The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - January 31, 2001

January 31, 2001

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

The target audience of the 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


Learning Resources

General Interest

Current Awareness

New Data

In The News


Facility for the Analysis of Chemical Thermodynamics, F*A*C*T-Web
Housed at the Centre for Research in Computational Chemistry at Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, F*A*C*T is "a fully integrated thermochemical database which couples proven software with self-consistent critically assessed thermodynamic data. F*A*C*T is now employed in many diverse fields of chemical thermodynamics by pyrometallurgists, hydrometallurgists, chemical engineers, corrosion engineers, inorganic chemists, geochemists, ceramists, electrochemists, environmentalists, and so on." The highlight of F*A*C*T-Web is its free, easily searchable databases that include Compound-Web, Reaction-Web, Equilib-Web, and Aqualib-Web. With Compound-Web, users enter up to four elements or one compound and the program gives compounds of the elements or phases of the compound. With Reaction-Web, users enter units, temperature limits, phase, and number of steps and the program calculates changes in extensive thermochemical functions (H, G, V, S, Cp, A) for a species, a group of species, or for a chemical reaction. With Equilib-Web, users enter temperature, mass and pressure, and up to three reactants and five different elements and the program will list the most stable products of that combination. With Aqualib-Web, users enter up to three reactants, including water, with up to five different elements and the program will calculate the chemical equilibrium. All four databases have instructions. Besides these handy databases, F*A*C*T-Web also includes neatly categorized links to sites in inorganic chemical thermodynamics. A section on the FACT-Win database (for purchase), solution database, and links to news and announcements from F*A*C*T round out the site. This is a superb resource for chemists. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

National Wetlands Biogeochemical Database (NWBD)
The National Wetland Biogeochemical Database (NWBD) is "an effort to locate, collect and compile existing biogeochemical information on wetlands of the United States including Hawaii and Alaska." Funded in part by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the database will be used to develop a Nutrient Criteria Technical Guidance Manual for US Wetlands -- for use in assessing potential nutrient-related trophic state impairment and pollution problems. Presently focused on water column and soil biogeochemical parameters (e.g., N, P, C, Metals, temp., DO, pH, etc.), the completed NWBD will act as a reference data set for biogeochemical parameters at different regional, community, and temporal scales. Data contributors are invited to participate using NWBD's on-site contact information. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Solar Terrestrial Activity Report
This chock-full of data page is hosted by the DX-listeners club (folks who search for distant radio signals). At the top is a graph of solar flux, sunspot number, and planetary A index, measured every five days, from October 30, 2000 to the present. Next come links to more data and graphs on solar energy, cycles, etc. Recent Solar and Geomagnetic Data, Solar Wind, and Electron Fluence Charts are updated daily. Also on-site are data for Solar Cycles 1-23; a Graphical Comparison of Cycles 21, 22 and 23; a Graphical Comparison of Cycles 10, 13, 17, 20 and 23; and Historical Solar and Geomagnetic data charts 1954-2000. In addition, users will find data and data links including active solar region maps, geomagnetic forecasts, and reports of recent solar activities such as flares and coronal mass injections. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

Marine Stocks at Risk of Extinction -- AFS
"Marine, Estuarine, and Diadromous Fish Stocks at Risk of Extinction in North America (Exclusive of Pacific Salmonids)" [.pdf]
The American Fisheries Society (AFS)'s recently concluded three-year Marine Stocks at Risk Project has posted a collection of articles, policy statements, and symposia proceedings on marine stocks at risk. The documents include "the first-ever list of marine fish stocks and species at risk of extinction" (MSRE), of which 82 species or populations are vulnerable, threatened, or endangered in North American waters. The list (excluding Pacific Salmonids) was first published in November 2000 in the journal Fisheries [Vol 25(11): 1-25] and may be downloaded in that format as a .pdf document. Links to additional resources are given in the summary note. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Online Software for Clustering
This metasite provides informal reviews and links (mainly taken from electronic mailing lists and newsgroups) to clustering software that is free on the Internet. The software is accessible by anonymous FTP, Gopher, or World Wide Web. Examples of links annotated here include LVQ_PAK for Learning Vector Quantization algorithms, Tooldiag for the analysis and visualization of sensorial data, and Fixed Point Cluster Analysis. The site is maintained by Fionn Murtagh, Associate Professor of Astronomy at Louis Pasteur University's Strasbourg Observatory, France. This site is worth browsing by scientists interested in cluster analysis techniques for a variety of disciplines. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

