The NSDL Scout Report for Physical Sciences -- Volume 3, Number 17

August 20, 2004

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




Topic In Depth


Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory: Labrador Sea Deep Convection Experiment Data Collection [jpeg, Network Common Data Form Software]

At this website, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory conveys its goal to improve the understanding of the Labrador Sea deep convective process and the reliability of parametric representations used in large scale models. Students can find a brief introduction to the convective process and its impacts on world climate. Researchers can find links to datasets organized by contributor, type of data, and by the number of the dataset. The website furnishes maps of the locations of the velocity, T and S, and meteorological measurements as well as the floaters and drifters and the model and ice data. Visitors can find links to references, manuscripts, homepages of groups and individuals working on the Labrador Sea, and related data sources. [RME]

ISIS: A World Centre for Condensed Matter Science with Neutrons and Muons [pdf]

"The world's brightest pulsed neutron and muon source located at the UK Rutherford Appleton Laboratory," ISIS "supports an international community of around 1600 scientists who use neutrons and muons for research in physics, chemistry, materials science, geology, engineering, and biology." Researchers can find detailed accounts of scientific advances from annual reports. Students can discover the characteristics of pulsed source, achievements of neutron scattering, and the details of a material world. The vibrant website presents the current and archived news, details of the ISIS instrumentation, the accelerator, and the target. [RME]

The National Center for Atmospheric Research: RAP Real-Time Weather Data [Java, gif]

The National Center for Atmospheric Research supplies four types of real-time weather data: satellite, radar, surface, and upper-air. In the satellite link, users have the choice to view images in either one of five wavelengths or one of the three multi-spectral assemblages. The images can also be viewed by the latest image, small loop, or a large loop. The WSR-88D radars provide images with various products, backgrounds, end date and time, and loop durations. Visitors can view interactive surface data (METARs) as well as Skew-T/Log-P diagrams of winds and temperatures at various pressures. The site also offers maps of surface and aloft forecasts.

Yale University: Terra Femto [pdf]

This Yale University website presents the Schmuttenmaer chemistry group's research in the development of experimental techniques that observe low frequency motions and absorptions directly. After reading the series of intriguing unanswered questions, students and educators can find an introduction to THz spectroscopy. The Research link offers colorful images and comprehensible text about several of its THz spectroscopy investigations. Within the descriptions, links are provided to better explain otherwise complicated phenomena. Researchers can find lengthy lists and a few downloads of the group's publications. [RME]

National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center: Arecibo Observatory [postscript, pdf]

The 305m radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory "is the largest single-dish radio telescope on our planet and is available to the global scientific community for astronomical observation at wavelengths between 6 m and 3 m." Researchers can search WAPP data and information about past, present, and future projects at the Observatory. The extensive website provides numerous data reduction packages and file formats. Users can find extensive materials on the planetary studies, space and atmospheric science, and astronomy occurring at the observatory. Students and educators can learn about Arecibo's summer program. The News link is filled with fascinating new accomplishments, employment opportunities, and upcoming astronomy talks and seminars. [RME]

National Geophysical Data Center: PETROS Igneous Petrology Databank version 6.1 [tar, gif, for]

The National Geophysical Data Center's (NGDC) world wide data bank, PETROS, contains "37,300 major element chemical analyses of igneous rocks divided into 307 major groups which represent geographic areas or petrologic provinces." The website offers a series of files describing the organization of the data bank, the identification formats and codes, and the operations system. Users can download a tar file containing the data, codes files, and programs. The site provides a link to the marine geology inventory where users can search through sediment and hardrock data. [RME]


Florida State University - Explores! World Headquarters [jpeg]

EXPLORES! (EXPloring and Learning the Operations and Resources of Environmental Satellites!) is an educational outreach program developed at Florida State University with the intention of introducing weather satellite receiving technology into the primary and secondary school classrooms. The website furnishes real time high resolution imagery and tropical updates. Visitors can find historical accounts of the civilian weather satellites launched by the United States. Educators can discover kindergarten through twelfth grade resources and curriculum. Users can learn how to become a part of the WXSAT-L community email list where weather satellite professionals, amateurs, and hobbyists converse about scientific, tracking, launching, and operations information. [RME]

