The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - November 22, 2000

November 22, 2000

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

The target audience of the new Scout Report for Science & Engineering is faculty, students, staff, and librarians in the life sciences, physical sciences, and engineering. Each biweekly issue offers a selective collection of Internet resources covering topics in the sciences, and related fields such as math and engineering, that have been chosen by librarians and content specialists in the given field of study.

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering is also provided via email once every two weeks. Subscription information is included at the bottom of each issue.

In This Issue

New from Internet Scout


Learning Resources

General Interest

Current Awareness

New Data

In The News

New from Internet Scout

Internet Scout Weblog
The Scout Project has launched a new service for our readers, the Internet Scout Weblog. In the course of our daily surfing for the Scout Reports we come across numerous interesting items that for some reason or another don't quite fit our selection criteria. Rather than just sharing these items with each other or allowing them to sink unnoticed beneath the digital sands, we decided to create the Internet Scout Weblog, a new and separate service to complement our Reports. Like most 'Blogs, the type and number of resources listed in the Internet Scout Weblog may vary considerably from day to day. Most of the items are culled from the academic sources we rely on for the Reports, but may also include general interest or pithy sites or stories that strike our fancy (or funnybone). Please take a look and let us know what you think. [MD]
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The British Geological Survey Lexicon of Named Rock Units
Users can search this database of British rock units by rock unit, preferred map code, maximum age of rock unit, and database status code (described at site) and retrieve information about which British Geological Survey (BGS) maps and publications cover those units. For example, a search for Stockdale Group and Ashgil leads to a record citing the lithology, upper and lower boundary definitions, unit thickness, geographic extent, parent unit, previous name, stratotype, and bibliographic reference for the Paleozoic Stockdale Group of Northern England. The Lexicon is intended foremost as a reference source and dictionary for the use of BGS geoscientists, but the basic information on the stratigraphical framework and rock terminology of the UK is useful for non-BGS geologists visiting the site. [HCS]
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Four Endocrine Journals
Endocrine Reviews (EDRV)
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCE&M)
Molecular Endocrinology (MEND)
The Endocrine Society has announced that all four of its endocrinology journals are now available online, with free access to each full journal through November 30, 2000. Endocrinology online, which publishes "original work ranging from subcellular mechanisms to whole animal physiology," begins January 1997 (Vol 138), abstracts from January 1985 (Vol 96), and tables of contents from August 1965. Endocrine Reviews (EDRV) online, containing bimonthly review articles in experimental and clinical endocrinology, begins February 1997 (Vol 18), abstracts from August 1989 (Vol 2), and tables of contents from February 1980. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCE&M) online, featuring original works in clinical practice and applied clinical research, begins January 1997 (Vol 82), abstracts from February 1975 (Vol 40), and tables of contents from September 1965. Finally, Molecular Endocrinology (MEND) online, which provides a forum "for papers devoted to describing molecular mechanisms by which hormones and related compounds regulate function," begins January 1997 (Vol 11), and abstracts are online from January 1987 (Vol 1). [LXP]
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The Nonlinear Magnification Homepage [QuickTime]
Non-linear magnification (e.g., "fish-eye views," etc.) is the topic of this site from Alan Keahey of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. (The site is currently housed at Indiana University's Department of Computer Sciences.) The Brief Tour of Nonlinear Magnification provides a relatively non-technical introduction to linear and non-linear magnification, multiple transformations, constrained transformations, and basic 1-D and 2-D transformations. The FAD Toolkit page contains "a library of sophisticated and efficient nonlinear magnification routines, and also implements user interfaces for interactive manipulation of magnification transformations across a range of domain tasks." From the toolkit page, users can learn about applications of the toolkit, such as cluster visualization for fraud detection and graph visualization for the WWW. QuickTime movies and hyperlinked references round out the site. Unfortunately, the FAD Toolkit is no longer freely available, but this site is still a valuable reference for those interested in magnification techniques. [HCS]
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National Reconnaissance of Emerging Contaminants in the Nation's Waters -- USGS
The Toxic Substances Hydrology (Toxics) Program of the US Geological Survey has implemented a national reconnaissance effort "to provide baseline information on the potential environmental occurrence of select 'emerging contaminants' (such as human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, industrial and household wastewater products, and sex and steroidal hormones) in streams." The Website includes an overview of the program, a map (and table) of the stream sampling sites used in the Emerging Contaminants Reconnaissance, and a list of target compounds. Also on site are select highlights of the program, a description of research projects, fact sheets and proceedings, and a hyperlinked bibliography. Of importance to both aquatic ecologists and toxicologists, this resource should serve as a useful reference. [LXP]
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Scientific Computing FAQ: S.C., Numerical Analysis, and Associated Fields Resource Guide
Numerical Analysis (NA) is the union of theoretical and computational investigation into the computer solution of mathematical problems, including linear algebra, statistics, and operations research. The Scientific Computing FAQ metasite lists and links to resources such as electronic texts and software catalogs for NA and related fields in scientific computing. Examples of topics covered include Dense Linear Algebra Systems, Stochastic Differential Equations, and Random Numer Generators (RNG's), among others. The site is provided by Mathcom Solutions, Inc., a consulting business for the fields of finance, engineering, and operations. [HCS]
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Global Invasive Species Database -- ISSG
The newly online (but still under construction) Global Invasive Species Database was developed by the Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG), an international group of 100+ scientific and policy experts with the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The entry page of the Website offers background information on invasive species and instructions on how to use the database. A section entitled 100 of the worst (ranging from Rat to Purple Loosestrife) gives viewers an idea of the type of information that will be included in the database, both in terms of expected detail and organizational structure of the database. Types of information provided for each species include Ecology, Distribution, Habitat Matches, References, and Contacts. In addition, a Predictive feature allows viewers to predict the expansion of invasive species, and the Early Warning System matches habitats that the species has already invaded with "other similar habitats around the world." Although still under construction, this database should be a powerful tool for researchers and educators, once completed. [LXP]
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Learning Resources

