By Matin Durrani
Everyone loves physics. And everyone loves animals, right? In the December issue of Physics World magazine, which is now live in the Physics World app for mobile and desktop, University of Bristol physicist Peter Barham explains how he became an expert in penguins, studying the factors that that affect their survival and discovering how to use the spots on African penguins to identify them. You can also read the article here.
Elsewhere in the new issue, you can enjoy our selection of the best books for Christmas, discover how one physicist became a successful contemporary dancer, and find out how to spot single photons with your naked eye.
Don’t miss either the chance to win a copy of Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Collection 5 in our special prize puzzle.
If you’re a member of the Institute of Physics (IOP), you can now enjoy immediate access to the new issue with the digital edition of the magazine in your web browser or on any iOS or Android mobile device (just download the Physics World app from the App Store or Google Play). If you’re not yet in the IOP, you can join as an IOPimember for just £15, €20 or $25 a year to get full access to Physics World digital.
For the record, here’s a run-down of what else is in the issue.
• Trump triggers fears for US science – US president-elect Donald Trump’s views on science and climate change are making scientists nervous as he puts his team in place, as Peter Gwynne reports
• Demonstrating the value of physics – Muhammad Sabieh Anwar says that carefully prepared practical demonstrations can improve students’ understanding of physics, especially those in the developing world
• Franken-physics – Two hundred years after it was written, the Frankenstein story is still haunting, says Robert P Crease
• Penguin physics – Peter Barham became involved with penguin research in tandem with his career in polymer physics. Along the way he has made significant progress in identifying factors that are key to penguin survival
• Seeing single photons –The decades-old question of whether humans can see individual photons is on the brink of being answered thanks to advances in quantum optics. A positive result would let us use human observers as “detectors” to explore quantum effects such as entanglement, as Rebecca Holmes explains
• Life as we do and don’t know it – Dimitra Atri reviews Goldilocks and the Water Bears: the Search for Life in the Universe by Louisa Preston
• Tracing the path towards totality – Shadia Habbal reviews Sun Moon Earth: the History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets by
• Fermi: physicist with a capital F – Marina Cobal reviews The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age by Gino Segrè and Bettina Hoerlin
• Bright ideas and their architects – Tony Mann reviews Idea Makers: Personal Perspectives on the Lives and Ideas of Some Notable People by Stephen Wolfram
• Zombie girls: a history – Kate Brown reviews The Radium Girls: They paid with their
lives. Their final fight was for justice by Kate Moore
• Quantum physics across the world – A summer internship at Singapore’s Centre for
Quantum Technologies helped Kate Clements refine her postgraduate plans while
also getting to know a new culture
• Once a physicist – Meet Elizabeth Waterhouse is an artist and contemporary dancer based in Bern, Switzerland
• Holiday word challenge – To keep your brain cells active over the festive period, we have put together a word puzzle based wholly on articles published in Physics World this year. We have two copies of Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Collection 5 to give away as prizes.