The NSDL Scout Report for Physical Sciences -- Volume 3, Number 9

April 30, 2004

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




Topic In Depth


NASA's SeaWiFS Project: OceanColor Web [mpg, pdf]

NASA's SeaWiFS Project created the OceanColor website to provide data, images, and information on its ocean color-related activities. Using the Global Ocean Color Browse Utility, visitors can view global images produced by the SeaWiFS Project from 1997 to the present. Through a detailed description and short animations, visitors can learn about SeaWiFS, the SeaStar Spacecraft, and the SeaWiFS research stations. Researchers can find links to various data sets and images. The website provides an extensive explanation of the SeaWiFS Data Processing System. Users can download SeaWiFS pre-launch and post-launch technical reports. Teachers can find many educational resources about monitoring the ocean and imaging techniques. With so much to offer, anyone interested in oceanic imaging should visit this website. [RME]

Russian Academy of Sciences: International Institute of Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics

This website promotes the Russian Academy of Sciences' International Institute of Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics's incorporation of modern mathematics with seismology and other geologic sciences. Users can discover the Institute's current and past research in earthquake prediction, seismic risk, structure of the Earth, exploration of mineral deposits and much more. While visitors are not able to view current earthquake predictions, they can learn about past predictions and results. Researchers can find information about the Institute's software and long lists of its publications. [RME]

Living State Physics

Vanderbilt University's Living State Physics group combines physics and biomedical research in order to increase knowledge of biological systems and phenomena. After learning how physics can enhance the fields of medicine and biology, users can discover the group's greatest accomplishments for the past twenty years in topics such as Non Destructive Evaluation, Biomagnetics, and Cardiophysics. Researchers can learn the details of the group's Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID). The expansive website features information and helpful figures about its many physics research projects in cardiac electrodynamics and gastrointestinal smooth muscle. Those interested can also find out about employment opportunities. [RME]

The High Intensity Laser Science Group [gif, Windows Media Player]

At this website, the High Intensity Laser Science Group located at the University of Texas at Austin discusses its research in the interactions of ultraintense laser light with matter. With a series of descriptive images and text, students and researchers can peruse the group's many projects including high strain rate dynamics in shocks driven by laser pulses and intense laser driven explosions of atomic clusters. Users can view archived video lectures of the High Intensity Laser-Matter Interactions course offered at the University of Texas in 2001. Novices can find tutorials dealing with lasers, plasma, and high order harmonic generation in gases. The website features a lengthy list of the group's publications with downloads for many of the articles. [RME]

Astrophysical Virtual Observatory [QuickTime, pdf, Microsoft PowerPoint, tiff, jpeg]

At this website, the European Commission and six European organizations discuss the creation of the Astrophysical Virtual Observatory Project (AVO) for European astronomy. Visitors can discover the function of a Virtual Observatory (VO) as "an international astronomical community-based initiative" aimed at allowing "global electronic access to the available astronomical data archives of space and ground-based observatories." Users can learn about the current problems associated with combining astronomical data collected all over the world and how a VO can streamline this data. The website supplies numerous images illustrating galactic scenarios, AVO prototypes, and AVO goals. [RME]

Penn State Chemistry Department: Hammes-Schiffer Research Group [Java]

At this website, the Hammes-Schiffer Research Group publicizes its research in theoretical and computational research of chemical and biological processes at Penn State University. Users can learn about its specific investigations about the proton and hybride transfer reactions in enzymes, multistate continuum theory, nuclear-electronic orbital (NEO) method, and more. Users can find a list of over sixty articles published by the group. Within the Teaching link, students can find a series of interactive demonstrations illustrating concepts such as interactions, nonbond cutoffs, and molecular dynamics. [RME]

The University of Melbourne Australia: Geodesy Research Group [pdf, zip]

This website displays University of Melbourne Australia's Geodesy Research Group's current and past work in coordinate transformations, global navigation systems, integrated navigation and positioning systems, automatic vehicle locations, and intelligent transportation systems. While the research link does provide a short description of the group's work, the best way to find out about its projects is by visiting the People link. At this link, users can discover a wide range of activities such as the Intelligent Augmented Reality and the Marine Cadastre projects. Students can find introductory materials about the science of geodesy. Users can learn about a few of its programs including Dynamic Network Adjustment and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Constellation Viewer. [RME]

Washington State University: Defects and Diffusion studied by Hyperfine Methods [gif]

The Hyperfine Interactions Laboratory at Washington State University addresses its research of "how solids are affected by mechanical, thermal, chemical, or irradiation treatment" with atom-scale resolution. Students and researchers can discover their nuclear hyperfine interactions methods. To learn about the Laboratory's research, users can find detailed descriptions, pictures, publications, meeting abstracts, and more. The website features undergraduate, graduate, postdocs, and visiting scientist research opportunities. Users can also find out about the International Conference on Hyperfine Interactions held in August 2004. [RME]


