The NSDL Scout Report for Physical Sciences -- Volume 2, Number 21

October 17, 2003

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




Topic In Depth


Network for the Detection of Stratospheric Change (NDSC) [pdf]

With operations beginning in 1991, "the Network for the Detection of Stratospheric Change (NDSC) is a set of high-quality remote-sounding research stations for observing and understanding the physical and chemical state of the stratosphere" and is supported by the International Ozone Commission, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Researchers can receive verified NDSC data such as ozone, temperature, and aerosol profiles. Users can observe the temperature lidar, ozone microwave, and other instruments and measurements employed. Students can find answers to common questions dealing with the ozone layers, causes of its depletion, and the Connections between Climate Change and Ozone Depletion. The site also contains newly added images of the station, the equipment, the scenery, and much more. [RME]

The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory [postscript, pdf]

The size of a ten-story building, 6800 feet underground at the Creighton mine in Ontario; the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory is a telescope built to study neutrinos and the core of the sun. Students can learn how Cherenkov Radiation is produced and used to detect neutrino properties. Scientists can read the newly published paper dealing with the measurement of Total Active 8B Solar Neutrino Flux using NaCl, as well as other published papers and Conference Proceedings. The site also offers illustrations such as neutrinos striking heavy water and the attractive Double-Ring Event. [RME]

The Cramer Group
As part of the Computational Chemistry Group at the University of Minnesota, The Cramer Group developed this Web site to illustrate its research efforts in molecular modeling and computational chemistry. Researchers can learn about the group's projects dealing with Structure and Reactivity, Solvation, High Spin Organic Molecules, and Organophophorus. The site provides abstracts for Cramer's numerous publications as well as information on how to obtain the full documents. Scientists can learn how to acquire copies of two computer programs: AMSOL, used by the group to calculate the attributes of molecules in a solution; and OMNISOL, used for the non-quantum-mechanical assessment of solvation of free energies in water or organic solvents. [RME]

Thermodynamics Research Laboratory [pdf]

The Thermodynamics Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago developed this Web site to exhibit its research in the "molecular based study of fluids, solids and phase transitions, statistical mechanics of complex systems: equations of state, asymmetric mixtures characterization, surface and interfacial properties," and "solubilities in Liquids and Supercritical Gases." The site provides descriptions and images of the laboratory and equipment including the Atomic Force Microscopes and the Supercritical Fluid Extraction and Screening System. Scientists can learn about the group's research in supercritical fluids and supercritical extractions. The site has a new publications section where reprints of many of the group's papers are available. Researchers can also learn about The 4th International Conference on Fluid and Thermal Energy Conversion, which will be held in Bali Island, Indonesia December 7 - 11, 2003. [RME]

Infrared Space Observatory [Java, pdf, mpg]

The European Space Agency has constructed an expansive Web site committed to its Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) -- a mission launched in November 1995. Visitors can find links to the latest news about ISO and learn about upcoming conferences. This site provides scientists with the data collected by ISO as well as Data Analysis software to assist in data preparation, calibration, visualization, and much more. Visitors can also download scientific publications from 1996 to the present. Everyone will want to visit the Gallery to view amazing images collected by ISO. [RME]

Planetary Surface Materials [pdf]

From the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at Washington University in St. Louis, this Web site addresses the Haskin's Research group's interests "in the nature and early histories of the Moon and Mars and in the origins of terrestrial materials that are analogs to lunar and Martian rocks." The site illustrates the group's work on developing the Mars Microbeam Raman Spectrometer, which will be used to obtain detailed mineralogy of Mar's planetary materials. Educators and students can learn about many conferences such as the 34th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference and the Sixth International Conference on Mars. Researchers can download many abstracts the group has prepared for the conferences as well as abstracts of numerous papers published by the group. [RME]