Carlton Comprehensive High School: Chemical Stuff [Java, Internet Explorer Brower, Netscape Browser, zip, Microsoft Word]

David Dice, a technologies facilitator at Carlton Comprehensive High School, offers numerous tutorials for high school chemistry students at this website. Using either Internet Explorer or Netscape Browser, students can learn about chemical concepts such as the nature of proof; significant digits; and atomic, molecular, and formula mass. Users can find a series of experiments with helpful guidelines for teachers. While the site is rather austere, it does present the materials in a straightforward matter and is easy to navigate. [RME]

Old Dominion University: Stratospheric Ozone [pdf, exe]

The Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography at Old Dominion University provides this website to educate users on how scientists examine ozone in Earth's stratosphere. The Classroom Resources links offers a thorough twelve chapter online textbook with digital graphics, comprehensive discussions, and review questions. Educators and students can find a tutorial and download for Image2000 software, data and images for the exercises, and information on the satellite and sensor used to collect the data in the Computer Resources link. The site supplies an extensive acronym list and glossary as well. [RME]


At, Roger Suthren, a professor at Oxford Brookes University, offers educational materials on geologic phenomena throughout the world. Users can take virtual field trips to study the geology of Scotland, Alaska, and France. In the Regional Geology link, visitors can view wonderful pictures of the volcanoes of Germany, Italy, France, and Greece. Educators can find images of sediments and sedimentary rocks which can be used in a variety of classroom exercises. The website supplies descriptions and additional educational links about sedimentology and environmental geology. [RME]

Bakersfield College: Astronomy Notes [gif]

Nick Strobel, from Bakersfield College, created this website to provide educational materials for the introductory astronomy course he teaches. Users can find a seventeen chapter online textbook, equipped with fantastic astronomy images and numerous review questions. The site offers a description of angular momentum; a mathematics review; tables of astronomy constants, physical constants, planets, and stars; and a glossary. Students can benefit by reading the study guide, which addresses ways to improve study habits and exam scores. Be sure to read Mr. Strobel's Copyright Notice prior to utilizing the resources avaiable here. [RME]

Light and Matter [pdf, Java, tar]

Ben Crowell, a teacher at Fullerton College, provides great, free physics and astronomy educational resources at this website. The Physics link offers three well written, downloadable introductory physics textbooks -- one for life science students, one for scientists and engineers, and one for general education students. Each textbook covers topics in Newtonian physics, conservation laws, vibrations and waves, electricity and magnetism, optics, and the modern revolution in physics. In the Astronomy link, users can find an interactive applet for locating the planets in the night sky, a guide for stargazing with binoculars, and a star observation calendar. Students who would like more practice problems can visit the Spotter program, which provides math and science questions and checks their answers. [RME]


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - CMDL: Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory [postscript, pdf]

"The Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory (CMDL) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conducts sustained observations and research related to source and sink strengths, trends and global distributions of atmospheric constituents that are capable of forcing change in the climate of Earth through modification of the atmospheric radiative environment, those that may cause depletion of the global ozone layer, and those that affect baseline air quality." Students can find helpful descriptions and figures about climatic forces, greenhouse effect, and the carbon cycle. Researchers can find an abundance of climate-related data sets and lists of CMDL publications. The website presents clear descriptions and interactive tours of CMDL's worldwide facilities. Visitors can view near real-time and great archived images from the South Pole Live Camera. The site offers links to the homepages of CMDL research groups and observatories where users can obtain more in-depth information. [RME]

Canadian Micro-Mineral Association: ALKALI - NUTS

This website, created by the Canadian Micro-Mineral Association, furnishes information on the minerals and environments near Mont Saint-Hilaire (MSH) in Quebec, Canada. Students and educators can discover the physical characteristics, fluorescence, and the distribution and rarity of the hundreds of species of minerals found around MSH. Each description includes helpful images of the amazing minerals and environments. Users can learn about the two classification systems: Dana and Strunz. The site presents MSH-related current news, articles, and announcements. Users can also discover the meaning and origin of the term, ALKALI-NUTS. [RME]

