Education: Q.E.D.

The entire geometry class of the Westlake School for Girls in Los Angeles was agreed. Not one of them could make head or tail of the problem: "The common external tangent of two tangent circles of radii 8 inches and 2 inches is — ." Fortunately, the class secretary, 15-year-old Johanna Mankiewicz, had an inspiration. All the class had to do, she decided, was to write a letter to the Most Famous Physicist in the World.

"I realize," Johanna wrote, "that you are a very busy man, but you are the only person we...

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