The NSDL Scout Report for Physical Sciences -- Volume 2, Number 20

October 3, 2003

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison




Topic In Depth


Lowell Observatory Research Programs

This Web site describes Lowell Observatory's Planets, Small Solar System Bodies, Astrophysics, and Comets research programs. Visitors can learn about studies of Jupiter's volcanic moon, Io and of Pluto, the planet discovered at Lowell Observatory. The site supplies researchers with Galileo photo polarimeter radiometer (PPR) data as well as an immense amount of asteroid information including plots depicting the position of stars and asteroids within user-specified parameters. Amateur astronomers will find helpful advice from Syuichi Nakano about the equipment to use while making asteroid observations. [RME]

Durham Nanomagnetics Group [QuickTime, Internet Explorer Browser]

The Durham Nanomagnetics Group developed this Web site to depict its current research dealing with magnetic microchips. First, users can view images and descriptions of four magnetic microchip devices, which, like conventional chips, contain silicon allowing for the construction of hybrid microchips. Following, scientists will find links that describe the creation of these structures. The site also supplies visitors with a presentation illustrating the group's work in Electron Beam Lithography to "understand and control the behaviour of nanostructured ferromagnetic materials for the potential technological applications." Lastly, users can learn about the group's efforts to develop a single system using ionized materials to create the magnetic microchips. [RME]

Paytan Chemical Oceanography Lab [pdf]

The Paytan Chemical Oceanography Lab at Stanford University developed a Web page to illustrate its research "focused around utilizing isotopic tracers to understand biogeochemical cycles in marine and coastal systems as well as to understand the complex changes in large scale earth processes." Visitors can download many of the publications by Adina Paytan, who started the lab in 2000. The site includes brief discussions of the group's many projects in the fields of Paleoceanography, Biochemical Cycling, and Isotopic Tracers of Biological Processes. Teachers and students can also learn about internship opportunities and the educational program, Geokids. [RME]

Tsunami Society [pdf, zip, Windows Media Player]

This Web site assists the international Tsunami Society in its mission to distribute "knowledge about tsunamis to scientists, officials, and the public." In the first section of the site, scientists can download articles from the 2002 and 2003 issues of the journal Science of Tsunami Hazards. Visitors can also view footage from tsunamis around the world. The second section of the site discusses the details of the society including its origin, award recipients, and symposiums.

ERUPT: European Research on Understanding Processes and Timescales in magma systems [powerpoint]

This Web site describes the ERUPT project, which was developed to address Europe's four most active volcanic systems: Vesuvius, Campi Flegrei, Stromboli, and Teide. Scientists can learn how the researchers from seven institutions in Italy, Germany, Ireland, Spain, and the United Kingdom are attempting to predict the frequencies, sizes, power, and effects of eruptions, not by the traditional approach of using geophysical and volcanology, but by magma evolution and the function of subvolcanic conditions. After learning ERUPT's contributions to European society and the impacts of the project, students and educators can download the appealing PowerPoint presentation, which provides a visual representation of ERUPT. [RME]

Research and Education in Materials Science and Nanotechnology

At the Lund Institute of Technology, the research group in Materials Science and Nanotechnology developed a Web site to describe its specialization "in inorganic synthesis and structural studies using high resolution electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction." Scientists can learn about the group's research in siliceous mesoporous materials, Ruthenates, and in other interpretations of crystals on an atomic level. The site also offers a brief description of Lund University's Mineral Collections which boasts approximately 3500 specimens that scientists can request for their research. [RME]

CSRG -- Chemical Sensors Research Group

This extensive Web site is the home page of the Chemical Sensors Research Group at the Warsaw University of Technology, headed by Professor Zbigniew Brzozka. Chemistry students can find tutorials in such subjects as Ion-selective Electrodes and Micro Total Analysis Systems. Users can view many papers in topics that include Microflow-cell Potentiometric Transducers and anion buffering. The site also provides a preview of the software the group has developed for data acquisition, pH meters, and spectrometers. Scientists can also learn about upcoming analytical chemistry and optical sensors conferences. [RME]


Cosmic Distance Scale

This NASA site was developed by Maggie Masetti to demonstrate astronomical distances and help users grasp the size our universe. Starting at Earth, users simply select the Zoom Out link to see continuously larger areas of our universe until they reach The Farthest Visible Reaches of Space. At each stop, visitors can click on the Tell Me About _! link to receive information about the particular object such as its importance, its distance, and the time it would take to travel to the object. Teachers and students will find this site both incredibly easy to navigate and very educational. [RME]

Electronic Flash Cards: An Educational Resource for Students in Organic Chemistry

Are you an organic chemistry student trying to memorize hundreds of reactions? If so, you should certainly visit Ohio State's Organic Flashcard Project. The interactive flashcards cover seventeen topics from acid-bases to nitriles. Within each topic, the site offers numerous reaction problems. After examining the question, users can click on the link to discover the solution. This site is very useful and also saves students the work of making hundreds of flashcards by hand. [RME]

Granular Volcano Group [Windows Media Player, RealOne Player, QuickTime, avi, Java]

