Cool Links to Hot Topics in Physics

Cool Links to Hot Topics in Physics

The Special Research Center for the Subatomic Structure of Matter and the National Institute for Theoretical Physics have received many requests for links to the latest and greatest hot physics topics. We hope you'll find the following links to be exciting, enjoyable and informative even if you're not a "Nuclear Physicist" or "Rocket Scientist" (yet!).

Visit the Magazine Rack, other Link Collections, the Toy Box or see some Kids' Links.

Ask a Physicist!

High School and all secondary school students in Australia! Got a physics question? Want to speak to an expert? Then send your question to our physics guru. Please include the name of your school and year of study with your question. For obvious reasons the guru is unable to answer questions directly connected to schoolwork -- e.g. assignments, homework and the like. Questions of this sort will not be answered!

Experience the CSSM's Visualizations of QCD
Discover the Origin of Mass. Take a tour of the world of quarks and gluons. See Colour Images of Quark Eigenmodes. Explore our Collection of QCD Animations. Imagine the Orion Supercomputer on Your Desk...

CSSM Research Featured in Physics World
In the December issue of Physics World, Gerrit Schierholz of DESY in Germany describes recent calculations by Tony Thomas and co-workers at the University of Adelaide in Australia, and the Jefferson Lab and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Stop-go Universe
Is the expansion of the Universe slowing down or speeding up? The discovery of the furthest known supernova could shed some very bright light on the question.

The Origin of Inertia
Throughout the 1990's a small group of researchers built up a body of work that suggested that mass may not actually exist, and inertia may be a consequence fo the way accelerating objects interact with quantum fluctuations in "empty" space. This site gives an overview of their theories and points to sources of further information.

Stop light
After slowing light to a snail's pace with Bose-Einstein Condensates, scientists have finally succeeded in bringing it to a standstill - and have brought quantum computers a step closer in the process.

An enormous particle accelerator at Brookhaven National Laboratory has produced the densest matter ever created in a laboratory. This announcement follows work by researchers at CERN who claimed to have created a quark-gluon plasma last year.

Cool Links to Hot Topics

Read about CSSM Research featured by Physical Review
The Difference between Protons and Neutrons: Nuclear physicists think of protons and neutrons as practically identical. When they aim low-energy particle beams at nuclear targets, they find that the two behave in almost exactly the same way in the nucleus. This article features the exciting discovery of charge symmetry violation in the nucleon, as reported by C. Boros, J. T. Londergan, and A. W. Thomas in Phys. Rev. Lett. 81, 4075 (9 November 1998).

Visualising the Vacuum
Modern physics tells us that the vacuum is far from empty. Rather, it is a seething mass of "virtual" particles. Physicists at Adelaide are doing computer modelling to try to understand its behavour.

Supercomputer Visualizations of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD)
See quarks and gluons as visualized by supercomputer simulations of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) performed by Prof. Greg Kilcup as featured in his recent joint CSSM, NITP, AIP-SA Public Lecture.

Football Fans get a Physics lesson
A new form of half-time entertainment in Nebraska.

Physics News Graphics
Pictures from recent breakthroughs in physics.

Catching a neutrino
Normally experimentalists use particle detectors at the same site as the accelerator, but now physicists at KEK are able to aim their neutrinos at SuperK.........250 kms away!

Lunar Prospector Home Page
The Lunar Prospector is the first NASA mission to the moon in 25 years. It will map the entire Lunar surface, providing information about its composition, and in particular whether water exists on its surface. Locally available water will make possible an increased human presence on the moon.

On Friday 17 July 1998, villages near the Sissano lagoon on the north coast of Papua New Guinea were destroyed without warning by a tsunami. Scientists have made important advances towards predicting tsunami by combining mathematics, geology and physics.

The Periodic Table of Elements
A description of the periodic table, plus an article on the naming of new elements.

