TPT WebSights column draft for November, 2007:
WebSights features announcements and reviews of select sites of interest to physics teachers. All sites are copyright by their authors. This column is available as a web page at <http://PhysicsEd.BuffaloState.Edu/pubs/WebSights/>.
If you have successfully used a physics website that you feel is outstanding and appropriate for WebSights, please email me the URL and describe how you use it to teach or learn physics. The best site monthly will receive a T-shirt. <email@example.com>.
Virtual Lab <http://www.virlab.virginia.edu> by Prof. John Bean of the University of
Virginia. A collection of 3D
virtual reality animations on the topics of microelectronics, nanoscience and
relevant physical science. I particularly enjoyed the short video podcasts
describing how Van de Graaff generators and semiconductors work.
Submitted by John C Bean <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
A Short Video Showing An Electrostatic Caused Fire During Car Refueling: <http://www.pei.org/Index.aspx?p=stop_static> by the Petroleum Equipment Institute will certainly grab your students' attention. Induced charge and spark phenomena are more traditionally taught in the classroom by constructing and demonstrating the electrophorus. There are many sets of online instructions for building inexpensive electrophorii (including several by Bob Morse); a well-illustrated example is <http://physicsed.buffalostate.edu/SeatExpts/EandM/elephor/>. Submitted by Bob Morse, Physics Master at St. Alban's School.
Optics: <http://www.atoptics.co.uk/> by Les Crowley, features gorgeous images of
atmospheric optical phenomena. A catalog of atmospheric phenomena with
explanations and an extensive collection of references. The August update
includes an image containing six (!) natural rainbows.
Submitted to the phys-l listserv by Bernard Cleyet.
for Teaching Quantum Physics: Dan Styer at Oberlin College has an
extensive page of information and links on teaching Quantum Mechanics at both
the conceptual and advanced levels:
<http://www.oberlin.edu/physics/dstyer/TeachQM/>, and the Quantum Exchange at Compadre <http://www.compadre.org/quantum/index.cfm> bills itself as a collection of information and
resources for teachers of quantum physics. Materials cover both conceptual and advanced, but lean
toward the latter and are grouped into five categories: pedagogy, applications, background,
activities and tutorials. In
addition to classroom materials, there are a number of physics education
research papers on relevant topics posted.
Submitted by Brant Hinrichs, Associate Professor of Physics at Drury University <email@example.com>.
Humorous Physics and Spoof Scientific Journals: The Journal of Irreproducible Results <http://www.jir.com/>, The Null Hypothesis <http://www.null-hypothesis.co.uk/> and the Annals of Improbable Research <http://www.improb.com/> have all been suggested for physics humor. All present amusing spoof articles, descriptions, jokes and cartoons from physics and science.
The Wolfram Demonstrations Project at <http://demonstrations.wolfram.com> is "...a web collection of freely available, interactive demonstrations in math, science and many in physics." These compiled Mathematics 6 demonstrations are somewhat akin to physlets. Running these demonstrations requires the download and installation of a free Mathematica player (registration is suggested but not required). I enjoyed playing with the astronomical simulations particularly, although the modern physics, mechanics and optics simulations also looked nice. I am a fan of other Wolfram sites, particularly the Integrator: <http://www.integrator.com/>. The QuickMath website <http://www.quickmath.com> is another student favorite site powered by Mathematica, though sometimes it seems overwhelmed with users.