The Foot Rule : Unit Conversions
"The FootRule is a continuously expanding collection of converters, units and measures, data tables and facilities for the student or teacher, scientific or engineering worker, parent and child. The converters provide not only information such as how many miles in a light year, the difference between US fluid and dry gallons, the differences between both these and the UK gallon, but also gives the invaluable background on units, their origin and definitions." The site is divided into subcategories organized by topic and by type of interface. Users can access information via either a thumbwheel control or a table. The abundant topics available include kinematic viscosity, acceleration, time, flow, and luminance, among others. An easy-to-use form allows visitors to enter desired conversions and choose scientific notation. The site also features tables of physical constants, the periodic table, and imperial capacities for the US and Britain. A nice help page (How to use them), recommendations for browser settings, and a suggestion form are part of The Foot Rule's user-friendly content. This is an excellent resource for students and teachers in all disciplines of science. [HCS]
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Microbiology Textbook
A team of professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, spearheaded by Dr. Timothy Paustian, is collaborating to build this online textbook on microbiology. Though some sections are under construction, most are fully functional and graphically illustrated. The textbook covers a wide range of topics: Classification and Phylogeny, The Structure of Procaryotes, Nutrition and Growth of Bacteria, Metabolism, Host Parasite Relationships and Disease, Control of Microbial Growth, and Bacterial Genetics. Each chapter contains a broad introduction to the subject, followed by detailed text, tables, and color figures. Targeting the advanced undergraduate, this textbook will be an excellent online resource for educators and students alike. [LXP]
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Digital Chem 1A
The University of California, Berkeley College of Chemistry's homepage for their introductory chemistry course contains information useful to chemistry students everywhere. Topics covered include atoms, elements, and the periodic table, stoichiometry, ideal and real gases, acid-base and solubility equilibrium, oxidation-reduction reactions, thermochemistry, introductory thermodynamics, nuclear chemistry, and radioactivity. The virtual lab manual provides well-written introductions to lab topics and gives links to related Websites (both on and off the U.C. campus). The appendices supply basic information for students with no chemistry background, unit conversion tips, and statistical analysis how-tos. The Resources page consists of links to a tutorial on using significant figures, an online periodic table, 3-D images of molecules, and chemical safety information. [HCS]
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North American Drought: A Paleo Perspective
The NOAA Paleoclimatology Program is responsible for this excellent resource on Drought in North America, described within a geological timescale. Specifically, the Website aims "to explain how paleoclimatic data can provide information about past droughts and about the natural variability of drought over timescales of decades to millennia." The site is organized into four main sections: The Beginning (an introduction); The Story (topics include What is drought? and Paleoclimatology and drought); The Data (The Instrumental Record, The Last 500 Years, Even Longer Records); A Final Word (covering drought and the future, and Global Warming scenarios). Each section includes detailed, illustrated information, with hyperlinks to related Websites. Whether for researchers interested in learning more about the utility of paleoclimate data, or educators seeking instructional materials, this Website is a well-designed and thorough resource. [LXP]
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Organic Chemistry Help
Frostburg State University's Chemistry Department provides this help page for students of organic chemistry. Highlights of the site include tutorials, organic chemistry FAQs, organic reaction mechanisms, and practice tests with explanations for incorrect answers. The interactive tutorials provide concise review information on topics in organic chemistry (e.g., alkanes and alkenes), molecular drawings, and practice questions. Organic Chemistry Help is a welcome relief for students tackling this very difficult discipline. [HCS]
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General Interest

