Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Physics Nobel: Free Journal Articles and Resources from AIP


The American Institute of Physics congratulates this year's Nobel Laureates in Physics “for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae.” Sharing half the prize is Saul Perlmutter from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California, Berkeley. Sharing the other half jointly are Brian P. Schmidt from the Australian National University, and Adam G. Riess from Johns Hopkins University and Space Telescope Science Institute.

AIP is pleased to make available free of charge a selection of research papers these Nobel Laureates have published in our journals, Conference Proceedings, and Physics Today magazine. To view any of these materials go to

We will build on this material throughout the day to bring you a host of additional resources, including an overview of the work done by these three scientists, plus related links, photos and interviews. 

Physics Nobel: Free Journal Articles and Resources from AIP

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Iowa State, Ames Laboratory, Technion scientist wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry |


Iowa State, Ames Laboratory, Technion scientist wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry

AMES, Iowa - The Nobel Foundation today announced Dan Shechtman of Iowa State University, the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and Israel's Technion has won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The foundation announced The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences picked Shechtman "for the discovery of quasicrystals".

That 1982 discovery of crystalline materials whose atoms didn't line up periodically like every crystal studied during 70 years of modern crystallography is regarded as a revolutionary find that changed ideas about matter and its atomic arrangement.

Shechtman, who goes by "Danny," compared winning the Nobel Prize to carrying a country's flag at the Olympics. In this case, he's carrying the banner for an international team of quasicrystal scientists.

"I am the spearhead of the science of quasicrystals, but without the thousands of enthusiastic scientists around the globe, quasicrystals would not be what they are today," he said. "Quasicrystals are still an enigma in many ways, waiting to unfold, and I admire the researchers who over the years became friends and who for a quarter of a century have elucidated this science."

Pat Thiel -- an Iowa State Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, a professor in materials science and engineering and a faculty scientist for the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory -- also studies quasicrystals. She said Shechtman's discovery meant scientific definitions had to be changed and textbooks rewritten.

"What Danny did was fantastic science," she said. "He instigated a scientific revolution."

That's not what he set out to do during a sabbatical from the Technion and a two-year stint in the United States at what's now known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Shechtman was studying rapidly solidified aluminum alloys with a toolbox that included transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and neutron diffraction. The transmission electron microscopy revealed a structure that science said was impossible: a pattern that when rotated a full circle repeats itself 10 times.

In his notebook that day, Shechtman wrote "(10 Fold ???)." Later, he found the pattern was really a five-fold rotation, but that didn't show up in the first experiments.

"For 70 years until 1982, all crystals studied, hundreds of thousands of them, were found to be periodic," he said. "Only certain rotational symmetries are allowed in this periodic array and these are 1,2,3,4,6 and nothing else. This is why, when I saw the ten-fold rotational symmetry, I was so surprised."

Shechtman did follow-up experiments to confirm his findings and published his discovery in 1984. His work was widely questioned.

"For a long time it was me against the world," he said. "I was a subject of ridicule and lectures about the basics of crystallography. The leader of the opposition to my findings was the two-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling, the idol of the American Chemical Society and one of the most famous scientists in the world. For years, till his last day, he fought against quasi-periodicity in crystals. He was wrong, and after a while, I enjoyed every moment of this scientific battle, knowing that he was wrong."

Shechtman is an Iowa State professor of materials science and engineering, a research scientist for the Ames Laboratory and the Philip Tobias Professor of Materials Science at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. He is currently at the Technion in Haifa, Israel. The 70-year-old scientist joined Iowa State and the Ames Lab in 2004 and spends about four months a year in Iowa. He will return to Ames in mid-February.

He continues to study magnesium alloys and other materials that are strong but can also be stretched or shaped without breaking.

And although the applications of quasicrystals are limited, Shechtman said they are important for changing a long-held scientific paradigm.

"People should be interested in scientific advances because the body of knowledge generated by the scientific community improves our lives." he said. "Go back 100 years and see the difference, including life expectancy and life quality."

Iowa State, Ames Laboratory, Technion scientist wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry |

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in World | JSTOR


Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in World


On September 6, 2011, we announced that we are making journal content in JSTOR published prior to 1923 in the United States and prior to 1870 elsewhere freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world.  This “Early Journal Content” includes discourse and scholarship in the arts and humanities, economics and politics, and in mathematics and other sciences.  It includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals. This represents 6% of the content on JSTOR.

While JSTOR currently provides access to scholarly content to people through a growing network of more than 7,000 institutions in 153 countries, we also know there are independent scholars and other people that we are still not reaching in this way.  Making the Early Journal Content freely available is a first step in a larger effort to provide more access options to the content on JSTOR for these individuals. 

