Main stories from 20 October 1997 Adelaidean

Monday, 20 October 1997

Adelaide is hub for 'virtual physics library'

Scientists can now access up-to-the-minute physics research faster and cheaper than ever before thanks to a mirror server site set up at the University of Adelaide. It's part of a trend that may signal the beginning of the end for expensive specialist journals, as this sort of development revolutionises the way academic information is accessed. The Adelaide site mirrors a major physics internet site in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Each day, physicists over the world electronically send their latest findings to the Los Alamos site where they are processed and broadcast each night to remote sites in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, the UK, the US and now Australia. The next day, these "pre-prints" can be accessed by other physicists, researchers and students from their closest web site, which for Australia and South East Asia is the University of Adelaide. Professor Tony Thomas, Director of the University of Adelaide's National Institute of Theoretical Physics and the Special Research Centre for the Subatomic Structure of Matter, posted a research paper on the archive on a Wednesday, and caught a plane to Japan, arriving on Friday to be greeted by a physicist from South America and another from North America, both with his paper in hand and ready to argue. "This is what cutting-edge competitive science is all about-a totally international activity," Professor Thomas says.

 

Contact Details

Professor Tony Thomas
The University of Adelaide
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Professor Kym Anderson
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George Gollin Professor of Economics; Executive Director, Wine Economics Research Centre
School of Economics
The University of Adelaide
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Mr David Ellis
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