A Comprehensive Glossary of Weather Terms for Storm Spotters

Michael Branick at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) developed this online weather dictionary for local severe storm spotters and groups. "Its purposes are 1) to achieve some level of standardization in the definitions of the terms that are used, and 2) provide a reference from which the meanings of any terms, especially the lesser-used ones, can be found." The website, which is very easy to navigate, provides educational figures of a supercell, line echo wave pattern, and other weather-related phenomena. With its clear definitions, non-meteorologists and novices will find this website helpful. [RME]

The Geography Site: Physical Geography

An educator, David Robinson, created this website to supply high quality materials dealing with various aspects of physical geography to educators and students. The website provides extensive information for five main categories: earthquakes, plate tectonics and continental drift, volcanoes and volcanics, glaciers and glaciation, and a physical geography glossary. Examples of the topics covered include an examination of the Mount St. Helens eruption, an introduction to predicting earthquakes, and the glacial formations of corries. Although the content was created primarily for twelve- to sixteen-year-old students, much of the material is applicable to all introductory earth science courses and can prove very beneficial for all interested in physical geography. [RME]

NASA Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Learning Center

NASA Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Learning Center's website supplies data and information about global environmental change. Within the Data You Can Use link, visitors can find links to atmospheric data including ozone data, basic climate data, and CO2 records. Students and educators can find answers to common questions and contact information to ask new questions. Visitors can discover links to educational materials on land, water, and sky for people of all ages. The website also allows users to search for earth science-related curriculum support, interactive programs, and other educational services and resources. [RME]

The Twelve Soil Orders [gif, jpeg, pdf]

At this website, the University of Idaho provides information and images of the twelve classifications of soil taxonomy. After learning about the soils, users can find world and United States maps illustrating where each are located. The website offers downloadable documents of the soil taxonomy text, maps and errata sheet for the second edition of Soil Taxonomy, A Basic System of Soil Classification for Making and Interpreting Soil Surveys. Students and educators can also find a link to the World Reference Base for Soil Resources. This website is tremendously helpful for anyone involved in soil science or soil mapping. [RME]

Molecular Models for Biochemistry [Chime, gif]

This Carnegie Mellon University website uses Chime and RasMol images to provide students with many biochemistry tutorials and quizzes. Intended as a supplement to a standard biochemistry text, users can find numerous 3-D images of small molecules, amino acids, protein structures, and much more. The website offers extensive viewing suggestions and tutorials on Chime and RasMol. With countless interactive materials and quizzes, biochemistry students can find the help they need at this extraordinary website. [RME]

Weather Lessons

Mrs. Dukerich working with Bethune Academy first created this website to teach her third and fourth grade students about the weather. Educators can find classroom activities such as the creation of an Air Mass Generator and a Cloud in a Jar. Students can find short introductions and images of weather instruments, clouds, and the water cycle. The website also features a short vocabulary list that will help teachers introduce young students to the meteorological world. [RME]

Canadian Space Agency: Kid Space [Macromedia Flash Player, mp3]

Children of all ages will find fun and excitement at the Canadian Space Agency's Kid Space website. At Cosmic Q's and A's, visitors can find answers to the most popular questions. Students can find numerous interactive games including Moon Pong, Matching Game, and Crazy Asteroid. The website features songs, jokes, and interesting facts. Users can find many fascinating experiments including those performed on Space missions. Visitors can learn how to submit their astronomy-related art and other creations to the website. Children will surely become excited about astronomy at this stimulating website. [RME]

The Joy of Visual Perception: A Web Book [gif]

Peter Kaiser, an emeritus professor at York University, created this website about visual perception to supplement curriculum. After reading the introduction describing how to best utilize the materials, students and educators can find twenty four chapters covering many topics including, physics of the visual stimulus, the basics of Fourier analysis, and spectral sensitivity. For each topic, the website provides numerous figures and diagrams supplemented by text. Users can find interesting illusions and other demonstrations in the Fun Things in Vision link. Everyone curious about the physics of perception will find helpful materials at this website. [RME]


Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring National Facilitation Project [pdf]

"This Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring National Facilitation Project is designed to build a comprehensive support system for Extension volunteer water quality monitoring efforts across the country." At this website, the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) provides in-depth documents about why and how to monitor water quality and how to increase monitoring programs. Users can learn about the new database currently being tested, aimed at improving data sharing and internet learning among local communities. Researchers and volunteers can find out about the National Water Quality Monitoring Conference as well as other upcoming events. Users interested in participating in water quality monitoring can find the locations of CSREES sponsored volunteer programs. [RME]

CIMSS: The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies [gif]

The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) is composed of scientists from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and NASA who "conduct research using passive remote sensing systems for meteorological and surface-based applications." Visitors can discover the many operational and research satellites as well as the ground based and airborne sensors. At the MODIS and GOES galleries, users can view numerous satellite images of landscapes and disasters across the Western Hemisphere. Students and teachers can discover scholarship opportunities, educational applets, and tutorials. Researchers can learn about CIMSS's weather predication model and many projects such as the Coastal Louisiana Geomorphology and Daily Solar Insolation. [RME]