The Early Journal Content will be released on a rolling basis beginning today. A quick tutorial about how to access this content is also available.

We encourage broad use of the Early Journal Content, including the ability to reuse it for non-commercial purposes.  We ask that you acknowledge JSTOR as the source of the content and provide a link back to our site. Please also be considerate of other users and do not use robots or other devices to systematically download these works as this may be disruptive to our systems.  For more information, you can read a new section about Early Journal Content in our Terms & Conditions of Use

If you would like to be notified of the first and subsequent releases of the Early Journal Content, you may follow us on Twitter or Facebook

Please read our Frequently Asked Questions if you have additional questions about the Early Journal Content or contact us at

Download a brief program description that lists some Early Journal Content highlights.

Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in World | JSTOR

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)


National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)

In a nutshell

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) supports research into our world's frozen realms: the snow, ice, glaciers, frozen ground, and climate interactions that make up Earth's cryosphere.

NSIDC manages and distributes scientific data, creates tools for data access, supports data users, performs scientific research, and educates the public about the cryosphere.

NSIDC distributes more than 500 cryospheric data sets for researchers, from both satellite and ground observations. See Data at NSIDC to browse our holdings, get information, and download or order data sets.


Also a cool photo gallery --

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APPS from



Government apps provide information when you're on the go. Find instant notification of recalls to the status of veterans benefits. is working hard to make government easy, convenient, and accessible.

What is an app?

An app, short for "application," is a tool that helps you accomplish a task or find information. The apps in the app store are designed to work on your mobile phone. Some need to be downloaded to your phone while others can be accessed using your phone's web browser.

How much do apps cost?

All the apps featured currently are free. Charges from your cell phone carrier may apply.

Can apps access my personal information?

Review the terms of services page or privacy policy for each app to learn if and how it uses personal information. Most apps cannot access your personal information.

Are your apps available for iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Nokia, etc.?

The apps featured in our gallery were developed by government agencies on a variety of platforms. Currently, we have apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry. A lot of our apps are mobile-friendly websites, which means they can be accessed by any device. Each agency works one-on-one with the separate platform and signs a terms of service agreement with them, so it is up to the individual agency to decide which platform to use. At this time, there is no coordinated plan to offer each and every app on every platform.

Whom do I contact if I have problems with an app?

If you have problems with an app from the U.S. government, please send us an e-mail.

Whom do I contact if I have an idea for an app or would like to submit an app to this site?

If you have a suggestion, please send us an email. We review suggestions according to our Apps Policy.

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eXtension - Objective. Research-based. Credible.


eXtension - Objective. Research-based. Credible.


eXtension is an interactive learning environment delivering the best, most researched knowledge from the smartest land-grant university minds across America. eXtension connects knowledge consumers with knowledge providers - experts who know their subject matter inside out.

eXtension offers:

  • Credible expertise
  • Reliable answers based upon sound research
  • Connections to the best minds in American universities
  • Creative solutions to today's complex challenges
  • Customized answers to your specific needs
  • Trustworthy, field-tested data
  • Dynamic, relevant and timely answers

eXtension is unlike any other search engine or information-based website. It's a space where university content providers can gather and produce new educational and information resources on wide-ranging topics. Because it's available to students, researchers, clinicians, professors, as well as the general public, at any time from any Internet connection, eXtension helps solve real-life problems in real time.

eXtension Foundation: The eXtension Foundation is a non-profit entity that exists to support the work of eXtension. Learn more about how you can support or sponsor this work at our eXtension Foundation.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Measure of America: American Human Development Project


Measure of America: American Human Development Project

The American Human Development Project provides easy-to-use yet methodologically sound tools for understanding the distribution of well-being and opportunity in America and stimulating fact-based dialogue about issues we all care about: health, education, and living standards.

The hallmark of this work is the American Human Development Index, an alternative to GDP and other money metrics that tells the story of how ordinary Americans are faring and empowers communities with a tool to track progress over time. The Index is comprised of health, education, and income indicators and allows for well-being rankings of the 50 states, 435 congressional districts, county groups within states, women and men, and racial and ethnic groups.

Through national and state reports, thematic briefs, and the project’s interactive website, the American Human Development Project aims to breathe life into numbers, using data to create compelling narratives that foster greater understanding of our shared challenges and greater support for people-centered policies. The Project was founded in 2006, and became an initiative of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) in 2008.

The Project is made possible through the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation‘s matching grant, which will match every dollar you donate–effectively doubling your contribution. Click on this secure link to donate today (please note this will direct you to the SSRC website).


The maps are the great interactive part….

The Measure of America

How is opportunity distributed in America? Are we falling behind other affluent democracies? Which groups are surging ahead and which face the greatest risks? Which congressional districts enjoy the highest—and lowest—levels of well-being?

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