Saccharomyces Genome Deletion Project
The Saccharomyces Genome Database (SGD) has recently posted online the results of the Saccharomyces Genome Deletion Project. Established in order to generate a complete set of yeast deletion strains (as complete as possible), the overall goal of the project is to assign function to the open reading frames (ORFs) "through phenotypic analysis of the mutants." The Deletion Project homepage describes the project and offers a public access search page for strains -- for which more than 20,000 are now available. In addition, the site includes links to related research sites and publications. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Learning Resources

Two from the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Investor
The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Investor: Technologies
The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Investor: Materials
The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Investor, an online resource covering fuel cell technologies and companies, hosts these pages on technology and materials of hydrogen fuel cells. The Technologies page is a metapage divided into the following sections: Fuel Cells and Hydrogen in General, Types of Fuel Cells, Fuel Cell Applications, Turbines, and Rocket Propulsion. The sections offer such links as The Future of Fuel Cells (from the Energy Science Info site), Advanced Fuel Cell Power systems (US DOE), Hydrogen Powered Car (from the Philadelphia Inquirer), and How Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells Work (a cool Flash animated movie from Ballard Power Systems). The Materials page is a metapage with links to information about Hydrogen, H2 Storage Materials, Hydrogen Rich Fuels, Fuel Cell Components, and Metals. Examples of links found at the Materials page include Handling Hydrogen Safely (from the National Hydrogen Association), Hydride Information Center (Sandia National Laboratories), "Synthesis, Properties and Applications of Graphite Nanofibers" (research paper from Northeastern University), The American Methanol Institute, and a solubility graph for selected metals (from REB Research Services). [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

Ecological Society of America Education Section: ESA-EdWeb [.pdf]
It is rare to find this many good resources organized at one location. The Ecological Society of America (ESA)'s education section provides a gold mine of educational offerings and links. From the online posting of "Experiments to Teach Ecology" [.pdf], to a selection of Ecology 101 materials, to a list of K-16 faculty enhancement projects -- and much more, educators will be rewarded by browsing here. Although specific resources vary in content and depth, the cumulative offerings provide a wealth of information and examples to any teachers of ecology. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Shale Photos
Juergen Schieber of the University of Texas, Arlington's geology department has put together this site showcasing photographs of shale deposits. The pictures come from various research projects of Schieber and his students and show thin sections (normal and polarized light), SEM images, polished slabs, and outcrops. Each photo has a scale and an explanatory caption. Here users will find illustrations of grain sorting, inorganic and microbial laminites, and other sedimentary structures. Each image can be clicked to get a larger version. This is an informative site for students of sedimentary geology. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

Two on Amphibians and Reptiles of Washington State
Amphibians of Washington
Reptiles of Washington
Two resources on the Amphibians and Reptiles of Washington State have recently been placed online. Created by Brad Moon at the University of Washington at Seattle's Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Herpetology Section), these Websites feature northwestern amphibians and reptiles. Each Website is organized by Order, Family, and Species, with details provided for some species, including a color photograph, written description, and information on Distribution, Habitat, Cool Biology Facts, and Conservation status. Other information accessible via links includes distribution maps, identification keys, phylogenetic information, and online bibliographies. For students and researchers seeking basic information and natural history facts on Washington's amphibians and reptiles, these two resources are nice references. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

University of Washington N-Body Shop
University of Washington's N-Body Shop is "in the business of designing and running software that enables high-performance computing on a variety of astronomy-related problems, including large-scale structure formation and planet formation." At the N-Body Shop site you can browse the multimedia picture gallery, featuring simulations of planet and galaxy formations and physical properties, read pre-prints by researchers, and download N-body simulation software. The site's K-12 outreach page features links to astronomical images and animations, sites on the history of astronomy, hyperlinked newsletters and announcements, and curriculum materials. This is the place to learn how a star is born. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

