Thursday, February 17, 2005 adds (e-mail) alerts!

Pointed out on ResourceShelf.

Pretty cool. I'll get my first alert on Monday so then I'll know how cool. Too bad they're not RSS. I wonder, too, how they compare to e-mail alerts from the database vendors that have versions of the databases covered by this?


Added gigablast site search.
Removed the plug-in for commenting -- overdue, didn't realize I had both.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

EV2 Adds RSS Feeds

Cross-posted to my LIS blog.

I was trying to figure out what search I would do that wouldn't provide any specific info from my place of work so disregard the subject...

Anyway, you can now get weekly search alerts/updates right in your aggregator. You have to be a subscriber ($$, of course). My e-mail alerts get to me on Fridays, so I'm guessing that's when the feed will be updated I'll come back and update this if not.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Physical Review Focus: Watching Atoms Move

See a video from a STM of a phase transition of a lead layer on silicon. Watch the video linked from this page pretty carefully at the about the halfway mark. Pretty cool. In the past, the STM haven't been stable enough so the scientists have just compared before and after images. The full article (subscribers only) is available: I. Brihuega, O. Custance, Rubén Pérez, and J. M. Gómez-Rodríguez. "Intrinsic Character of the (3×3) to (sqrt(3)×sqrt(3)) Phase Transition in Pb/Si(111)" Phys Rev Lett v94 046101 (4 Feb 2005).

PACS: , 68.35.Bs, 68.37.Ef, 71.15.Nc|

Updated: wacky font sizes

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Mathematics Survey

Pointed out in the NSDL Scout Report v4 n3 (Feb 11, 2005). Note: the journal's been linked from our internal portal for a while, this is just more about the project.

This ambitious project seeks to solve a lot of what's wrong with mathematics information right now. Two (1, 2) new books came out in the last year trying to help users and librarians make some sort of in road into finding necessary math. While the books are very good the fragmentation and compartmentalization of the math knowledge is so severe that it's almost a lost battle.

Pitman, from Berkeley, has envisioned an open access set of survey journals and encyclopedias indexed by MSC (subject) and interlinked by author and collaboration graphs. Really quite a broad sweeping plan. Sounds like it could be done on a wiki (with editorial review). He hopes that the end information will be heavily cited (thus findable in WoS) and searchable on Google Scholar, MathSci, and Zentralblatt Math.

The first part of this is the probability and stochastic processes electronic journal: Probability Surveys.

Link this, if you will, to my suggestions (1, 2) of using established classification codes for new projects, etc. Note: Pitman doesn't propose a whole new classification scheme, he suggests the use of MSC. Perhaps mathematicians and statisticians should tag their posts and web pages with MSC codes? Maybe they already do?


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Human Factors: Special Section on Driver Distraction

(full text to subscribers only, nb: long-time institutional print subscribers might not realize that they can now register for online access... we're just getting this set up now)
This is a timely section. Everything from modeling to how age makes a difference in seeing traffic signs while involved in a conversation.

Also, RSS feed available for this and all other Extenza pubs.

updated (fixed a typo)

Preposterous Universe: Hallucinatory neurophysics

U Chi Physicist Sean Carroll describes this recent work in mathematical neurophysics. Essentially, describing in mathematical terms/wave equations the patterns of hallucinations.
But here is the punchline: patterns of hallucinations reflect normal modes of the neurons in the visual cortex. By "normal modes" we mean the characteristic patterns of vibration, just as for a violin string or the head of a drum. The idea is that a drug such as LSD can alter the ground state of the visual cortex, so that it becomes excited even in the absence of stimuli. In particular, certain oscillating patterns can appear spontaneously. Generally these would take the form of different configurations of straight lines in the cortex itself; however, due to the distortion in the map from our visual field to the brain, these appear to us as spirals, tunnels, and so on. Indeed, Cowan and collaborators have shown that these normal modes can successfully account for all of the basic forms of hallucination classified by Kluever decades ago.
Take time to read the comments, too. In the comments there's a comparison to other mathematical models of the brain which do not fit as well as these wave functions.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Nature: Schrodinger's mousetrap (fiction)

Ok, I'm hooked. The link above may only work for subscribers, but it is marked free -- Go to your local library if you don't have access.

There I was, browsing the covers of our scientific journals when I ran across this article. Turns out that it's a new short story broken up in to parts accross multiple issues. Why do our issues come so late? I'm not saying it's particularly well written, but what a neat idea.

The article has quantum entanglement, negative refraction...

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Welcome to the World Year of Physics 2005

What with running around like a chicken with my head cut off I've lapsed a little in posting here. This is already the second month of the World Year of Physics. In case you're a little behind the times, this is the 100th anniversary of the year when Einstein published three very important papers. I think the UN even did a proclamation about it.

Here is a very brief list of things to do/read on WYoP: