The NSDL Scout Report for Physical Sciences -- Volume 3, Number 8

April 16, 2004

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




Topic In Depth


Paleomagnetics Laboratory [QuickTime, pdf]

At this website, the University of Caltech's Paleomagnetics Laboratory promotes its research of weakly magnetic geologic and biological materials. Users can learn about the facilities such as the biomagnetics lab and the automatic sampler. The website features the laboratory's recent research on many topics including extraterrestrial magnetism, magnetofossils, and historical geomagnetic field behavior. Visitors can find out more about the many laboratory members' research activities through links to their home pages. Researchers can download a selection of the group's publications. Everyone can enjoy the amazing images from recent geologic field trips across the globe. [RME]

Photochemistry and Photonics at Boston University [pdf]

This website promotes the photochemistry and photonics research of six faculty members at Boston University. Users can learn about the Photonics Research Center, whose goal is to produce a commercial development of photonic-enabled technologies. Through a link at the site, student and educators can learn about Professor Guilford Jones,II group's research on the photochemistry and photophysical properties of dyes, dye probes, and chromophore conjugates of polymers and proteins. Other research at the department includes portable laser and fiber-optics based instrumentation; biophysical, bioorganic, and laser driven chemistry; ultrafast spectroscopy, and photochemical methods in combinatorial synthesis. [RME]

Cornell University Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology: The Begley Group

At this web site, the Begley Group at Cornell University presents its research on the organic chemistry of enzyme catalyzed transformations in cofactor biosynthesis, the examination of the function of unassigned genes, and, with the help of other scientists, the completion of the functional assignment of the E. coli proteome. Researchers can find a complete list of all the group's publications from 1980 to the present. While a few of the links are currently under construction, the member links and research overview provides users with a thorough synopsis of the Bergley Group's work. [RME]

University of Alaska: Atmospheric Science Group [jpeg]

The University of Alaska created this website to present the work of the physicists, meteorologists, geologists, and chemists involved in the Atmospheric Science Group. Students and educators can discover the research interests and education opportunities in the atmospheric chemistry, atmospheric radiation, climate and global change, cloud and aerosol physics, mesoscale meteorology, and hydrometeorology subgroups. The website provides general information, specifications, and images of the lidar and radar equipment at the Artic Facility for Atmospheric Remote Sensing (AFARS). Users can find links to an album of atmospheric optical effects, forecast information, and other atmosphere-related information. Because of the group's wide range of research, everyone interested in atmospheric science will benefit by visiting the site. [RME]

Dartmouth Flood Observatory [Macromedia Flash Player, jpeg, Microsoft Excel]

The Dartmouth Flood Observatory website "is a research tool for detection, mapping, measurement, and analysis of extreme flood events world-wide using satellite remote sensing." Users can find data on flood damages, magnitudes, recurrence intervals, and more. The website discusses the Observatory's Wide Area Hydrologic Monitoring and Quickscat Wetlands Monitoring. In the World Atlas of Large Flood Events, students and educators can learn the causes, locations, and durations of floods. While the Observatory has attempted to collect data from 1985 to the present, the website does indicate that in recent years the reliability of the data has increased. [RME]

IceCube: A Telescope made from a cubic kilometer of ice below the surface of the South Pole [pdf, RealOne Player, QuickTime]

This website features the IceCube collaboration, encompassing physicists and astronomers from all over the world. Users can discover how IceCube will explore uncharted bands for astronomy. Students and educators can find a history of neutrino astronomy. Researchers can find a publications list, conference schedule, and downloadable technical documents related to the project. Within the Multimedia Resources, users can view a movie where Francis Halzen provides an excellent lecture about the IceCube project. [RME]

The Walsworth Group at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics [pdf, postscript]

The Walsworth Group at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics created this website to present its multidisciplinary research using state-selected atoms. The website provides images and lengthy descriptions of the center's many experimental research projects such as low magnetic field MRI for humans and granular media dynamics. Researchers can view abstracts and download papers describing recent results. The site does provide downloads for numerous student theses, but, in order to view many of them, users need to save the link first. [RME]

Meteorological Research Institute [jpeg]

The Meteorological Research Institute (MRI) in Japan "is engaged in analyzing and predicting meteorological, geophysical, hydrological and oceanographic phenomena, as well as developing extensive related technology" in order to further understand global climate and natural disasters. The website features the Institute's nine research departments covering topics such as forecasting, seismology and volcanology, and oceanography. Within each research department, visitors can learn the details about numerous research projects. Users can also view abstracts of the institute's many meteorology and geophysics papers. [RME]


The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chemistry Learning Center's online demonstrations [Windows Media Player, QuickTime, jpeg]

Observing chemical experiments is always helpful when learning difficult chemical concepts. The Chemistry Learning Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign makes it easier to view experiments without having to actually use chemicals. Utilizing Windows Media Player and QuickTime, the online lecture demonstrations cover a variety of chemistry topics including the combustion of methanol, the electrolysis of water, and the reaction of aluminum with bromine. To better understand the videos, students and educators can find short explanations of what they will observe. [RME]

Revise Wise Science [Macromedia Flash Player, Macromedia Shockwave Player]

This educational website by the BBC offers an abundance of amusing materials for children between the ages of four to eleven. Within the Materials link, visitors can discover thermal and electrical conductors, the states of matter, and more. The Process link covers topics dealing with forces, light, and sound. Each of the many concepts contains an entertaining activity, interactive fact sheet, test, and a worksheet. Within the Game Zone, children can find fun short quizzes and an educational computer game. Users can also find materials for biological topics. Most of the materials utilize Macromedia Flash or Shockwave Players. [RME]

The Virtual Egg Carton: Major rock types common in Minnesota

This website by the University of Minnesota presents the twelve most common rock types in Minnesota in an egg carton. By clinking on the individual rock, users can view images of the rocks up-close. The website provides a map of the rocks' locations within Minnesota. Users can learn the geologic history of the rocks including how they were formed. While this website concentrates on Minnesota, students from other areas can discover how to distinguish different rock types and gather general information about rock geology. [RME]

Museum of Science: The Educator's Cheapbook

This Museum of Science website provides teachers a forum to share hands-on scientific activities. Educators can find lessons for students of all ages. The more than fifty activities cover many scientific subjects including physics and chemistry. Most can be performed with common materials. Examples of lessons include role-playing water molecules going through a water cycle, creating a tornado, and understanding color wheels. Science teachers looking to enhance their lessons plans will profit by visiting this website. [RME]

The Virtual Cave

Dave Bunnell, a member of the National Speleological Society and cave researcher, and Djuna Bewley created this fascinating website depicting caves from all over the world. With an abundance of images and descriptions, student and educators can learn about solution, lava tube, sea, and erosional caves. When visiting the most extensive link, Solution Caves, users can take a virtual cave tour where they can learn about stalagmites, conulites, helictites, and much more. Visitors interested in taking a trip to a cave can find information about caves throughout the United States as well as suggestions on how to make the most of your trip. [RME]

Minnesota State University, Mankato -- Dating Techniques [Java]

The Minnesota State University, Mankato educates users about relative and absolute dating techniques at this website. Researchers new to the field can discover the history and usefulness of twenty one dating procedures. The website features a lengthy biography and links where users can find more information about specific techniques. Students can learn about the dating chronologies through an interactive seriation applet. Visitors will also find a biography of Willard Libby, the American Chemist who developed Carbon 14 dating techniques in the 1940s. [RME]

Extreme Science

Have you ever wondered how tides are created, where the greatest earthquake happened, or how time is measured? All of these and many more questions are answered at this fantastic website created by scientist, Elizabeth Keller. Users can find an abundance of materials on time, weather, space phenomena, and earth science. Within the Gallery of Scientists, users can learn about the work of admirable researchers. Packed with fun statistics and amazing images, this website will help educators get students excited about learning. [RME]

Astronomy Education Review

Created by the National optical Astronomy Observatory, the Astronomy Education Review website's goal is to make "it easy to find, read about, and use new ideas and resources for teaching and outreach in astronomy and space sciences." The site is designed like an online journal with free access to current and past issues created since 2002. The issues are broken down into five categories: research and applications; innovations; resources; opportunities; and news, reviews, and commentary. Users can learn how to submit their work to the online journal. [RME]


Hunt for the Super Twister [pdf, QuickTime, Windows Media Player, RealOne Player]

At this web site, NOVA features articles, interactive activities, and other resources about tornados in the United States. Users can learn why the United States is home to about three-fourths of all tornados worldwide. A fun interactive module allows users to access and rate the strengths of tornados based on images of destruction. Thomas Grazulis presents an article detailing the destruction of a 1928 tornado, which will make everyone appreciate the advances meteorologists have made in tornado forecasting. Users can learn how conventional building practices and sprawl may increase tornado disasters through an interview with Tim Marshall. With its amazing images and fascinating articles, everyone will enjoy this website. [RME]

49th Conference on Magnetism and Magnetic Materials

The 49th Conference on Magnetism and Magnetic Materials assembles scientists interested in the newest developments in fundamental and applied magnetism. Researchers can learn about abstract submissions, presentations, conference registration, and other necessary information. The website supplies a lengthy list of subjects covered at the conference which include structured materials, magnetic recording, and magnetoelectronic materials. Students can discover travel grants and award opportunities. While not yet available, the website promises to release information on invited speakers and an exhibitor brochure soon. [RME]

Karst Waters Institute [Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, pdf]

The non-profit Karst Waters Institute's (KWI) "mission is to improve the fundamental understanding of karst water systems through sound scientific research and the education of professionals and the public." Users can download a few of karst documents that are part of the Institute's national karst library. Students and educators can find a tutorial about the characteristics and importance of karst landscapes. Researchers can learn about previous and upcoming KWI conference. Students can find out how to apply for the William L. Wilson Scholarship. With its extensive list of links and bibliography of important references, anyone interested in karst and cave geology will find this website helpful. [RME]

National Radio Observatory [pdf, postscript]

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) "operates powerful, advanced radio telescopes spanning the western hemisphere." The website is nicely divided into information for the general public, astronomers, and teachers and students. Users can learn all about NRAO's many telescopes located throughout the United States. Researchers can find out about meetings, conferences, software resources, and surveys. Amateur radio astronomers can find links describing how to build antennas and interferometers. Everyone will enjoy the numerous images of astronomical phenomena and NRAO's telescopes and facilities. [RME]

The Society for Amateur Scientists

The Society for Amateur Scientists created this website to present its goal "to create unique collaborations between world-class professionals and citizen scientists and to remove the roadblocks that prevent ordinary people from participating in extraordinary science." The website features The Citizen Scientist, a weekly publication presenting news and projects from amateur scientists. Students can learn about the educational program, LABRats. Photographers can submit interesting images to the Society' Gallery. With so many tools and resources, everyone interested in science should visit this website. [RME]

AGI: American Geological Institute

The American Geological Institute (AGI) created this website to promote its work dedicated to geoscientific services and outreach. The Information Services provides users with information on data repository systems and the GEoRef database. Students and educators can learn about professional development, conferences, scholarships, and more. The website provides action alerts, discussing key issues affecting geosciences in the federal government. Scientists can find a helpful human resources guide discussing geoscience careers and educational departments. [RME]

Chemists Celebrate Earth Day

The American Chemical Society discusses how chemists are celebrating Earth Day this year. Users can learn how to take part in the 2004 Unifying Event - Testing the pH of Rain Water. Kindergarten through twelfth graders can find out about the music video contest where they are asked to illustrate contributions chemists have made to water chemistry and the environment. Educators can find numerous classroom activities, publications, and other resources to teach their students about water. Chemists looking to become involved in Earth Day should visit this website. [RME]

The North American Sundial Society [Java, pdf]

The North American Sundial Society (NASS) is "interested in the study, development, history, and preservation of sundials and the art of dialing throughout the continent." Users can find applets that display the daily and annual paths of the sun and moon. The NASS message board allows sundial hobbyists the chance to correspond with each other. The website provides an extensive list of the sundials located throughout the United States. Anyone interested in the science and art of sundials will find interesting materials at this website. [RME]

Topic In Depth

Quantum Dots

About Quantum Dots
Quantum Dots
Quantum Dots used to 'Draw' Circuits for Molecular Computers of the Future
Chemistry at Stony Brook: Stanislaus S. Wong
Nanocrystal Quantum Dots: From fundamental photophysics to multicolor lasing [pdf]
Ball-bearing for the 21st Century
Modified Quantum Dots Could Lead to Improved Treatments for Cancer
Quantum Dots 2004 [Microsoft Word, pdf]

This topic-in-depth addresses the characteristics and numerous applications of the semiconductor nanocrystals, quantum dots. First, Evident Technologies' Nanotechnology website provides a great summary about the properties of quantum dots (1 ). Users can learn about quantum dots' photoluminescence spectra, molecular coupling, quantum confinement, and their absorption spectra. The second website, created by Gunjan Mishra at the University of Nevada - Reno, is a downloadable slideshow illustrating the history, formation, and application of quantum dots (2). While created as part of a lecture series, this website provides students with a concise outline of the unique characteristics of the particles. Third, UCLA describes the combined research of chemists and engineers to use quantum dots as an inexpensive means of creating nanoscale circuitry for molecular computers of the future (3). Users can learn how the particles' photocatalytic properties make them a great candidate for improving the current method of creating interconnecting lines on silicon chips. Next, Stanislaus Wong at Stony Brook University presents his research in carbon nanotubes and semiconductor nanocrystals (4 ). After a short introduction about quantum dots, users can discover his group's efforts to understand these particles in order to implement them in the fields of chemistry and biology. The fifth site is a downloadable document by Victor Klimov at Los Alamos National Laboratory discussing the development of a new laser based on quantum dots (5 ). The site supplies a series of figures illustrating the nonradiative multiparticle auger recombinations in nanocrystal quantum dots, amplified spontaneous emissions, and more. Next, Nanotechweb compares new quantum discoveries in the 21st century to the ball-bearing inventions in the 20th century (6 ). Users can learn why scientists believe the particles can be utilized in medicine, security, and electronics. In an online article, Carnegie Mellon discusses how chemists are researching quantum dots to evaluate their effectiveness in treating diseases such as cancer (7). Users can discover how the scientists were able to produce quantum dots that fluoresced for an unprecedented eight months. The last site promotes the 2004 Quantum Dots Conference (8). Researchers can learn about the conference scope, the venue, invited speakers, and more. [RME]

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