- Hendrik Ferdinande of Belgium wrote to correct my statement in the Summer FEd Newsletter that the Institute of Physics (IOP) is a European counterpart of the AIP. He suggested that a better counterpart would be the European Physical Society (EPS) http://www.eps.org/about-us, the IOP being only one member society (for the UK and Ireland) of the EPS.
- It’s the fiftieth anniversary of the laser! A timeline of its history can be found at http://www.photonics.com/linearcharts/default.aspx?ChartID=2. Also be sure to visit LaserFest’s website at http://www.laserfest.org/ and IOP’s collection of review articles at http://iopscience.iop.org/ 0034-4885/page/Celebrating 50 years of the laser.
- I have heard some positive comments about http://www.khanacademy.org/, whose mission is to provide a large databank of short instructive videos that teach concepts in math, science, and finance.
- Lately I have been learning how to numerically solve partial differential equations using the Method of Lines. A fantastic primer, together with detailed MatLAB code, can be found at http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Method_of_lines.
- A Mathematica notebook which calculates the magnetic field at any point in space due to a set of coaxial coils (not necessarily all identical) can be downloaded from http://www.phy.duke.edu/research/ photon/qoptics/techdocs/.
- A useful assortment of educational links on astronomy, spaceflight, and electromagnetism can be found at http://www.phy6.org/readfirst.htm.
- Have you ever been exasperated trying to delete a blank page at the end of a Word document, particularly just after a table? I found http://sbarnhill.mvps.org/WordFAQs/BlankPage.htm to solve the problem for me.
- A great resource for advising and mentoring students about physics careers can be found on comPADRE at http://www.compadre.org/careers/. If you have hallway monitors in your physics building, you may also wish to put up APS’s InSight slide show to interest undergraduates in physics, available for download at http://www.aps.org/careers/insight/index.cfm.
- A couple of interesting presentations from AAPT’s summer meeting in Portland, OR include an explanation of quantum mechanical decoherence at http://visualquantum.net/DecoherenceDemo/ and a talk about how a diver with zero angular momentum can nevertheless reorient his body in midair at http://feynman.poly.edu/dibartolo/talks/Portland/.
- Also mentioned at the meeting were: a nifty presentation tool at http://prezi.com/, sharing photos using http://www.flickr.com/, and making your computer documents available from any web browser via https://docs.google.com/.
- A website rich in resources devoted to “clickers” (student remote controls used to answer computer-projected multiple-choice questions in class) is http://www.cwsei.ubc.ca/resources/clickers.htm.
Disclaimer - The articles and opinion pieces found in this issue of the APS Forum on Education Newsletter are not peer refereed and represent solely the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of the APS.