Northern California Earthquake Data Center

A project between the University of California Berkeley Seismological Laboratory and the United State Geological Survey, the Northern California Earthquake Data Center (NCEDC) "is a long-term archive and distribution center for seismological and geodetic data for Northern and Central California." Educators and students can examine recent seismograms from the Berkeley Digital Seismic Network. Researchers will benefit from the site's enormous amount of data collections including BARD; a system of 67 constantly operating Global Positioning System receivers in Northern California. By reading the annual reports, educators will also learn about the center's many outreach activities from talks and lab tours to the production of classroom resources for kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers. [RME]

The RCT Consortium

This Web site describes the RCT (Robotically-Controlled Telescope) Consortium; comprised of Western Kentucky University, the Planetary Science Institute, South Carolina State University, Francis Marion University, and Villanova University; who assumed control of the 1.3-m telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona. After reading about the history of the project, educators and students can learn about the RCT properties and its contributions to the astronomy field. Visitors can also view images collected by the telescope including the Rings of Saturn and the Trapezium in the Orion Nebula. [RME]


Space Foundation: Educator Professional Development [pdf, Shockwave]

At this Web site, the Space Foundation addresses its role in providing professional development for kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers. Educators can learn about the four in-service programs the Space Foundation offers in order to provide scientific materials and to demonstrate classroom applications. After filling out the free registration, educators can view five modules developed to help teachers establish space and earth science principles in their curriculum. These modules, discussing everything from the history of science and flight to various types of digital media, each have a pretest, discussion, posttest, activities for students, and an integration section. Teachers can also learn about the educational conference, The Celebration of Flight: Past, Present, and Future, on November 6 and 7, 2003; which includes an educator training, kindergarten through twelfth grade student activities, and tours of the United State Air Force Academy. [RME]

Quizzes and Tutorials

Undergraduate students, are you looking for additional chemistry practice problems? If so, you should visit this Web site created by The Ohio State University's Chemistry Department. Users will find fifteen test banks covering an abundance of chemistry topics including Quantum Chemistry, Rates of Reaction, and Electrochemistry. Within each test bank, students will find numerous three-question quizzes. After taking a quiz, visitors can observe their performance and learn the correct answers. This site will certainly help students improve their chemistry knowledge. [RME]

CHIPS: The Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer [pdf, Microsoft Word]

Developed at the University of California Berkeley, this Web site assists educators in integrating advanced space science research into their curriculum by allowing the Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer (CHIPS) mission to be available to the public. Users can learn about the topics such as the Interstellar Medium and the Local Bubble as well as concepts dealing with heat, light, temperature, and matter. The site provides many links to images of the launch, which took place on January 12, 2003. While learning why the mission is investigating the plasma between the stars, high school students will find activities and short questions that will help them better understand the difficult concepts. Students may also want to periodically visit this site because soon lessons dealing with exploration of ionization and radiation will be added. [RME]

AAPT: American Association of Physics Teachers

American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) was founded in 1930 with the goal to ensure the "dissemination of knowledge of physics, particularly by way of teaching." Now with 11,000 members in 30 countries, this Web site displays all that AAPT has to offer. Visitors can learn about upcoming conferences, workshops and meetings. Teachers can learn innovative teaching methods, discover AAPT-sponsored projects, read about published publications and journals, and much more. Always in need of funding, physics students can find out about grants, competitions, and awards. [RME]

Chemical Equations [Java]

This site contains many chemistry applets created by Jonathan Goodman and his group at Cambridge University. An example of an applet available is the Molecular Weight Calculation; whereby entering in a molecular formula, users are able to discover the HRMS weight, the molecular weight, the element percents, and the Molecular Ion Isotope Pattern. Interactive graphs are also available to assist chemistry students with concepts such as boiling points, pressure, and Consecutive First Step Reversible Reactions. Educators and students will also find many three dimensional depictions of the molecules including fused rings, aromatic rings, and Fullerenes. [RME]

