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


What is the greatest asset a physicist could bring to our understanding of cancer?

By James Dacey


Image of metastatic cancer cell

Confocal microscope image of a metastatic breast cancer cell. (Courtesy: Shawn Carey/Cynthia Reinhart-King)

When you think about the types of scientist involved in the study of cancer you probably wouldn’t immediately think of physicists. But a burgeoning field of research referred to as the “physics of cancer” is seeing physical scientists bring new tools and fresh perspectives to this most complicated of diseases. The July issue of Physics World – which can be downloaded for free – is a special issue that looks at some of the most fascinating experimental and theoretical work in this field.

After taking a look at the issue you might want to take part in this week’s Facebook poll:

What is the greatest asset a physicist could bring to our understanding of cancer?

Fresh pair of eyes on a longstanding problem

Ability to identify key variables within a complex system

Focus on physical properties such as forces and fields

Other (please suggest as a comment here or on our Facebook page)

To take part please visit our Facebook page.

In last week’s poll we asked you whether or not you thought Voyager 1 has left the solar system yet. The question was sparked after three papers published in Science last week described how the NASA spacecraft had entered a distinct section at the edge of the solar system last August. In our poll 69% of respondents believe that Voyager 1 has subsequently entered interstellar space, whereas 31% believe it is still within our solar system.

If you’re already a member of the Institute of Physics, you can access the Physics of Cancer issue through the digital version of the magazine or by downloading the Physics World app onto your iPhone, iPad or Android device, available from the App Store and Google Play respectively. The digital issue also contains a series of special Physics World videos on fighting cancer with physics.

This entry was posted in General and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile


  1. Virginia Smith

    The dynamics of a runaway process.

  2. Michael Lerman

    The answer is not much..

  3. sandy j gala

    Im not a physicist ,nor a doctor, but I have studied a bit in both subjects. Having been exposed to PCB’s from a bad transformer.I personally got a rash which was a form of cancer. I was spreading rapid. Assuming cancer is a form of living bacteria it has to breath so I decided to suffocate it with olive oil. then I made a paste of baking soda to stop it from reproducing. or neutralizing it making it impotant. About a week later it disappeared.Baking soda and olive oil. Hope it helps (smile) God Bless


  • 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