From the Princeton Weekly Bulletin, November 17, 1997
IPPEX website earns five awards
It's "Cool" and a "Hot Spot." It's the Internet Plasma Physics Educational eXperience (IPPEX), the Plasma Physics lab's interactive website.
IPPEX allows users to operate their own fusion experiments and analyze data from real experiments conducted by physicists. It includes an introduction to fusion; interactive physics modules on Matter, Electricity and Magnetism, Energy, and Fusion, at an upper middle-school level; a section of data analysis from PPL's Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR); a "Virtual Tokamak"; and "Ask a Scientist," in which students from all over the world can ask questions on plasma physics and fusion energy. You can check it out at http://ippex.PPPL.gov/ippex/.
IPPEX was cited for its excellence on at least five websites in September. New Scientist magazine selected it for the Hot Spots section of its Planet Science site. The Exploratorium museum of science, art and human perception in San Francisco chose it as one of the "Ten Cool Sites." WWW Associates voted IPPEX one of the top 10 science sites on the web. The Virtual Tokamak was named one of the top 25 percent web applets by the JAVA Review Service. And the Yahooligans Directory on the Internet cited IPPEX as its only "cool" physics site under Top Science and Oddities: Physics.
Real scientists, real experiments
"We were able to develop a means for students to interact with real scientists, doing real experiments in a way that is significant and helpful to students," said IPPEX project manager Andrew Post-Zwicker.
IPPEX was featured in the WNET program, "The Internet in Action--Real Time and Remote Visits," in which 10th graders at the Bronx High School of Science used it as part of their physics class. And the site helped create a new plasma physicist when an Italian undergraduate who had completed the TFTR data analysis section wrote expressing a desire to pursue graduate studies in fusion energy. Post-Zwicker introduced him to an Italian colleague who arranged an interview for him; he is starting graduate work in plasma physics at the University of Milan this fall.
In addition to Post-Zwicker, the IPPEX development team at PPL consists of members of the Science Education Program: physicists Steven Scott and Daren Stotler, Engineering and Technical Infrastructure head Michael Williams, Computer Division head Dorothy Barnes and software engineer William Davis. The look of the site was created by Da Jin Wang, a 1997 high school summer research student from Union City.
IPPEX is funded by the N.J. Net-working Infrastructure in Education at the Stevens Institute of Technology through a grant from the National Science Foundation.