National Advanced Driving Simulator [QuickTime, .pdf]
The National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) is housed at the University of Iowa and is associated with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Visitors to the NADS Website can see a slideshow overview of the facility, read about the experimental program, and view simulations (QuickTime). Multi-body dynamics, software engineering, tire soil, simulation technology, and electrical engineering are some of the topics discussed at the NADS site. Data on mass, moment of inertia, and center of mass for vehicles ranging from a station wagon to a Hummer can be viewed via the Vehicle Models page (.pdf). This is a cool site for taking a glimpse at the latest in automotive engineering and computer simulation technologies. [HCS]
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Theory & Science Journal
Theory & Science is a "peer reviewed, academic journal that is devoted to the discussion of theory, science, and social change." Affiliated with the International Consortium for Alternative Academic Publication (ICAAP), Theory & Science is offered free of charge. The first issue, published fall of 2000, contains five feature articles, including "Towards An Understanding Of The Global Market System: A New Perspective For Economics," by Rolf Schroeder, and "The Place Of Theory In Applied Sociology: A Reflection," by Jay Weinstein, among others. The current call for papers reflects the editor's respect for intellectual creativity (independent of academic rank of the thinker), and invites participation from "anyone with a truly inspired thought, regardless of scientific disciple." [LXP]
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Memoirs of a Space Engineer
The homepage of this site, provided by the Australian Broadcasting Association, says, "In the early 1960s, the US began setting up deep-space tracking stations in Australia. Doug Rickard found himself tracking missions to Mars and the moon. Friendly scientific rivalry and those small but spectacular mistakes in space exploration made for a rich episode in Doug's life. These are stories from his memoirs." Memoirs of a Space Engineer includes sometimes humorous accounts of how images of Mars were taken, how data were transferred from the spacecraft to Earth, and the equipment used in the Mariner IV unmanned mission to Mars. The Woomera Deep Space Station, Australia, and the Goldstone Deep Space Tracking Station, California, were the agencies responsible for tracking the missions. Black-and-white photographs from the 1960s accompany the lively, interesting text. [HCS]
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Fishery Market News
Curious about the economics behind fishing or how fish prices have changed since the 1930s? The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) offers this Website to track the pulse of the fish market, by observing, recording, and reporting current market conditions. In addition to the daily/ weekly pricing reports from markets in Boston, Long Beach, New Orleans, New York, and Seattle, the Fishery Market News Website posts annual summaries of fish prices for several specific fisheries (cod, foreign fisheries), seafood types (clam, cod, crab, croaker, flounder, lobster, pollock, squid, swordfish, or whiting), and fish markets (Fultin Fish Market and New York Frozen). A no-frills site with "just the facts, please," this is an excellent resource for researchers. [LXP]
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Leonid Meteor Shower: Sowing the Seeds of Life? [RealMedia, QuickTime]
The annual Leonid Meteor Shower, which peaked this year on November 18, has renewed some scientists's interest in panspermia -- the idea that life on Earth came from outer space. Measurements of organic matter included in the Leonid shower were taken by NASA. "Findings to date indicate that the chemical precursors to life -- found in comet dust -- may well have survived a plunge into early Earth's atmosphere," said astronomer Peter Jenniskens of the Ames Research Center and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute. This Website, from, features an article about the Leonid data accompanied by links to related sites such as a video of the meteor shower (RealMedia or QuickTime), NASA's astrobiology unit, and other news and feature articles about panspermia. Thought-provoking! [HCS]
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Current Awareness
(For links to additional current awareness on tables of contents, abstracts, preprints, new books, data, conferences, etc., visit the The Scout Report for Science & Engineering Current Awareness Metapage:

Clinton Names a Diverse Group of Researchers to Receive the 2000 National Medals of Science
Winners of the National Medal of Science, awarded annually "to a diverse group of researchers who set new directions in social policy, neuroscience, biology, chemistry, bioengineering, mathematics, physics, and earth and environmental sciences," were chosen recently by President Clinton. This news bulletin from the National Science Foundation describes the work of each of the winners and links to a factsheet about the prize. [HCS]
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World Meteorological Organization Antarctic Ozone Bulletins
Every two weeks from August through November, the Secretariat of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issues bulletins containing information on "the state of the ozone layer in the Antarctic." Based on WMO data from satellites (measuring global ozone levels) and ozone monitoring stations in the southern hemisphere, each bulletin summarizes the relative size of the ozone hole, recent ozone and UV index values, and meteorological conditions in the lower stratosphere (temperatures, cloud cover). The final bulletin for the year 2000 will be issued November 23. However, all previous bulletins are available for browsing on-site, as well. [LXP]
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New Publications

"Climate of 2000-October US National Analysis"
On November 15, 2000, the National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Association (NOAA) released this newest monthly report on the climate of the United States. Global and regional analyses, drought information, and records of extreme climatic events are given for the month of October 2000. Color maps accompany the text. [HCS]

Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations in Canada: 2000 [.pdf]
The Canadian Wildlife Service has posted these hunting regulations for migratory birds for Canada in the year 2000. Listed by province, each document (.pdf format) includes an overview of wildlife management units in the province, as well as hunting dates, boundaries, and bag limits. Although intended for hunters, this publication may be useful in estimating human-caused predation pressure or disturbance intensity on certain bird populations in Canada. [LXP]

Institute of Physics free online journals [.pdf, PostScript, .gzip]
From now until December 22, 2000, the Institute of Physics Publishing is allowing free access to 31 electronic journals. Users must first register and create a user name and password, then they may access full-text articles, abstracts, and references from a range of journals (current and back issues)
including the Journal of Turbulence, Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering, Plasma Sources Science and Technology, and more. [TK]

"A Climate and Environmental Strategy for US Agriculture" [.pdf]
World Resources Institute (WRI) has recently posted this article (.pdf format) on the economic consequences of potential climate policy (e.g., reduction of greenhouse emissions under the Kyoto Protocol) on the agricultural community. The authors found that, contrary to some suggestions, farmers would not suffer economic losses under price changes expected under the Kyoto Protocol, and net cash returns could range from positive values (in the right policy setting) to only slightly negative values (less that one percent). [LXP]

"Putting it together: The Science and Technology of Composite Materials"
Composite materials are light, strong, corrosion-resistant composites of two or more materials used commonly in manufacturing. This recent report is from the Australian Academy of Science with support from The Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures, Ltd. and the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science and Resources. It gives information on the history, manufacturing techniques, and efficiency of composite materials. A glossary, reference list, and links to educational sites as well as other composite materials sites are also featured. [HCS]

Essays on Science and Society -- Science
This interesting collection of monthly essays on Science and Society has continued to develop since its initiation in 1998 in honor of the 50th anniversary of AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science). Recent articles include "Polygraph Testing and the DOE National Laboratories," "Islamic Women in Science," and "In Search of Einstein's Genius," but interested viewers should browse the now dozens of titles that span the wide reaches of science and social issues. Articles are written by many of the world's leading scientists/ thinkers, and may be viewed in full text (some as summaries). [LXP]

"Incident Management Situation Report" (on Forest Fires) -- NIFC
This brief summary of forest fires across the nation, from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), covers recent events, updated weekly, as well as a year-to-date summary. Information is presented mostly in table format, with a brief recap of results at the beginning of the document. [LXP]

Global, Hemispheric, and Zonal Temperature Deviations Derived from Radiosonde Records
Jeff Angell, researcher at the NOAA Air Resources Laboratory, has put together this briefing on global temperature readings from a 63-station, globally distributed radiosonde network. According to the report based on this network, during 1958-1999, the global, near-surface air temperature warmed by 0.14 degrees C/decade and the tropospheric 850-300 mb layer warmed by 0.10 degrees C/decade, the same as reported for the period 1958-1998 (Angell 1999). Graphs and data accompany the text. [HCS]

Bioenergy Program Announced -- USDA
The US Department of Agriculture has announced the Bioenergy Program, intended "to promote increased production of bioenergy (ethanol and biodiesel)." This brief fact sheet describes the intent of the program, including the promotion of the use of agricultural commodities for production of bioenergy, in particular, crops such as "barley, corn, grain sorghum, oats, rice, wheat, soybeans, sunflower seed, canola, crambe, rapeseed, safflower, flaxseed, mustard seed, and cellulosic crops, such as switchgrass and short rotation trees." [LXP]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education

American Institute of Physics Career Services

US Fish and Wildlife Service Jobs (searchable interface)
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American Physical Society's Fellowship Program
Deadlines: various

UPE (Upsilon Pi Epsilon) ACM (First Society in Computing) Student Chapter Scholarship Award
Deadline: June 30, 2001

Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program -- NSF
Deadline: February 7, 2001

Program for Gender Equity in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (PGE) -- NSF
Deadlines: January 30, 2001: Elementary and Middle School Informal Education
March 30, 2001: High School, Undergraduate, Teacher and Faculty Development, and Educational Technologies
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Marine Bioinvasions
April 9-11, 2001; New Orleans, LA
Abstract Deadline: December 15, 2000

EECO: Environment and Energy Conference: Business Strategies for Sustainable Economic Growth
January 20-30, 2001; Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Second Ohio University Student Conference on Applied Ethics
April 28, 2001; Ohio University, Athens, OH
Abstract Deadline: February 8, 2001

International Symposium on Physical Design
April 1-4, 2001; Sonoma, CA
Abstracts Deadline: December 4, 2000

Bioactive Fungal Metabolites: Impact and Exploitation
April 22-27, 2001; University of Wales, Swansea
Preliminary Registration: January 2, 2001
Abstract Deadline: February 21, 2001

The International Conference on Scientific & Engineering Computing (SCE) 2001
March 19-23, 2001; Beijing, China
Abstracts Deadline: December 31, 2000
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New Data

