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Welcome back

By Matin Durrani

Hello everybody and welcome back to Physics World after the festive break.


If you’ve just got your hands on a brand new tablet device, the first thing you’ll want to do – apart from reading the latest issue of Physics World magazine, of course – is possibly to use it to write your latest scientific paper using every physicist’s favourite typesetting language – LaTeX.

Not so fast!

Unfortunately, making LaTeX function on a tablet device has been no easy task, as software developer Duncan Steele makes clear in a fascinating feature article in the January 2013 issue of Physics World. Thankfully, LaTeX is making the switch to tablets, but it’s not been plain sailing.

If you’re a member of the Institute of Physics, you can access the entire new issue online through the digital version of the magazine by following this link or by downloading the Physics World app onto your iPhone or iPad or Android device, available from the App Store and Google Play, respectively.

If you’re not yet a member, you can join the Institute as an IOPimember for just £15, €20 or $25 a year via this link. Being an IOPimember gives you a full year’s access to Physics World both online and through the apps. It’s the start of the year – so why not join now?

Also in the January issue we look at promoting scientific entrepreneurism in the developing world, explore the new view of the universe as seen by the Herschel Space Observatory, find out how to eradicate experimental bias in science – plus much more besides.

For the record, here’s a rundown of highlights of the issue:

Italy cancels €1bn SuperB colliderMichael Banks examines the repercussions of Italy’s decision to axe a new particle collider that would have produced copious amounts of B mesons

Fuelling innovation in Africa – Joining a team of entrepreneurs and technology-transfer experts in Addis Ababa, Joe Winters asks what role physics has to play in the economic growth of one of the world’s poorest nations

Identity physicsRobert P Crease calls for your new metaphors exploiting the Pauli exclusion principle and Bose–Einstein condensation

The blind physicist – Physicists might not like to admit it, but preconception and bias taint many of their experiments. Brian Clegg explores how this “experimenter bias” manifests itself, and looks at the measures some collaborations are taking to counter its effects

The revolution will be typeset – As the computing world shifts from desktops and laptops to tablet-style devices, one of the most widely used tools in physics – LaTeX – is struggling to follow. Software developer Duncan Steele explains how this typesetting program is now starting to catch up

Cool dust and baby stars – The helium that is cooling its camera is about to run out, but the data from the Herschel Space Observatory, which is designed to study how stars and galaxies form, is likely to keep sub-millimetre wavelength astronomers busy for years to come. Steve Eales explains

Fuelling the thorium dreamJess Gehin reviews Superfuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future by Richard Martin

Philosophical about space–timeClarissa Ai Ling Lee reviews Philosophy of Physics: Space and Time by Tim Maudlin

A clean solutionMichael Duncan, John Girkin and Tom McLeish describe how an unusual cross-disciplinary collaboration between Procter & Gamble and Durham University is generating benefits for both sides

Once a physicist – Meet Ted Hsu – member of parliament for Kingston and the Islands, Canada

The carbon-neutral gymMichael de Podesta wonders whether gym-goers could actually make a difference to the environment

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