Web Watch

sleek computers on tableCarl Mungan, United States Naval Academy

NSF has a collection of physics discoveries that began with their support at http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/index.jsp?prio_area=11.

The website of the Field Museum of science in Chicago is at http://www.fieldmuseum.org/explore/. Also visit the website of the Museum of Science & Industry in the same city at http://www.msichicago.org/education/.

AT&T has put many of their tech archives online at http://techchannel.att.com/showpage.cfm?ATT-Archives.

Vega Science Trust has many videos on their website at http://vega.org.uk/, notably including four of Richard Feynman. Another set of science videos is Inside Science TV at http://www.insidescience.org/television supported by AIP.

Jeffrey Schnick has a two-semester calculus-based physics textbook with supporting materials freely available at http://www.anselm.edu/internet/physics/cbphysics/.

An interesting hypothesis connecting the second law of thermodynamics to the evolution of life is proposed at http://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20140122-a-new-physics-theory-of-life/. Perhaps not surprisingly, the reader comments at its end are about four times longer than the main article itself.

Going back to even more foundational issues than the origin of life, read Alan Guth’s remarks about the Big Bang at http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2014/05/02/alan-guth-what-made-big-bang-bang/RmI4s9yCI56jKF6ddMiF4L/story.html.

MIT’s Media Lab has a webpage devoted to its Fluid Interfaces Group at http://fluid.media.mit.edu/.

A thoughtful discussion with videos of the demonstration of a long chain of beads leaping fountain-style out of a jar onto the floor is at http://www.nature.com/news/physicists-explain-gravity-defying-chain-trick-1.14523.

Science in School is a European science education web journal at http://www.scienceinschool.org/.

Optical circulators are like one-way traffic circles used to measure backscattering from fiber lasers. An acoustic analog has now been constructed, as described at http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2014/jan/31/sound-follows-one-direction.

Scientific American has a fascinating video explaining the classic puzzle: If you pull straight back on the lower pedal of your bicycle, will the bike move forward or backward? Without spoiling too much, I will simply say that both answers are experimentally achievable! Go watch it at http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mathematical-impressions-the-bicycle-pulling-puzzle/.

Okay, it’s not physics, but a cool site where you can listen to various animal sounds recorded at various places around the globe is at http://www.naturesoundmap.com/listing-type/video/.

A new class of efficient solar cells based on perovskite materials have also been found to make good lasers, as described at http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/revolutionary-solar-cells-double-as-lasers.

Finally, a finance company has put up a nice buoyancy puzzle at http://wealthmanagement.com/question/puzzler-odd-balance, apparently as a possible brainteaser job interview question.

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.