General Interest

Adaptive Brain Interfaces
The Adaptive Brain Interfaces (ABI) project, sponsored by the European Union information technologies program known as ESPRIT, looks at artificial neural networks. The objective of the ABI project is to use electroencephalogram (EEG) signals as an alternative means of interacting with computers, where the human and the computer learn from each other. One application of this technology would be assisting persons with disabilities. The ABI project has provided this site containing a project overview, graphs of experimental EEG outputs, a list of research papers (some hyperlinked), and video clips of virtual keyboard operations. Links to research partners (Institute for Systems, Informatics and Safety, IRCCS Ospedale di Riabilitazione S. Lucia, Fase Sistemi Srl, Italy, Laboratory of Computational Engineering, Helsinki University of Technology, Finland) are also given. Anyone who is concerned with providing equal access to information will enjoy the ABI site. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

John Clayton Herbarium
One of the early collectors of plant specimens, John Clayton (1694-1773), has gained historical fame through his specimens, which were studied in Europe by the Swedish biologist Carolus Linnaeus. The Natural History Museum (London) hosts the John Clayton Herbarium homepage, providing historical information on John Clayton, a searchable database of Clayton's specimens (shown as JPEG images), a concise bibliography, and links to other historical botanical collections. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, University of Chicago
The Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at the University of Chicago emphasizes the interdisciplinary aspect of materials science. This Website is a metapage with links to all of the departments involved in the MRSEC, including mathematics, physics, chemistry, geoscience, and bioscience. A special feature of the MRSEC page is its Research Nuggets section that gives mini-lessons on recent discoveries at MRSEC. The "Nuggets" contain explanatory text, references, and illustrations (diagrams, photographs, or laboratory images) on topics in materials science such as templating, flow, and annealing. Users will also find an overview of the facilities, calendar of events, publications by faculty members, and research abstracts at the site. In addition, a nice section of links to outreach programs is featured. Learn about how the MRSEC has participated in public outreach projects with the Museum of Science and Industry and Chicago elementary schools and sponsored a science camp, teacher reeducation program, and minority outreach program, and more. The site is fully searchable too. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

Migratory Birds -- Environment Canada
Environment Canada's Migratory Birds Homepage serves as a hub of information on the agency's research and education programs related to birds. Featured at this metasite are the Canadian Bird Trends Database (described in the May 26, 1999 Scout Report for Science & Engineering), The Breeding Bird Survey Homepage (see the March 4, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering),
the Maritimes Breeding Bird Survey, Partners in Flight, and several other bird monitoring projects. The site also provides management information, hunting regulations, and relevant information on wildlife, pollution, and meteorology. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

"Zircons are Forever"
Zircons have been in the news lately because of the recent discovery that the chemical signature of the oldest known zircon crystal (4.4 billion years) suggests that water, and thus conditions for life on Earth, was present then. Geologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison contributed to a large part of this study. Zircons are Forever is a newly posted feature page on the UW Geology and Geophysics Website. The text describes the basic chemistry of zircon and why it is an important mineral for studies of mantle formation. Particular emphasis is on stable isotope geochemistry. A hyperlinked bibliography leads to abstracts and plots of oxygen isotope values from papers by UW faculty and graduate students. Zircons are Forever adds a little more background to the recent headlines. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

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:

First Results from Brookhaven's Heavy Collider
Collisions between gold ions in Brookhaven National Laboratory's (BNL) newly operational Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) have created nuclear matter resulting from the highest energy density ever achieved in a scientific experiment. One major goal of RHIC experiments is to look for evidence of a transition to a new phase of nuclear matter called the quark-gluon plasma (QGP), which might have been present at the beginning of the universe and formed the matter of today's world. The recently released results confirm that the collider is working and ready for intense experimentation. This news page from BNL provides a general description of the gold-gold experiment and results, color images of the results as seen by the detectors, a three dimensional animation of the collision, and links to other RHIC resources. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

New Primates Discovered in Madagascar and Brazil
Nine lemur and two marmoset species native to the forests of Madagascar and Brazil, and new to (Western) science, were described earlier this month. Despite the excitement associated with this discovery, the forest habitats of most of these species appear to be already at risk from development pressures. This news brief from Environment News Service gives an overview of the discovery. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