MSNBC: The Might Mississippi - Rediscovering America's River [Macromedia Flash Player]

Reporter Mike Brunker and media producer Jim Seida provide daily stories at this MSNBC website of their travels of the full length of the Mississippi in August 2004. Users can view a short video about history of the Mississippi since the explorers. The entertaining articles are filled with beautiful pictures and maps of the great river. Visitors can discover how the geological and spatial attributes of the Mississippi affect the economic markets of the many states that border the river. The site also addresses the vast lock and dam system of the river. [RME]

Stanford Linear Accelerator Center: Physicists Discover Dramatic Difference in Behavior of Matter Versus Antimatter [pdf]

This Stanford University website announces the significant findings by the physicists conducting the BaBar experiment at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) that a dramatic difference exists between the behavior of matter and antimatter. Students and educators can learn about B mesons and anti-B mesons and their decay rates. Users can find a brief discussion about why understanding differences between matter and antimatter is so important. The site offers additional links to photographs of the BaBar detector, a description of charge parity violation, and a publication about the observation of direct CP violation. [RME]

The American Chemical Society Scholars Program [Microsoft Word, pdf]\scholars.html

This website promotes the American Chemical Society (ACS) Scholars Program, "designed to be a CATALYST for African American, Hispanic / Latino and American Indian students seeking to pursue undergraduate college degrees in chemical sciences and chemical technology." Users can learn about past scholarship winner demographics, eligibility requirements, and co-sponsoring organizations. Qualified candidates can read the program information and download application materials. Educators can find out how to become mentors of the ACS scholarship winners. [RME]

Nordic Volcanological Institute [pdf]

The Nordic Volcanological Institute was created by a group of Nordic scientists who sought to increase earth science knowledge by exploring active volcanism and tectonics of Iceland. Researchers can find lengthy lists of publications and find out about upcoming seminars. Students and teachers can obtain colorful, educational materials on the geology, volcanoes, eruptions, and earthquakes of Iceland. The site presents detailed information on the Institute's facilities, summer school programs, and its research in geochemistry and geophysics. Although the Geodesy link is only in Icelandic, all of the other interesting materials are written in English. [RME]

Topic In Depth


FEMA: Floods [pdf]
FEMA for Kids: Floods
USGS: Large Floods in the United States: Where They Happen and Why [pdf]
National Weather Service: Significant River Flood Outlook
NOAA: Flood Events [jpeg]
EarthSat: FloodThreat [gif]
Dartmouth Flood Observatory
National Park Service: Johnstown Flood National Memorial
First, FEMA discusses the devastating impacts floods can have on communities (1). Users can find great tips on the steps to take before, during, and after a flood. The second website, also created by FEMA, offers a more colorful, animated introduction to floods for children (2). Users can read a children's story about flooding, take a disaster math quiz, view astonishing flood photographs, and more. Next, the USGS supplies a pdf document of its nineteen-page report addressing the largest floods and flows within the United States (3). The website contains many colorful pictures, figures, and graphs to help people understand the affect climatology, topography, and basin size have on flow volumes. The fourth site, created by the National Weather Service, offers a general view of significant river flooding for the United States (4). By clicking on different locations on the map, users are connected to local forecast centers where they can find a variety of flood and weather related information. The next site, by NOAA, presents high-resolution, multi-channel color composite and single-channel grayscale imagery of flood events from all over the world (5). Users can search through the images by year and location. Next, EarthSat provides a color map of the continental United States indication by county how much rain is needed within a three hour period over the next twenty four hours to cause flooding (6). The website furnishes an additional map of the precipitation forecast for the maximum amounts expected in a three hour period. The seventh website features the Dartmouth Flood Observatory's role in detecting, mapping, measuring, and analyzing extreme flood events (7). This vast site offers archived data from 1985 to the present, a world atlas of flood hazards, and much more. Lastly, the National Park Service explains one of the worst disasters in the history of the United States, the Johnstown flood of 1889 (8). Users can learn the grave consequences dam failures can create by viewing images of the flood and reading the bibliographies and eye witness accounts. [RME]

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From The NSDL Scout Report for Physical Sciences, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

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Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-2003. 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.

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