Quantum Physics Online

Developed by Manual Joffre, Jean-Louis Basdevant, and Jean Dalibard at France's Ecole Polytechnique, this Web site covers topics in introductory quantum mechanics through a series of animations and simulations. Topics covered include Wave Mechanics, Quantization in one and three dimensions, Quantum Superposition in one and two dimensions, and Spin 1/2. Students will find these difficult concepts easily and intuitively illustrated. Most of the simulations are interactive, allowing visitors to change the parameters in order to better grasp the concepts. [RME]

GeoKem: Geochemistry of Igneous Rocks

Designed to help graduate students with geochemistry, Dr. Bernie Gunn's GeoKem Web site provides referable scientific data and information dealing with volcanic and igneous centers. Originating as a University de Montreal database in 1965, the site contains extensive summaries of research from oceanic ridge basalts to extraterrestrial geochemistry. With a vast amount of continually updated data, students can discover the progression, activity, and chemical variability of the Hawaiian Islands, as well as many other island chains. Educators can incorporate the many images and graphs into their lesson plans. [RME]

The GLOBE Program [pdf]

A partnership among school systems, the U.S. Federal interagency program, the U.S. State Departments, colleges, universities, and over 100 other countries; this Web site provides an extensive look at GLOBE -- a worldwide hands-on educational experience for elementary to high school students. Educators can view guides and learn about student activities dealing with atmosphere, hydrology, soil, and much more. The site also provides a number of animated quizzes in concepts dealing with Earth Systems, Clouds, Thermometers, and Geography. Visitors can view data and graphs collected by student members of GLOBE. [RME]


Association for Women Geoscientists [pdf, Microsoft Word]

"The Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG) is an international organization devoted to enhancing the quality and level of participation of women in the geosciences and to introducing girls and young women to geoscience careers." Visitors can learn about possible funding, awards, internships, and employment. The Web site offers two publications discussing technical and career-development issues, job notices, and meetings: Gaea, the AWG bi-monthly publication, and AWG e-mail news. High school students can discover the Student Challenge Awards Program, where a select few are given the opportunity to work beside experienced scientists. Educators can find out about upcoming science fairs such as the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. If interested, visitors can also become a member of the organization. [RME]

Great Lakes Planetarium Association [pdf, QuickTime, mpg, avi]

Allied with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the International Planetarium Society (IPS), the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) is "dedicated to supporting astronomy or space science education through planetaria." The oldest regional planetarium organization, GLPA holds state meetings and conferences, which give everyone an opportunity to converse with planetarium professionals. On the Web site, researchers can learn how to submit scientific papers for these upcoming conferences as well as how to receive copies of various publications. Educators can view trailers for Stargazer; a three-part narrative about the lives of astronomers. Students will find educational information about the light spectrum, lifestyles of the stars, and much more. [RME]

Indigenous Weather Knowledge

Produced by the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology, this Web site exhibits seasonal weather calendars created by Indigenous people thousands of years ago. The site first discusses the Aboriginal people in Australia and their methods for dealing with past climate changes. Studying the calendars, users will notice that Indigenous people dealt with climate on a local scale and recognized a varying number of seasons. For comparison, the site presents the Bureau of Meteorology's Temperature and Rainfall Graphs and climate group classification maps. Because it is still in the early stages of development, users should revisit this site to learn more about Aboriginal knowledge of weather and climate. [RME]

International Water Association [pdf]

A worldwide organization of water professionals, the International Water Association's (IWA) Web site illustrates its commitment "to help water professionals create innovative, pragmatic, and sustainable solutions to challenging global water needs." Visitors can discover IWA's many activities from conferences and forums to task forces. Researchers can discover the various IWS groups that specialize in topics including Source Management, Education, Health, Management Training, and Water Quality Management. Although many of the publications are restricted to members, educators and students can read reports from the Sustainability in Water Sector and abstracts from IWA journals. [RME]

National Carbon Accounting System [pdf]

This Web site illustrates the National Carbon Accounting System's (NCAS) contributions to the monitoring of "emissions (sources) and removals (sinks) of greenhouse gases from Australian land based systems." Students and educators can discover how factors such as soils, land use, and land cover change can affect greenhouse gases and how NCAS monitors these changes. The site provides a search engine containing online publications where visitors can download articles including Land Use Emissions Results. Everyone concerned with effective ways to achieve sustainable emission standards should visit this site. [RME]

