The NSDL Scout Report for Physical Sciences -- Volume 4, Number 2

January 21, 2004

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




Topic In Depth


British Geological Survey: Geomagnetism [gif, pdf, jpeg]

The British Geological Survey illustrates its work monitoring the earth's magnetic field in the UK at this website. Users can learn about the six observatories located in the Atlantic and the UK. Using the Grid Magnetic Angle Calculator, visitors can determine the angle between the British National grid north and the magnetic north. The website features Mercator projects created with the World Magnetic Model, geomagnetic data for the academic community, space weather services for industry, and more. Students can find tutorials about the Earth's magnetic field, magnetic reversals, and magnetic storms. [RME]

SUSY Dark Matter/Interactive Direct Detection Limit Plotter [pdf, postscript, gif]

Maintained by Rich Gaitshell at Brown University and Vuk Mandic at UC Berkeley, this website offers a tool for researchers to create plots of their experimental and theoretical data of dark matter. After a brief explanation of how to use the plotter, users can chose from a wide range of data categories and specifications. Visitors can find a series of abstracts and links to sources of information and references. The website offers downloads of high quality outputs of plots and legends as postscripts or pdf files as well as low-resolution preview images. [RME]

The E821 Muon (g-2) Home Page [pdf, gif, postscript, pdf]

"The Muon (g-2) Experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory is stringently testing the Standard Model by measuring the Anomalous Magnetic Moment of the Muon to unprecedented precision." The website offers a helpful graphic, explaining the g-2 experiment. Researchers can find links to publications of experimental results, design and technique, conference proceedings, and PhD theses. Users can find close-up images and concise explanations of the experiment. The website offers links to other websites describing this experiment as well as proposed experiments which plan to use the Muon (g-2) ring. [RME]

Ohio State University-Astrophysics and Cosmology [pdf]

The Astrophysics and Cosmology section at Ohio State University describes its eclectic research in the formation of molecules, theoretical astrophysics, stellar structure, astro-particle physics, early universe cosmology, and various astrophysical environments. Users can find summaries of the numerous research interests, the activities, and accomplishments of the faculty and the graduate students. The website offers lists, full texts, and abstracts of published works and pre-prints. Users can find links to other cosmology groups who are working on similar problems as those at Ohio State. [RME]

Reifenberger Nanophysics Lab [QuickTime, pdf]

The Reifenberger Nanophysics Lab "uses innovative experimental techniques to examine the physical properties of objects in the nanoscale size range." This website describes the problems the lab is currently investigating including molecular conduction, environmental noise characterization, and new techniques using scanning probe microscopes (SPMs). Users can view an assorted collection of scanning probe images and schematic diagrams of the lab's equipment. Students and researchers can find a video discussing the research applications, lists of the lab's publications since 1992, and numerous links to online journals. [RME]

University of Wisconsin-Madison: Belshaw Research Group [pdf, StuffIt Expander, gif]

This University of Wisconsin-Madison website presents the Belshaw Research Group's work exploring biological systems through synthetic organic chemistry and molecular biology. Users can find summaries of the group's main research themes such as light-directed radial combinatorial chemistry, automated gene synthesis, and ligand-regulated peptide aptamers. The website includes software to conduct rotamase assays, a host of chemistry and biology links, and downloads of abstracts and full texts of many of the group's publications. [RME]

University of Alabama in Huntsville: Earth System Science Center (ESSC) [Java, pdf]

The University of Alabama in Huntsville created the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) "to encourage interdisciplinary study of the Earth as an integrated system across traditional boundaries." This website offers innumerable links to research projects associated with the Center. Users can learn about studies to understand the accumulation of ozone and other oxidants near the ground, the use of advanced radar in meteorological investigations, the employment of remote sensing to understand how aerosols and clouds affect climate and air quality, and much more. Researchers can find meteorological and modeling data sets, publications, and information on recent and upcoming events. [RME]

TELEX: Thunderstorm Electrification and Lightning Experiment [jpeg, QuickTime]

This website presents the research of the National Severe Storms Laboratory to determine how storm structure, updrafts, and precipitation affect lightning and other electrical storm properties. Users can discover how TELEX is employing the KOUN radar and the Oklahoma Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) with the addition of balloon soundings to measure the electric field profiles of storms. The website furnishes photos of the work and interesting video footage of a few of the launches. Overall, this website offers an inspiring example of the significant efforts to improving forecasts and severe weather warnings. [RME]


Hayden Planetarium's Academic Home

At this website, Hayden Planetarium brings "the frontier of astrophysics to the public" by offering innumerable links to space science education sites. The Astrophysics Data Portal provides seven databases as well as instructions on how to navigate through them. Students can find links to a series of astronomical news and events and galleries of space images. Users can find lots of enjoyable materials about archaeoastronomy, star myths and constellation lore, and additional information on different cultures' perception of astronomy. The website also offers creative poetry and writings about the starry sky. [RME]

Air Quality [Java, pdf]