Sbastien Dartevelle, a Ph.D. student at Michigan Tech, created this Web site devoted to the understanding of "granular flows, granular processes, fluid dynamic, supercomputer modeling, and grain-size analysis of Volcanology, Geophysics, and Physics." Providing challenging materials in an accurate and simple manner, students can easily learn about topics including granular theory and granular medium. Users will find essential facts about viscous phenomenon in the newly added link, All I Wanna Know 'bout Viscous Stress. Educators and students can view the Plinian Cloud simulations. The author also provides mathematical equations, atmospheric profiles, and much more. [RME]


Astronomy Daily.Com offers real time astronomical data tailored to the viewer's location and time zone. The personalized front page presents a chart of tonight's sky. Diagrams allow users to view the planets in their orbits. Educators and students can find images of today's moon and its phase on the calendar, plus data dealing with its current position and its physical and orbital characteristics. Phil Harrington, a supervisor at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, provides two monthly articles; the first assesses a phenomenon in the sky that can be observed with binoculars and the second discusses a phenomenon in the Deep Sky. Viewers can also participate in many discussion forums with other interested astronomers. Although users are required to register in order to view the customized site, no personal identification is requested. [RME]

Learn about Chemicals around your House [Shockwave]

This Web site, developed by the EPA, educates children about the many household products used in their homes. The main part of the site is an interactive tour through the rooms of a house to locate all the chemicals. Children can learn the substance's applications, its contents, and the health and safety precautions that one must follow when using the products. Viewers can also learn indispensable specifics about what to do if an accident occurs as well as the importance of reading labels. After viewing the site, users can test their chemical knowledge. [RME]

Energy Ant [pdf]

Students can take this fun tour with the Energy Ant to learn all about energy and how to use it wisely. This site, developed by the National Energy Information Center, offers a history of energy and its uses as well as descriptions of the Pioneers in Energy. Students can gain an understanding of the processes of the many renewable and nonrenewable energy sources. The site compares the energy use in industry, commercial buildings, households, and transportation. Teachers can visit the Classroom Connection to find exploration activities for students from kindergarten to twelfth grade. To test their knowledge, students can also take the energy quiz. [RME]

Opportunity Knocks: The 2004 Directory of Experience Opportunites

Are you a college student majoring in chemistry? If so, you should visit this American Chemical Society Web site that discusses the importance of participating in an internship, co-op, fellowship, or summer employment in conjunction with formal education training. The site offers a link to the Directory of Experience Opportunities where educators and students can search for experiential educational opportunities from over 55 employers. Because most of the 75 competitive programs expect candidates to apply four to six months in advance, potential applicants should visit this site soon. After students chose their region, interest areas, and type of experience sought, the site furnishes users with a list of the potential programs. [RME]


Geoscience Horizons Seattle 2003

This Web site provides a comprehensive summary of the 2003 Geological Society of America's (GSA) Annual Meeting and Exposition, which will be held in downtown Seattle November 2 through November 5. Visitors can read about the Pardee Keynote Symposia where seven groups will converse about topics from global warming to the scientific impacts of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Geologists can learn about the many field trips that will take place in areas such as Glacial Lake Missoula, the Cascades, and Mount Rainier. The site offers information on workshops for educators from kindergarten teachers to university professors. Professionals can obtain the names and emails of conference attendees in order to make contacts with their peers. Students can learn about the informal question and answer event that brings together government agency advisers with GSA student members. Because registration ends October 24th, geologists interested in the meeting should visit this Web site soon. [RME]

Atmospheric Policy Program [pdf]

The homepage of the American Meteorological Society's Atmospheric Policy Program (APP), this Web site discusses how "APP helps governments, private enterprise, and universities work together to identify and cope with weather and climate policy challenges through education and research / analysis on policy issues." Reports and Position Papers from the 2003 Climate Forum Update are now available at this site. Potential exhibitors can apply online for the 84th Annual Meeting held January 11 through the 14 in Seattle, Washington. Researchers can submit abstracts online for this and other upcoming meetings. Students will find information about travel opportunities, internships, scholarships, and fellowships. The site also offers abstracts from many online journals as well as information on obtaining subscriptions. [RME]

North Pole Environmental Observatory [pdf]

The North Pole Environmental Observatory (NPEO) is a collection of the University of Washington's year-round un-manned scientific platforms in the Central Basin of the Artic Ocean. Researchers will find images, data, and other information about the three types of measurement systems: Drifting Buoys, Oceanographic Mooring, and Aerial Surveys of Hydrographic Casts. Viewers can find links to the weather and other atmospheric conditions at the observatory. The site also provides links to news coverage pertaining to NPEO. Students can study the circulation patterns of the Freshwater Switchyard of the Artic Ocean. Everyone can learn about the international research team's yearly expeditions to the observatory. [RME]

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Each day a new, beautiful image or picture of our intriguing atmosphere is presented on this Web site, created by NASA, along with a short description written by an expert. By selecting Discover the Cosmos, viewers can visit the archives, which features all the images presented since June 1995. In the Index, the images are also organized into the topics: Cosmos, Solar System, Space Technology, and People; making it easy for educators to incorporate them into lesson plans. [RME]

