

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