Web Watch

sleek computers on tableCarl Mungan, United States Naval Academy

AlphaGalileo at http://www.alphagalileo.org/ collects together information from around the world about scientific news.

The official website of Richard Feynman is http://www.richardfeynman.com/.

Lawrence Livermore National Lab has an education page devoted to fusion at http://fusedweb.llnl.gov/.

A website about the South Pole Neutrino Observatory (IceCube) is at http://icecube.wisc.edu/.

A down-to-earth explanation of why blue LEDs deserved the 2014 Nobel prize can be found at http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2014/10/07/nobel-prize-for-blue-leds/.

Wouldn’t it be useful to have one site where physics books were reviewed by academic peers (rather than just by any old Joe on Amazon, although those reviews can also be helpful)? The Canadian Association of Physicists has attempted to do that at http://www.cap.ca/BRMS/PRdb.asp and I only wish the list of titles were longer.

2015 is the International Year of Light, as detailed at http://www.light2015.org. Last year was the International Year of Crystallography and a blog posted a new crystal structure for every day of the year at https://crystallography365.wordpress.com/.

One website dedicated to creating and sharing online presentations is http://www.knovio.com/. Another one is https://present.me/content/. Educators may also benefit from the video editing tools at https://edpuzzle.com/.

A free tool to extract numerical data from a published plot is http://arohatgi.info/WebPlotDigitizer/.

Wired Magazine discusses the accuracy of the physics in the movie Interstellar with Kip Thorne at http://www.wired.com/2014/10/astrophysics-interstellar-black-hole/.

AAPT annually offers a New Faculty Workshop. An entire set of video presentations from these workshops has been posted at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLx_woo78JX4myOgPUllIH8EfSrkVVWgAL.

UNC Chapel Hill has a detailed student handout about writing research lab reports at http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/scientific-reports/.

A global map of large asteroid impacts since the year 2000 can be found at http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/original-size/20140426_STM972_0.png.

A recent review of U.S. military directed-energy weapons systems is online at http://www.osa-opn.org/home/articles/volume_25/october_2014/features/high-energy_lasers_new_advances_in_defense_applica/#.VLbXyyenHDN.

The Institute for Science + Math Education has a list of their partnerships at http://sciencemathpartnerships.org/.

Videos at http://time.com/3606721/cat-dog-drinking/ show why dogs are sloppier than cats in using their tongues to drink.

IEEE has a history of Maxwell’s equations at http://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/wireless/the-long-road-to-maxwells-equations.

PhysicsGirl shows how to make a vortex at the surface of a swimming pool by dragging a vertical plate across it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnbJEg9r1o8. Another fascinating demo is a magnetic train consisting of rare-earth magnets on the poles of an AAA battery moving inside a helical wire coil at http://www.wimp.com/releasesbattery/.

National Geographic has a webpage exploring such forces of nature as tornadoes, volcanoes, and earthquakes at http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/multimedia/interactive/forces-of-nature/?ar_a=1. More broadly, Columbia University has a well-organized collection of material related to terrestial physics at http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/research.

We all know atoms can be laser cooled, but it’s trickier to optically cool molecules because of their internal modes of vibration and rotation. So what’s the current record lowest temperature for a dilute gas of molecules in a magneto-optical trap? Yale physicists have attained 2.5 mK for SrF at http://news.yale.edu/2014/08/20/yale-s-cool-molecules-are-hot-item.

You might be amused by browsing Altmetric’s list of 2014’s top 100 academic articles judging by public interest at http://www.altmetric.com/top100/2014/?utm_source=announcement&utm_medium=social&utm_term=2014top100&utm_campaign=top1002014social. Not surprisingly, the majority of them concern biomedical research.

Finally, a video of a Rube Goldberg machine using optics at http://laserclassroom.com/follow-bouncing-beam/ might be fun to show in class.

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.