The City of Albuquerque, New Mexico, offers a wide range of information about the factors that affect air quality and ways that people can improve it at this website. Users can find out facts on asbestos, radon, pollen, ozone, and temperature inversion. Visitors can discover the factors that influence ground level ozone development by choosing different weather conditions, emission levels, and populations in the interactive Smog City Simulator. The many requirements for the city presented at the website are a great way for users to learn how they can reduce air pollution. The website also presents data and information about the Tijeras/Roosevelt Middle School Ambient Air Monitoring Project. [RME]

Ology Hall of Fame

The Ology Hall of Fame website, created by the American Museum of Natural History, displays outstanding educational projects made by children. Visitors can learn clever details covering many scientific fields including astronomy, earth sciences, and paleontology. Users can view the current winning entries along with numerous archived exceptional projects. Once students join the club, which is free and easy, they can submit their creations to the American Museum of Natural History at the website as well. [RME]

ABAG Earthquake Maps and Information [gif]

Everyone affected by earthquakes should visit this ABAG (the Association of Bay Area Governments) website. The website offers interactive maps of future earthquake scenarios as well as static maps of past earthquakes in the San Francisco Bay area. Residents can learn how to make their homes safer. Commuters can find out how earthquakes affect transportation routes. Businesses can discover planning tools and safety resources. In the Kid Zone, children can explore earthquake facts through stimulating quizzes, puzzles, and answers to common questions. The site also offers materials dealing with dam failure and other natural hazards. [RME]

NASA: Origins Education Forum

NASA's Origins Education Forum "brings together scientists, educators, museum specialists and outreach experts to create resources and activities" that convey the science of the Origins missions to the public. Educators can find links to activities, images, presentation ideas, articles, and other space science-related materials. Researchers and students can discover funding opportunities, workshops, research opportunities, materials about starting educational outreach programs, and online courses. The website educates users about the missions to search for galaxies, stars, planets, and life. [RME]

Jewel of the Solar System - Saturn [gif, jpeg, Macromedia Flash Player, RealPlayer]

The Exploratorium offers a unique portrayal of the Cassini-Huygens mission's discoveries of Saturn. Individuals can discover the details about Titan, the only known moon in the solar system with a substantial atmosphere. The Macromedia Flash Player enhanced tutorial about the rings and moons of Saturn is a fantastic addition to the website. Everyone can enjoy the web casts explaining the significances of the newest findings. Frequent visitors should visit the Updates link to receive the latest Cassini-Huygens news. [RME]

The Wooden Periodic Table [jpeg]

Through this online version of a real wooden periodic table created by Theodore Gray, co-founder of Wolfram Research, Inc., visitors can learn all about 109 elements and 63 minerals. When clicking on the tiles of the table, users can find technical data and view samples of the element. Students can learn about the elements' common states and their stabilities. The elements are also grouped by various categories so that users can more easily compare characteristics. The Reaction Balancing and Molecular Weight Calculation Tool and an elements game are great additions to the website. [RME]

Strange Matter [Macromedia Flash Player, jpeg, pdf]

The Ontario Science Centre produced this fun, animated website to educate children about the field of Materials Science. The website describes the concept of materials, the work of material scientists, and the latest innovations. Through interactive games and videos, students can explore the structure, properties, processing, and performance of different materials. The website provides teacher and family guides, which detail exciting activities and experiments. Users can find out about the Strange Matter exhibition, which travels across North America. [RME]


NASIS: National Soil Information System

The National Soil Information System (NASIS) plays a role in the National Cooperative Soil Survey's goal of providing an active resource of soils information and "is designed to manage and maintain soil data from collection to dissemination." The website provides information and software downloads needed to access the NASIS system. Visitors can find helpful instructions on how to use the system as well as information on data problems. The website describes new works in progress and future plans. Users also have the opportunity to subscribe to NASISNEWS, the electronic mailing lists for NASIS users. [RME]

American Astronomical Society

The major organization of professional astronomers in North America, the American Astronomical Society's (AAS) main goal "is to promote the advancement of astronomy and closely related branches of science." The website presents the Society's three scholarly journals and its numerous publications. The Education link offers an abundance of educational resources for users of all levels, answers to many astronomical questions, and fascinating news articles. Researchers can find out about grants, prizes, employment, and membership opportunities. [RME]

The Eastern Analytical Symposium and Exposition [pdf]

"The Eastern Analytical Symposium and Exposition is held each year to provide professional scientists and students continuing education in the analytical and allied sciences through the presentation of symposia of papers, workshops, and short courses." The website features exhibitor information including booth space, important deadlines, poster guidelines, and financial procedures. Users can view facts and statistics about the most recent Eastern Analytical Symposium. Visitors can find synopses of the many educational opportunities available at the Symposium including the seminars. The website provides attendees with the necessary information about the program schedule, housing, and transportation. [RME]

Chem Ed 2005 [Macromedia Flash Player]

The teaching and learning conference Chem Ed 2005 offers insightful talks, hands-on workshops, presentations, and demonstrations, all with the goal of improving the quality of education in the classroom. At this website, users can find information about the lecture schedule, the presenters, exhibitors, and social activities. Everyone involved with chemistry education can learn about registration, accommodations, and transportation. Interested visitors can also subscribe to the emailing list to receive the latest information about the conference. [RME]