The Particle Adventure
A graphic and animated introduction to nature's subatomic structure. Learn about the Standard Model of Nuclear and Particle Physics, and get aquainted with the fundamental forces.

Physics Questions
All are invited to suggest solutions, from high-school students to post-doctoral researchers. A new problem every month.

The Search for QCD Exotics
Quantum Chromodynamics, the theory of the strong interactions, predicts the existence of new particles. This article from American Scientist describes one of the latest attempts to find exotics such as the glueball.

Stephen Hawking's Universe
Check out "Strange Stuff Explained" and "Things To Do In the Dark" which includes black hole simulations at

Hubble Sees a Neutron Star Alone in Space
Neutron stars are normally only seen by radio telescopes as pulsars. This is the first neutron star ever seen with an optical telescope.

Latest Hubble Space Telescope Pictures
Proton Therapy
Check out the latest in medical physics applications of radiation therapy (including cancer treatments) under development at the Indiana University Cyclotron Facility.

Comet Observation Home Page
Comets and the people who find them. Includes pictures and information on currently visible comets.

Einstein: Image and Impact
An exhibition from the American Institute of Physics, covering the life of this century's most famous scientist. Discusses both his scientific and political work.

The 100th Anniversary of the Discovery of the Electron
How Thompson's investigation of cathode rays led to the discovery of the first fundamental particle.

Contributions of 20th Century Women to Physics
The American Physical Society's archive of important female physicists, such as Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Helen Quinn and Magda Ericson.

The SciPhy Virtual Laboratory
A collection of interactive demonstrations of many basic physics principles. Includes many Java applets.

The Astronomy Cafe
"The web site for the astronomically disadvantaged". If you have questions about astronomy, then "Ask the Space Scientist". This site is run by astrophysicist Sten Odenwald, from the Goddard Space Flight Center, and includes an archive of more then 3000 answers to past questions. You can also see what makes an astronomer!

Photographs From The Anglo-Australian Observatory
Spectacular colour photos and a description of the techniques used to produce them. This page also contains information on the equipment available at the AAO.

Astronomical Images from the ATNF
Radio pictures from the Australia Telescope National Facility
- see the sky in a new light.

Big Bang Nucleosynthesis
How particle physics is helping us understand the very early universe.

History of Mathematics archive
Includes short biographies of many famous physicists, from ancient times to today. Also has an index of famous curves.

Dark Matter
A general introduction to the idea of dark matter.

Dark Matter in the Universe
A quick summary of the dark matter debate.

An introduction to the big bang universe, including discussions of Hubble expansion and the microwave cosmic background.

Astronomical Pictures & Animations
On-line pictures from the Astronomical server of the Centre de Ressources Informatiques, University of Bordeaux.

4000 years of Women in Science
Biographies for 125+ leading women in science.

The Net Advance of Physics
Review articles, tutorials and papers at a range of levels.

Basic Physics with Java
Quick Basic, Visual Basic and Java code to perform physics calculations in areas such as classical mechanics, quantum mechanics and optics.

Eric's Treasure Troves (Encyclopedia) of Science
A promising, although brief, reference of physics ideas. Very much work in progress.

Top Quark Physics - a Popular Review
More advanced material.

Hands On Universe
An online education program to provide highschool students with access to astronomical equipment.

Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex
The CDSCC assists in tracking interplanetary space craft.

Physics 2000
A very cool educational site that provides (among other things) a guided tour of the ideas behind modern physics, that demonstrates how discoveries in fundamental physics led to the amazing technologies of today. From the University of Colorado.
Take the Science Trek tour! But beware, some of the of Java scripts may take a while to load.

Exploring Gravity
A series of tutorials with animated graphics and problems to solve that looks at gravity from the basic ideas of early astronomers all the way up to the modern-day search for gravitational radiation.

Playground Physics
A possibly useful resource for teachers, this site lists experiments assigned to final-year high school students to study the principles of motion and learn about data analysis using playground equipment and homemade catapaults.

