50, 100 and 150 Years Ago; January 1996; Scientific American Magazine; by Staff Editor; 1 Page(s)
JANUARY 1946 The new multiplier phototube, called the image orthicon, picks up scenes by candle- and matchlight, and can even produce an image from a blacked-out room. The image orthicon tube has been a military secret until now, but as early as 1940, successful demonstrations of pilotless aircraft had been made with a torpedo plane which was radio-controlled and television- directed from 10 miles distant.
Those gasoline fractions with low octane numbers have long been a problem to oil refiners. Researchers eventually determined that a mineral known as molybdenum oxide, when dispersed in activated alumina and used as a catalyst in an atmosphere of hydrogen, altered the molecular structure of the low-grade gasoline most effectively. The newly discovered process, 'Hydroforming,' doubled the octane rating of many low-grade gasolines, and guaranteed our war-time airplanes and those of our Allies vast quantities of high-octane gasoline, far superior to any in use by the enemy, and at reasonable cost.