TWAS: The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World [pdf]

The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World's (TWAS) "aim is to promote scientific capacity and excellence for sustainable development in the South." The website features awards in basic and applied sciences, research grants, fellowships, and many other opportunities. Users can find out about research units in Least Developed Countries. The website presents the latest science news related to the developing world. Visitors can learn how to become a member of TWAS and can find links to supporting organizations. [RME]

Michelson Fellowship Program [pdf]

The Michelson Science Center offers the Michelson Fellowship program devoted to the advancement of engineering development and scientific application of exo-planet-related technologies. Visitors can discover opportunities to work with the NASA's Navigation Program. The website presents fellowship guidelines and education award opportunities. Users can view current and past recipients of the graduate student and the postdoctoral fellowships. Astronomy and physics students and researchers should visit this website soon to find out relevant application deadlines. [RME]

National Severe Weather Workshop 2005

The National Severe Weather Workshop 2005 is "a national forum for emergency management and media to exchange information and techniques for public safety during severe weather." The website supplies the tentative agenda for the three-day conference March 3-5, which includes many speeches from NOAA's weather partners in Norman. Interested visitors can find information on registration materials, opportunities to exhibit, and lodging. While information is not yet available on the planning members, users can find links to the sponsors and a notice about free radar and spotter training. [RME]

Bachelor's & Master's Chemical Professionals\index.html

The American Chemical Society (ACS) furnishes information on events, news, products, and services relevant to Bachelors' and Masters' chemical professionals at this website. Individuals can get help finding a career through workshops, mentoring opportunities, and job search engines. In order to stay up to date on chemistry research and findings, users can locate scientific publications, find out about upcoming meetings, and locate information on short courses and internet courses. This website provides professionals with the tools necessary to continually advance in the chemistry field. [RME]

Topic In Depth

The Use of Remote Sensing in Meteorology

The Water Planet - Meteorological, Oceanographic, and Hydrologic Applications of Remote Sensing
The Satellite Meteorology Module Library
Satellite Data
Satellite Meteorology and Climatology Division (SMCD) [gif]
National Weather Service: Satellite [Java, mpg]
Weather Satellites
Satellite Meteorology for Grades 7 -12 [Java, jpeg]
Satellite Image Home Page [jpeg]

First, NASA provides a tutorial on the use of satellites to observe terrestrial atmosphere and climate change throughout the world (1). After extended introductions of the various meteorological satellites, users can find information on forecasting el Nios, snow events, flooding, and other events. The second website, developed by The Network of European Meteorological Services (EUMETNET), offers a comprehensive tutorial on satellite meteorology (2). Through the eight online chapters, students can learn about radiative transfer, data acquisition, operational applications of satellite imagery, and much more. Next, the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) provides data from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) and Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) to assist in the understanding of "short-term and long-term local, regional and global scale atmospheric, oceanic and land processes" (3). Along with reports of the Earth's climatic state, visitors can find numerous hourly, daily, monthly, and annually meteorological data for the United States and the globe. The fourth website, supplied by the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), describes the Satellite Meteorology and Climatology Division's (SMCD) "research on the use of satellite data for monitoring meteorological, climatological, and environmental characteristics" (4). The website features the GOES Temperature and Moisture Soundings Fields project and weather data for aviation applications. Next, the National Weather Service offers satellite imagery of the United States in loops of 24, 12, 6, and 3 hours (5). Users can also find images of areas with current severe storms or special events. At the sixth website, Project Atmosphere Canada provides a tutorial addressing the general characteristics of polar orbiting and geostationary satellites and of visible, water vapor, and infrared imagery (6). Educators can find two classroom activities to help students understand complexities in data acquisition and resolution. Next, the University of Wisconsin-Madison allows students to explore satellite meteorology through nine modules equipped with hands-on activities and motivating images (7). Through the Gallery, users can learn about low, medium, and high level clouds as well as precipitation producing clouds and fog. Lastly, the Australian Government's Bureau of Meteorology collects and uses satellite data "to monitor day to day weather conditions and longer term climate change over the entire globe (8)." The website offers the latest infrared and visible light images and animations of Australia's weather. [RME]

Below are the copyright statements to be included when reproducing annotations from The NSDL Scout Report for the Physical Sciences.

The single phrase below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing any portion of this report, in any format:

From The NSDL Scout Report for Physical Sciences, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2005.

The paragraph below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing the entire report, in any format:

Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-2005. The Internet Scout Project (, located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, or the National Science Foundation.

Internet Scout Project Team
Rachel Enright Editor
Chris Long Managing Editor
Rachael Bower Co-Director
Edward Almasy Co-Director
Nathan Larson Contributor
Valerie Farnsworth Contributor
Debra Shapiro Contributor
Max Grinnell Contributor
Todd Bruns Internet Cataloger
Barry Wiegan Software Engineer
Justin Rush Technical Specialist
Michael Grossheim Technical Specialist
Andy Yaco-Mink Website Designer

For information on additional contributors, see the Internet Scout Project staff page.