Smithsonian Soils Exhibit: Soils Sustain Life [pdf]

In partnership with the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) and the Agronomic Science Foundation (ASF), the Smithsonian Institute is preparing a soils exhibit to help "visitors understand how soil is intricately linked to the health of humanity, the environment and the planet." The site explains the exhibit's three major proposed aspects: an educational outreach program, a temporary interactive exhibit, and a permanent State Soil Monolith Collection. Users can view the timeline for the project, which was initiated in 2001 and is planned to open in 2006. Soil scientists can learn how they can contribute by donating their soil educational materials to the project, which is expected to inform six to nine million visitors. [RME]

Division of Physics [pdf]

The homepage of the Division of Physics (PHY) at the National Science Foundation displays the department's activities in Atomic, Molecular, Optical, Plasma, Elementary Particle, Gravitational, and Nuclear Physics. A unit of the United States government, PHY has the major responsibility of ensuring the health of physics research and education in the country's colleges and universities. Scientists can learn about funding opportunities for their research and instrumentation. Reading the Program Announcements, viewers can learn how the National Science Foundation is working with physicists to combat terrorism. Students and educators can find links to educational resource pages. [RME]

SETAC: Environmental Quality Through Science [Macromedia Shockwave Player]

With administrative offices in North America and Europe, the non profit Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) was founded in 1979 to serve as a forum for individuals and institutions partaking in environmental issues, education, and research. At this Web site, professionals can discover employment opportunities that are committed to ethical professional conduct. Potential graduate students can search SETAC's database to discover environmental chemistry, engineering, or toxicology programs that best suites their needs. Interested parties can order publications supported by SETAC. If so desired, users can learn about membership benefits and dues. This Web site introduces award opportunities to students and researchers. Although none are posted at this time, student members can post their resumes at this site. [RME]

Hurricane Isabel Water Quality Impacts
Hurricane Impacts on the Chesapeake Bay

Hurricane Isabel swept through the east coast of the United States on September 18 and 19 of 2003. Both sites, created by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, discuss how this strong hurricane with winds in some areas up to 60 miles per hour affected the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays region. In the first site, students and educators can see how the hurricane affected water quality by viewing the assorted graphs demonstrating the varying wind speeds, water levels, salinity, turbidity, and chlorophyll amounts from September 16th to the 22nd. After stating how Maryland assesses hurricane impacts, the second site explains how the nutrient and sediment processes were affected, as well as how the Wastewater Overflows altered the Chesapeake Bay water quality. The site will also be providing many additional assessments soon. [RME]

Topic In Depth

Galileo: From the Man to the Mission

1 Galileo Galilei
2 Galileo Sees the Light [pdf]
3 Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
4 Galileo Project Information
5 Galileo: Journey of Jupiter [RealPlayer, QuickTime]
6 The Trials of Galileo
7 Galileo Ends in Blaze of Glory [RealOne Player]
8 Galileo's Spyglass
9 Galileo's Gone, But Successor in Works

Galileo, the NASA mission, was recently crashed into Jupiter after years of observing the planet and its moons. The mission was named after Galileo Galilei, a scientist who in the early 1600s discovered Jupiter's four largest moons. This Topic in Depth first discusses the life of Galileo the man and then describes Galileo the mission.

The first site (1), developed by the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, provides an extensive account of Galileo's life, who was born in what is now Italy on February 15, 1564. Users can learn about Galileo's experiments, his scientific ideas, and his life long hardships. The second site (2 ) is an educational Web site by NASA describing how Galileo discovered the sun's rotation and Jupiter's four largest moons. At the end of the Web site, teachers can find a fill in the blank quiz for their elementary school children. As part of Eric Weisstein's World of Science, the next site (3) explains Galileo's observations of the phases of Venus and of the supernova, as well as his theory on relativity. In the forth site, (4) created by NASA, viewers can learn the fundamentals of the Galileo project including its physical characteristics, its mission, and its objectives. The site includes many links to images gathered from the spacecraft. In the fifth site (5) also produced by NASA, visitors can learn about the mission's end on September 21, 2003 when it plummeted into Jupiter. Users can view the animated video of the Legacy of Galileo and the most impressive images collected by the mission. As illustrated in the next Web site (6) written by Charlene Anderson, Galileo had many tribulations throughout its journey. The site includes a discussion of Galileo's important discoveries of magnetic fields around the two moons Ganymede and Callisto. The news story (7) from BBC News Online talks about the end of Galileo and provides users with a summary of Galileo's many spectacular findings and accomplishments. The site also provides an amazing image of Galileo plunging into Jupiter's atmosphere. The next site (8) connects Galileo, the man, with Galileo, the mission. Seth Shostak, at the SETI Institute, raises possible philosophical issues about the Galileo spacecraft's discovery of a large, moon-girdled ocean. Lastly, Richard Stenger at CNN mentions the possible future missions NASA will undertake to study Jupiter's moons individually (9 ). At this site, visitors can also learn more about why NASA decided to end the mission. [RME]

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