Universe Today
Space news from around the internet, updated every weekday.

New Scientist's guide to the quantum world
Excerpts from a book guiding you through the basic ideas of quantum physics in an easy-to-follow up-to-date manner.

The MUSES-C homepage
A guide to the MUSES-C asteroid sample return mission.

Hands-on Science Centres Worldwide
A huge list of interactive science activity centres around the world, sorted by continent, with links to the relevant websites (if they exist).

Chaos at Maryland
The homepages of the Chaos Group at the University of Maryland at College Park. Includes a gallery of pictures and animations, as well as papers, research interests, and background to various fields of chaos theory.

Conversion factors
This page automatically converts a wide range of quantities (area, corrosion rates, entropy, heat capacity, etc) between various units.

A very large listing of educational information and online resources including calculators and dictionaries, teaching resources, and pages on physics, maths, and numerous other topics.

Physics Central
Learn how your world works - pages run by the American Physical Society.

News stories about issues, safety, and development of nuclear power by the International Atomic Energy Authority.

Interactive Physics with Math and Java
Contains a large catalogue of java scripts which plot functions, illustrate the motion of pendulums, the principles by which lasers work, simple electrical circuits - a great teaching resource!

Astrophysics Data System - Physics/Geophysics service
This searchable database from Harvard allows you to enter authors, keywords, and publication dates to find abstracts and journal publication information for papers.

NC State Physics Demonstrations
Another good teaching resource. This page lists and has photos/movies of equipment used for high-school/undergraduate level demonstrations of physics. This would be a good page for teachers looking for new tools with which to teach their classes.

The Nine Planets: A Multimedia Tour of the Solar System
A site dedicated to the history, mythology, and current scientific knowledge regarding each of the planets and moons in our solar system. This site is very large, with a lot of useful information.

Kids' Links

The National Science and Technology Centre Home Page. Includes a virtual tour.

The Science Explorer
Family experiments: Get messy, get airborne, get shocked!

The Science's Explorer - Physics Home
Includes random factoids and links to information on biology, chemistry and maths as well as physics.

The Magazine Rack

the latest brochure from the American Physical Society's Division of Particles and Fields

"I could spend way too much time here..." - Dr Derek Leinweber.

"The Web site for physicists" - from the Institute of Physics Publishing.

A.I.P Weekly Physics News
A summary of last week's advances, from the American Institute of Physics.

A.I.P. Quark News
Past, quark related bulletins, from the A.I.P.

NOVA-Physics in the News
Explores the physics involved in current issues.

Electronic magazine from NASA.

New Scientist
Excerpts from this leading weekly magazine, including a searchable jobs archive.

Other Link Collections

Winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics
The Lab: -273
The ABC's pick of cool science sites.

Australian Physics and Allied Sciences
A page of links to physics related sites from Melbourne University.

Yahoo! Physics Links
Look for physics sites using the Yahoo! search engine.

Contemporary Physics Education Project (CPEP)
Center for Particle Astrophysics
A National Science Foundation (NSF) Science & Technology Center at the University of California, Berkeley.


Cool Links to Cool Toys

Colossus and Titan
Check out the amazing computational facilities at the University of Adelaide.

The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
Learn about this three kilometer long particle accelerator at the Virtual Visitors Center.

See what the Australia Telescope Compact Array is doing.

Arecibo Radio Telescope
The 305 metre radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

Space Telescope Science Institute Home Page
The organisation that runs the Hubble Space Telescope.

If you know of a hot physics issue that would look good on this page, please let me know by sending an e-mail to

To the Special Research Center for the Subatomic Structure of Matter Home Page
To the National Institute for Theoretical Physics Home Page

Contributing Authors:
Sundance Bilson-Thompson, Patrick Bowman, Dr. Derek Leinweber, Dr. Andreas Schreiber, Prof. Anthony Thomas

Page Created: 18th October 1997
by Dr. Derek B. Leinweber.

Please send comments/suggestions to