Scientists from a broad range of disciplines are collaborating at the Linde Center to generate a comprehensive understanding of our global environment—including the impacts of human activities on it. They investigate Earth's atmosphere, oceans, cryosphere, and biosphere and their mutual interactions, characterizing their present and past states through innovative measurements, developing models to describe their evolution, and synthesizing measurements and models to produce sound predictions of the future. Among the questions addressed at the Linde Center are:
The Linde Center is located within the unique Linde + Robinson Laboratory, likely the most energy-efficient laboratory building in the United States. The Linde + Robinson Laboratory and nearby buildings house state-of-the art laboratories for oceanography, atmospheric chemistry, biogeochemistry, environmental microbiology, and environmental chemistry and technology.
The Caltech Community has been stumped and, as a result, $1,000 has been added to the endowment for global environmental science. No one in the Caltech Community came forward within one year with the correct answer to the contest that was announced on January 24, 2012 by alumnus and Vice Chair of Caltech's Board of Trustees, Ronald Linde, at the dedication of Linde+Robinson Laboratory.
Several members of the Caltech community submitted very insightful entries that correctly identified hidden allusions contained in PERCEPTION, and several of the clues were correctly identified. None of the entrants, however, identified the specific allusion that matches all of the clues, as required by the contest rules. Below is the solution:
Solution: The number of parallel hexahedron faces (12) in PERCEPTION equals the number of rare earth elements discovered since Robinson Laboratory was built in 1932. The number of different clues also is 12.
Details: Clues contained in the 'Statement of Clues' are identified below by underlining, with explanations (where deemed helpful) in brackets and red type.
STATEMENT OF CLUES
History [of science and of Caltech] and Mystery: A Number  of Clues for a Test in PERCEPTION
If Sherlock Holmes, the fictional master of perception, had been a member of the Caltech [Caltech's history] community, he would not have needed a dozen [12 parallel faces/12 discoveries] clues to discover the allusion. At the time of discovery he characteristically would have exclaimed, "Elementary [pertaining to elements], my dear Watson!"
Science has progressed enormously since Robinson Laboratory was built. Now the Global Environmental Science initiative will provide a rare opportunity for Caltech's [same clue as above] divisions, working in concert and in parallel, to address an impending crisis that faces our planet [Earth].
Thank you for everyone's participation and interest. For the Artist's Statement, the original Contest and two additional clues announced late in 2012, please click here or visit http://lindecenter.caltech.edu/contest
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Linde Center for Global Environmental Science
California Institute of Technology
1200 E. California Blvd., MC 131-24
Pasadena, CA 91125
Phone: (626) 395-8731