New Publications

"Charged Particle Multiplicity Near Mid-Rapidity in Central Au+Au Collisions at sqrt(s)=56 and 130 AGeV" [.pdf, PostScript]
The Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) provides this page offering access to a pre-print of the paper submitted to Physics Review Letters giving some of the first results from gold-gold collisions in Brookhaven's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. There are different options for accessing the pre-print (download as .pdf, .ps, or link to Los Alamos preprint server). [HCS]

A Look At Endocrine Disruptors: Assessing the threat of hormone-disrupting environmental contaminants to birds
Volume 2, Number 1 (January 2001) of the Ornithological Council's newsletter BIRDNET includes this issue brief on the influence of hormone-disrupting environmental contaminants on birds. The issue brief covers the basics of endocrine disruptors, policy issues, a review of the state of our knowledge about endocrine disruptors and birds, and suggested research topics that would be useful in better determining the effects of these contaminants on wild birds. [LXP]

Conservation Ecology December 2000: Volume 4, Issue 2
The peer-reviewed, electronic journal Conservation Ecology (discussed in the February 4, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering) has recently posted Volume 4, Issue 2 on the Website. Provided by the Ecological Society of America and with content ranging from the applied to the theoretical, this issue features an editorial on "Theories for Sustainable Futures" by CS Holling, three synthetic articles on ecosystem management, and three reports (on global-scale patterns of forest fragmentation, damselfly dispersion and multiscale responses to landscape structure, and vegetation dynamics of a created marsh in a North Pacific estuary). In addition, the issue offers a collection of book reviews and a discussion forum. [LXP]

Three issues of Trends in Analytical Chemistry [.pdf]
Volume 19, Nos. 6-8 of Trends in Analytical Chemistry are now available online from ChemWeb's Analytical Chemistry Forum (free registration required). The special June issue contains articles from top researchers in the field of nanoscale chemical analysis. The abstracts can be viewed in HTML format, while the articles are downloadable in .pdf format. [HCS]

Newly Added & Updated CRS Reports
Since January 1, 2001, eleven new Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports have been added to the National Library for the Environment Website, and an additional 82 closed the year 2000. All 2001 articles are political in nature, but the 2000 postings include articles on the South Florida Ecosystem and Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plans, Global Climate Change Treaty, The Lands Legacy Initiative and CARA, The Role of Risk Analysis and Management in Environmental Protection, Water Resource Issues, and a host of others. [LXP]

Geometry Analysis Numerics Graphics (GANG) Pre-print series 5 [PostScript]
Geometry Analysis Numerics Graphics (GANG), an interdisciplinary differential geometry research team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has posted pre-prints from its team members. Although this page is not new (the pre-prints were posted during 1999-2000), a variety of research results can be found here. The abstracts are in HTML format, and the full text must be downloaded in .ps format. Examples of article titles from the most recent pre-print series (5): "From microscopic interactions to macroscopic laws of cluster evolution," "New constant mean curvature trinoids," and "Periodic discrete conformal maps." [HCS]

Proceedings of the 2000 US DOE Hydrogen Program Review [.pdf, PowerPoint]
The proceedings from the annual review meeting of the Hydrogen Program of the US Department of Energy (DOE) are available for download in .pdf format. Hydrogen production techniques, membrane systems, and modeling are among the topics presented. A link to the overview presentations (.pdf, PowerPoint) from the annual review meeting is also given. [HCS]

Nano Letters [.pdf]
This publication from the American Chemical Society is available free online through June 2001 (HTML, .pdf). Nano Letters focuses on nanoscale physical, chemical, and biological phenomena, processes, structures, and their applications. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]


Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education

American Statistical Society Statistics Jobs

MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) Clearinghouse Jobmart
[Back to Contents]


E-math Funding and Fellowships

Integrating Applied and Basic Research on Stream Ecology -- NABS/ The Procter & Gamble Co.
Proposal Deadline: March 2, 2000

EnviroOne Grant and Fellowships

Grants for International Joint Research (on the global environment): FY2001
Application Period: January 15-March 14, 2001

Advanced Technological Education (ATE) -- NSF
Preliminary Proposal (optional) Deadline: April 26, 2001
Full Proposal Deadline: October 18, 2001

Three Calls For Proposals (CFP) from Earthwatch Institute
CFP in Watershed Management
CFP in Limnology
CFP in Ecology
Preliminary Proposal Deadline for all listings above: No later than twelve to fourteen months prior to the projected start of fieldwork. Full proposals by request only.
[Back to Contents]


Nanotube 2001: International Workshop on the Science and Application of Nanotubes
July 22-25, 2001; Potsdam, Germany
Abstract Deadline: March 1, 2001

The Wildlife Society
September 25-29, 2001; Reno/Tahoe, Nevada
Abstract Deadline: February 15, 2001

Classification Society of North America 2001 Annual Meeting
June 14-17; St. Louis, Missouri
Abstract Deadline: March 15, 2001

Tree Rings and People: An International Conference on the Future of Dendrochronology (A tribute to Fritz Hans Schweingruber)
September 22-26, 2001; Davos, Switzerland
Abstract Deadline: February 28, 2001

Gordon Research Conference on Atomic Physics
June 17-22, 2001; Williamstown, Massachusetts
Abstract Deadline: not specified

Ecology of wetlands and shallow lakes: alternative stable states, anthropogenic influences, and management options
August 15-19, 2001; Manitoba, Canada
Abstract Deadline: March 1, 2001
[Back to Contents]

New Data

Estimated Gravel Resources of the Soucook River Valley, Loudon, New Hampshire, 7.5' Quadrangle Using Improved Techniques for Assessing Gravel Resources in Glaciofluvial Deposits [PostScript]
The US Geological Survey Eastern Mineral Resources Team presented these data on a poster at the 34th annual Geological Society of America Northeastern Section Meeting. Data presented include estimated sand and gravel resources from eskers and non-esker deposits (cubic meters, cubic yards), resource maps of the Soucook River Valley, and downloadable (.ps) geographic and topographic maps derived from GIS data. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

National Water Conditions -- USGS
The US Geological Survey (USGS) provides these continental scale hydrological data (provisional and subject to review) on national water conditions in the US. Data provided are for streamflow and pH of precipitation and may be viewed by state (for some states only) or as comparisons to previous monthly conditions. Color maps depict above normal, normal, and below normal ratings. A page explaining the data aids in interpretation. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Two on Paleoclimate from NOAA [ftp]
Rainfall and drought in equatorial east Africa during the past 1,100 years [Excel]
Ice Core Records of Atmospheric CO2 Around the Last Three Glacial Terminations
The first resource above gives data figures from an article published in Nature, Vol. 34, presenting a decade-scale reconstruction of rainfall and drought in equatorial east Africa over the past 1,100 years, based on lake-level and salinity fluctuations of Lake Naivasha, Kenya. Interpretations were inferred from lithology and taxonomic composition of midge and diatom populations (from cores). The first graph shows lithology and taxonomic counts as well as conductivity (mS/cm) and percentage of organic Carbon plotted against lake depth. The second shows the relationship between historical events and lake chemistry/ biology 900-2000 AD. A link to the World Data Center's page for this study, giving core depth and conductivity (HTML) and listing citation information, is also provided. The second resource gives data from an article published in Science, Vol. 283 by researchers at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Their study investigated the global carbon cycle and relation between greenhouse gases and climate in the past using air trapped in bubbles in polar ice cores. Users can access Vostok ice core data (HTML format) used in the study, showing carbon dioxide concentrations, G4 and G5 scores, and age from approximately 1105-2856 meters core depth. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

Manual for the Determination of Egg Fertility in Penaeus monodon (a wild prawn)
The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has posted online this manual for determining egg fertility in the prawn Penaeus monodon. The manual contains dozens of clear, color images and concise summaries giving identification tips and techniques. Specific in its application, this resource nevertheless provides helpful background images to aid in data interpretation. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