The Planetary Society [pdf, RealOne Player, Windows Media Player]

The homepage of The Planetary Society, this Web site is devoted to planetary exploration and education. The site publicizes the latest meteor sightings around the world and other recent news. Educators and students can find lots of materials dealing with Mars including observing tips, events, and games. At the Learning Center, enjoyable activities from making comet balls to determining your weight on other planets are available. The site features Space Events including Planetfest '04, the celebration of space exploration. Those unable to catch Planetary Radio can listen to archives of the weekly radio show. [RME]

Chemical Heritage Foundation

"The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history and heritage of the chemical and molecular sciences, technologies, and allied industries." This Web site illustrates how chemistry has shaped our world. Students can discover the chemical history of Innovations and Industry, Ancients and Alchemists, and much more. Through the Online Exhibits, visitors can view the pictures of Walter J. Hamer's collection of early batteries. In the Classroom Resources, educators will find online tools discussing molecular science and pharmaceutical achievers and many Chemistry Web Quests including Evidence for Atoms and The Great MTBE Controversy. Graduate students may want to take advantage of the many fellowships offered on the site.

Topic In Depth

The Physics of Sound

1 Acoustics and Vibration Animations [Netscape Browser, Windows Media Player]
2 The Physics of Music and Musical Instruments [pdf]
3 Physics of Music - Notes [wav]
4 Talking about Sound
5 How Humans Speak, Sing, Squeak and Squeal
6 Some areas of interest to biophysicists and medical physicists [pdf]
7 Acoustic Monitoring [wav, mpg, QuickTime, avi]
8 Underwater Acoustics Handbook [pdf]

This Topic in Depth focuses on the physics of sound waves and its applications in other science realms. The first four educational Web sites concentrate on sound wave properties and musical instruments. Dan Russell, a professor of Applied Physics at Ketting University, created the first site (1) to provide students animated images of sounds and vibrations produced by instruments such as loudspeakers and guitars. This site will surely be of assistance to those struggling with the intangible realities of wave phenomena. Developed by the Wright Center for Science Education, The Physics of Music and Musical Instruments (2) is an online manual designed for high school students and teachers. The instructive Web site discusses the basics of Waves and Sounds and how various instruments work. The next site (3), by Michigan Tech University, talks about various instruments' physical properties. Students can view amplitude, frequency, and time graphs of the clarinet. Users can also learn how to construct their own Native American-like PVC Flute and Wind Chimes. Catherine Schmidt-Jones, in cooperation with the Connexions Project at Rice University, addresses the connection between musical instruments and the physics of sound in the fourth site (4). Designed for an audience from middle school students to adults, users will find educational diagrams and explanations about physics terms such as pitch, frequency, and standing waves. At the end of the site, visitors will find a short quiz to test their knowledge. The next two sites deal with the relationship between biology and the physics of sound. The National Center for Voice and Speech developed mini-courses and tutorials (5) to assist people with difficult concepts in voice production. Intended for those who have taken a college level physics course, users can learn about many topics including frequencies, vocal fold oscillations, and pitch control. The next site (6) is a straightforward document created by Queens University discussing sound, resonance, and hearing. With the incorporation of diagrams and text, visitors can easily learn the basics of how the ear allows people to hear sound waves. The last two Web sites introduce water acoustics. The Acoustic Monitoring Project at NOAA (7) is observing the ocean through underwater acoustics. At this site, visitors can learn about NOAA's studies in Bioacoustics, Ocean Seismicity, and Environmental Noise. The site also offers many animations dealing with Axial eruption, Atlantic Seismicity, and much more. The last site (8), created by Peter Scheifele at the Classroom of the Sea, addresses the basics of waves propagating through water. Students will find numerous acoustic definitions, thought provoking quizzes, and hands-on activities; helping them understand the relatively complicated concepts. [RME]

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