JINA: The Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics [Macromedia Flash Player, Macromedia Shockwave Player, postscript, pdf]

The Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA) was created to "foster interdisciplinary collaborations, workshops, research program, and educational initiatives at its participating institutions as well as within the field of nuclear astrophysics at large." Researchers can download the latest JINA-related articles. Students and educators can find out about outreach programs, lectures, and visits to JINA. Within the Educational Gallery, users can find x-ray burst simulations, nucleosythesis movies, and educational applets. Children can find an educational movie explaining the universe from tiny atoms to distance planets. [RME]

IERS: International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service [txt, pdf, postscript]

The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) was created to provide the astronomical, geodetic, and geophysical communities with standards, geophysical data, earth orientation parameters, and celestial and terrestrial reference systems. After discovering the structure and history of the Service, users can discover the many Product, Technique, and Combination Centres located throughout the world. The website provides a series of bulletins, technical notes, and annual reports. Visitors can learn about the measurement of irregularities in the earth's rotation and observation techniques. [RME]

South Pole Observatory

The South Pole Observatory (SPO), one of NOAA's Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory's atmospheric baseline observatories, created this website to provide information about the science, life, and history of the South Pole. Users can take a tour of the atmospheric baseline observatory and the dome. The website features a live camera from the SPO. Users can find details descriptions of the International Geophysical Year, the ozone layer, and more. Everyone can enjoy the many images of the South Pole. [RME]

BBC: Costing the Earth [RealOne Player]

At this website, BBC provides powerful stories which look "at man's effect on the environment and at how the environment reacts." Each Thursday, BBC creates a new article and on air show, which users can listen to at the website. Users can view numerous archived materials which discuss topics such as the energy supply, the salty soils of Australia, and the potential effects of climate change on the Norfolk Broads. Visitors can take part in the Radio 4 Science message board. Each week's topic also contains numerous links to outside sources where users can find more information about the presented material. [RME]

Association of Science - Technology Center [pdf]

"The Association of Science - Technology Centers Incorporated (ASTC) is an organization of science centers and museums dedicated to furthering the public understanding of science among increasing diverse audiences." Users can find information about over 550 science centers in 43 countries. Parents and teachers can find out how to make the best out of a museum field trip. The website presents information on traveling exhibitions, conferences, and publications. Users interested in the informal science education field can discover professional development opportunities. [RME]

Union of Concerned Scientists [Java]

Consisting of more than 100,000 members, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) augments "rigorous scientific analysis with innovative thinking and committed citizen advocacy to build a cleaner, healthier environment and a safer world." After learning about the Union's mission and history, users can find out about actions and news on the environment, energy, and more. The website features articles about global warming, nuclear energy, and other current scientific issues. Concerned visitors can find Green Tips and can test their knowledge about how their choices impact the environment. [RME]

Topic In Depth

Mssbauer Effect

Mssbauer Effect
Mssbauer Spectroscopy
Taking a Mssbauer Measurement
Introduction to Mssbauer Spectroscopy
Rudolf Mssbauer [pdf, RealOne Player]
Mars Mssbauer Group
IX International Conference Mssbauer spectroscopy and its applications [pdf]
LACAME '2004: Ninth Latin American Conference on Applications of the Mssbauer Effect

First, Wikipedia provides a concise explanation of the Mssbauer effect (1). Students can find links to learn about Mssbauer spectroscopy, which utilizes Mssbauer effect and the Doppler effect to monitor interactions between nuclei and electrons. Next, Virginia Tech's Chemistry Hypermedia Project provides a short educational summary of Mssbauer Spectroscopy (2). With the use of simple diagrams, the website helps students understand the basics of the instrumentation. The third website, created by physicist Dorothea Wiarda, offers short applets to educate users on the Mssbauer measurements (3). Students can learn about the experimental setup and the absorption in a Mssbauer spectrum. Next, the Royal Society of Chemistry's Mssbauer Spectroscopy special interest group describes the fundamentals of Mssbauer effect with colorful illustrations and diagrams (5). Students and educators can discover Mssbauer spectroscopy's usefulness as an analytical tool. At the fifth website, Nobel e-Museum presents a biography on the man who first discovered the Mssbauer effect, Rudolf Mssbauer (4 ). Users can download his Nobel Lecture, read his banquet speech, and listen to an interview with him from the 2000 meeting of Nobel Prize Winners. Next, the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz features its research and latest news from the Mssbauer spectrometers on Mars (6). Students can find a short explanation of the discovery of the Mssbauer effect. The last two websites feature upcoming conferences dealing with the Mssbauer effect. The IX International Conference will be held in Ekaterinburg, Russia in June 2004 (7). At the website, users can find out about the program, registration, and deadlines. Lastly, the Latin American Conference on Applications of The Mssbauer Effect, LACAME is aimed "at providing participants with significant and up-to-date Mssbauer Spectroscopy results from the Latin American groups and" stimulating "the exchange with specialists from different parts of the world." (8). While it is too early to find out the conference schedule and proceedings, users can learn about the conference topics, committees, abstract submissions, and deadlines. [RME]

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