[Magazine] Scientific American. Vol. 298. No 3

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Other galaxies have disappeared from view. holes and any artificial lighting that civilizations have rigged up, the universe goes black. The galaxy later collapses into a black hole. support such a shot-in-the-dark is unlikely, at by George Gale; Scientific American, December 1981]. We take different lessons from our least if our own experience is any guide. Thus, observers of the future are likely to work. First, this would quite likely not be the fi rst predict that the universe ultimately ends with a localized big crunch, rather than the eternal time that information about the universe would expansion that the cosmological constant pro- be lost because of an accelerating expansion.

More with Mastery The myelin that gives white matter its color has always posed mysteries. For more than a century scientists looked at neurons through their microscopes and saw long fibers, the axons, extending from a neuronal cell body to a neighboring one, like an outstretched, elongated fi nger. Each axon was found to be coated with a thick crystalline gel. Anatomists surmised that the fatty covering must insulate axons like rubber sheathing along a copper wire. Strangely, however, many axons, especially the smaller fi laments, were not coated at all.

Fred C. Adams and Greg Laughlin. Free Press, 2000. Atom: A Single Oxygen Atom’s Journey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth … and Beyond. Lawrence M. Krauss. Back Bay Books, 2002. The Return of a Static Universe and the End of Cosmology. Lawrence M. Krauss and Robert J. Scherrer in Journal of General Relativity and Gravitation, Vol. 39, No. 10, pages 1545–1550; October 2007. 0221 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN 53 BRAIN SCIENCE White Matter Although scientists have long regarded the brain’s white matter as passive infrastructure, new work shows that it actively affects learning and mental illness • • • By R.

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