Major Land Resource Areas
This interactive map from the US Department of Agriculture displays US land use areas by color. Clicking on a region of the map takes you to a page featuring a blown-up map and a paragraph describing the major land use of the area (e.g., agriculture, residential, industrial, etc.). From there, you can also access regional elevation, climate, water, and soil information. [HCS]
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DRYAD: A database of trees
The Green City Wageningen group, comprised of agricultural researchers in the Netherlands and affiliated with the Wageningen Agricultural University, has announced the online database DRYAD, containing 958 species and cultivars "selected for use in the Dutch urban environment." Each entry includes extensive descriptions compiled by IBN-DLO, the Institute for Forestry and Nature Research. The database may be searched by scientific name or attribute (e.g., color, height). While intended for aesthetic use, the database includes several fields that may be of interest to researchers, namely the Pests and Diseases section, the Leaf Analysis section (giving optimal ratios of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese), Site Requirements, and Phenology (leaf and flower). The database is also available in Dutch. [LXP]
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California Department of Water Resources Rainfall Maps
The California Department of Water Resources's Division of Flood Management provides this series of real-time maps representing rainfall over California and Western Nevada. The color, .gif maps, available as either large-scale or detailed regional maps, show one-hour, six-hour, or twenty-four-hour rain gage readings (in inches). [HCS]
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Two Paleoclimatology data sets
1. Decadal Sea Surface Temperature Variability in the Sub-Tropical South Pacific from 1726 to 1997 A.D.
Sr/Ca data and SST reconstruction:
2. Influence of mean climate change on climate variability from a 155-year tropical Pacific coral record:
del 18O data and data description:
The NOAA Paleoclimatology Program has posted two data sets from recently published research articles. The first, by Braddock K. Linsley et al., was just published in Science in the November 10, 2000 issue [v.290, pp1145-1148]. Included at the site are the abstract, four figures, and the Sr/Ca data and SST reconstruction (URL also given above). The second data set is from an article by F.E. Urban et al., published in the October 26, 2000 issue of Nature [v.407, pp. 989-993]. Included here are the abstract, four figures (color), and links to the "del 18O data" and data description. [LXP]
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In The News

Lights out at LEP
1. "Lights out at LEP"
2. "LEP Shuts Down after Eleven Years of Forefront Research"
3. "Collider to Close for Good"
4. Large Electron Positron Collider
5. "The LEP Collider: From Design to Approval and Commissioning"
6. Origins: The Heart of the Matter: Inside CERN, the World's Largest Particle Accelerator
7. "Scientists Close in on Elusive Particle"
8. "Higgs Boson on the Horizon"
9. Large Hadron Collider Project
The Large Electron Positron Collider (LEP) at the Swiss-based European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) closes its doors for good this month. This is after the LEP experiments produced collisions compatible with the production of the elusive Higgs boson, a theoretical particle thought to be related to the formation of particle mass. Unfortunately for LEP, the new data were too inconclusive to justify another year of running the collider. LEP, which is the world's largest particle collider, will be replaced by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), that will continue with Higgs boson research. This week's In the News features news articles about the LEP's closing, public education sites from LEP, CERN, and LHC, and information about why the discovery of the Higgs boson is so essential to physicists.

Sites (1), (2), and (3) are news stories about the closure of LEP and contain good summaries of LEP operations. The European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) offers a couple of pages specifically about the LEP, (4) and (5). And (6) showcases CERN and its activities with color images of the equipment and analyses and live Webcasts from CERN. Sites (7) and (8) are news articles about the near-discovery of the Higgs boson and its implications for particle physics. Finally, the homepage of the Large Hadron Collider Project (LHC) (9), the accelerator that will replace LEP, gives an overview of LHC, makes available design parameters and layout schematics, and discusses issues in accelerator physics. [HCS]
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The Scout Report for Science & Engineering is published every other Wednesday by the Internet Scout Project, located in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Computer Sciences.

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