This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today


Freebie round-up


There’s not a fantastic selection of freebies at this year’s AAAS meeting, although there are one or two gems. A brain that sticks to walls, a pen that unfolds at the push of a button and — if you can make it past the dark sunglasses and curly-wired earphones of the agents at the FBI stand — a copy of Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Pocket Guide.

However, the freebie producing the biggest buzz comes from ITER, the project that is desperately trying to get a fusion power plant up and running by 2018. Go to its stand and you can pick up a pair of magnetic bean-shaped “fusion particles”. The idea is that you take one in each hand, throw them up in the air, and gasp in amazement as they stick and flutter together, thus demonstrating the basic principle of fusion.

I tried for a good two minutes earlier today trying to make those fusion particles work, but to no avail. Then, back in the press room, a journalist who wished to remain anonymous revealed the secret. “You have to believe in ITER,” he told me. “They won’t ever work unless you say you believe.”

This entry was posted in AAAS Annual Meeting 2008. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Comments are closed.


  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="">IOP</blockquote>
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text