Carl E. Mungan
- The Royal Society of the United Kingdom has assembled a scientific timeline from 1650 to the present called Trailblazing at http://trailblazing.royalsociety.org/ which presents key scientific publications in historical context.
- Several new services attempt to network or rank authors of scientific publications. Consider joining the American Institute of Physics’ UniPHY network or Academia’s version of Facebook. Also type your own name into the author ranking of APS journals at http://www.physauthorsrank.org/. If you are searching for textbooks for a course, try http://www.facultyonline.com/.
- I like much of Todd Timberlake’s curricular materials about entropy at http://facultyweb.berry.edu/ttimberlake/entropy/. Grant Mason has some great review material, online quizzes, and links to free books dealing with intermediate electricity & magnetism on his webpage at http://einstein1.byu.edu/~masong/emsite/EMTOC.html#TOC.
- Check out the Shockwave simulations at http://www.physicsclassroom.com/shwave/. For example, have students try the Race Track and see if they can control their acceleration and keep their car on the roadway!
- The Optical Society of America is now spotlighting featured articles on optics topics at http://www.opticsinfobase.org/spotlight/. Similarly for highlights of recent developments in chemistry, read the Alchemist at http://www.chemweb.com/alchemist-current.
- Some colleagues recently told me about the Euler-Cromer method, a substantial improvement on the standard Euler method for numerically integrating a second-order differential equation (such as Newton’s second law) in a spreadsheet. Read a nice summary of the idea at http://www.physics.udel.edu/~jim/Ordinary%20Differential%20Equations/Euler-Cromer%20Method.htm.
- Here are some useful tools for scientific authoring: the Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme (PACS) is online at http://www.aip.org/pacs/; a comprehensive list of journal abbreviations can be found at http://www.library.ubc.ca/scieng/coden.html; the Chicago Manual of Style is available at http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/; one of many book search engines is http://www.bookfinder.com/; a list of differences in spelling between British, Canadian, and American words can be reviewed at http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/BritishCanadianAmerican.htm; and an online dictionary of computer-related terms and acronyms is http://foldoc.org/.
- Looking for some physics puzzlers on the web? Try Donald Simanek’s list at http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/scenario/insight.htm or Henry Greenside’s http://www.phy.duke.edu/~hsg/physics-challenges/challenges.html or Yacov Kantor’s set at http://star.tau.ac.il/QUIZ/ or the blog at http://collectionofphysicsproblems.blogspot.com/.
Carl Mungan is an Associate Professor of Physics at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.
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 APS.