Published: Thursday 15 May 1997

Web of physics The discovery of a leptoquark in a particle accelerator in Germany has created ripples in the world of particle physics. "If the existence of the new particle is confirmed by further experiments, it could be on par with the discovery of the electron or DNA", says one of the researchers. It will open up a whole new era of physics. Particle physics has always been seen in a ambiguous way, but one can judge by the number of web sites set up by particle physics groups from around the world that this view is rather unfair. It's true that a lot of the nitty-gritty cannot be properly understood without getting to grips with some high-powered maths, but that hardly amounts to a conspiracy to obscure the subject.

There is a comprehensive list of ites dealing with high-energy physics available at http://wwwcern. ch/Physics/HEP.htnil. Fermilabs considered to be the most high profile laboratory@ has an excellent Web site at http://www. The site has a clickable tour that also includes a section on the practical benefits of high energy physics, something that people interested in physics would love to see.

Browsing for health Now the Net could be helpful for those who want specific health inquiries. Many sites produce a questionnaires that attempts to firadout if you are at risk of developing cancer and diabetes or having a heart attack. There are several such tests at bttp:// test. hind. The American Heart Association also hosts a short online test at http://www index.html. All that staring at the screen is likely to have an effect on your eyesight, but the Net can even test that for you. A series of eye tests have been collected at http:// eyetest/eyetest.htm that check your visual acuity, see if you have any blind spots and if you are colour blind.

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