In The News

Physicists Stop Light
1. "How Scientists Managed to Halt Light, Hold It, Then Let It Move Again"
2. "Storage of Light in Atomic Vapor" (Physical Review Letters) [PostScript, .pdf]
3. "Storage of Light in Atomic Vapor" (pre-print) [PostScript, .pdf, .dvi]
4. Walsworth Group at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
5. "Light speed reduction to 17 metres per second in an ultracold atomic gas" (Nature) [.pdf]
6. "Beam Smashes Light Barrier"
7. Demonstration of Gain-Assisted Superluminal Light Propagation
8. Two Technical Reports from NEC Research, Inc. [PostScript, .pdf, .dvi]
a) "Signal velocity, causality, and quantum noise in superluminal light pulse propagation"
b) "Transparent Anomalous Dispersion and Superluminal Light Pulse Propagation at a Negative Group Velocity"
9. Research in the Chiao Group [.pdf, PostScript]
10. Desktop Black Hole on the Horizon
You probably remember learning in Physics 101 that the speed of light is constant. What you might not remember, however, is that it is constant only in a vacuum. Recently, physicists from Harvard claim they have brought light to a complete halt in a special atomic vapor chamber and then sped it back up again. Their experiment is described by Phillips, et al. in the January 29, 2001 issue of Physical Review Letters (PRL). This week's In the News takes a look at the Harvard light-halting experiment, other light-speed experiments, and the possible application of this breakthrough to black hole studies.

The first item (1) is an article from the San Francisco Chronicle in which leading physicists explain in simple terms why the speed of light is not constant and why light does not get lost once it is stopped. The second item (2) is the electronic version of the Phillips, et al. paper from Physical Review Letters, 86(5), 783-786 (January 29, 2001). This is free to subscribers and users at campuses with institutional subscriptions to PRL but unavailable to those without. Luckily, anyone can have a glimpse at the pre-print that was posted on the Los Alamos National Laboratory arXiv pre-print server in December, 2000 (3). The next site (4) is maintained by the research group of Dr. RL Walsworth, a co-author on the PRL paper. The Walsworth group page gives research descriptions, a hyperlinked bibliography with some downloadable papers, and a nice diagram illustrating light speed control. Dr. Lene Vestergaard Hau, based at the Rowland Institute for Science, has succeeded in stopping light (The Rowland Institute for Science appeared in the Scout Report for Science & Engineering on 03/01/2000). Hau and her research group have published an article in the January 25, 2001 issue of Nature describing how they brought light to a complete stop in a magnetically trapped, cold cloud of sodium atoms. An earlier research research article from Hau (Nature 397, 594-598, 1999) is available for free online here: (#5). Besides slowing light, scientists have also sped up light. This work occurred last year at the NEC Research Institute, Inc. in Princeton, NJ. The BBC (6) describes the research in which a beam of light moved at 300 times the theoretical limit for the speed of light. Dr. LJ Wang and others involved in that experiment have provided a Website (7) demonstrating principles of light group velocity and dispersion. Pre-prints from the Wang group's experiments are available from the Los Alamos arXiv server. The first (8a) considers "pulse propagation in a linear anomalously dispersive medium where the group velocity exceeds the speed of light in vacuum (c) or even becomes negative." The second (8b) demonstrates that "a superluminal light pulse propagation can be observed even at a negative group velocity through a transparent medium with almost no pulse distortion." Dr. RY Chiao and his research team at University of California at Berkeley are also involved in speed-of-light experiments. Chiao's page (9) provides research summaries and downloads of recent publications dealing with light moving through Rubidium vapor. So what are the applications of changing the speed of light? A recent feature in (10) suggests that the process could be used to make an experimental black hole that could be used to examine quantum physics in a way never before possible. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

Scout Report for Science & Engineering Subscription Instructions

To receive the electronic mail version of the Scout Report for Science & Engineering every other Wednesday, join the SRSCIENG mailing list. This is the only mail you will receive from this list.

Internet Scout team member information

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering
Brought to You by the Internet Scout Project

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering (ISSN 1533-144X) is published every other Wednesday by the Internet Scout Project, located in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Computer Sciences.

Laura X. Payne
Hilary Sanders
Susan Calcari
Rachael Bower
Travis Koplow
Pat Coulthard
Andy Yaco-Mink
Executive Director
Managing Editor
Technical Specialist
Website Designer

Below are the copyright statements to be included when reproducing annotations from The Scout Report for Science & Engineering.

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

From The Scout Report for Science & Engineering, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2001.

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, 1994-2001. 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
A Publication of the Internet Scout Project

Comments, Suggestions, Feedback
Use our feedback form or send email to

© 2001 Internet Scout Project
Information on reproducing any publication is available on our copyright page.