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It’s a cracker – the December 2017 issue of Physics World is now out

Physics World December 2017 coverBy Matin Durrani

The December 2017 issue of Physics World, which is now out in print and digital format, has some great treats for you.

We’ve got two ice-related features – one by Jennifer Ouellette on a new “inverse” Mpemba effect, which suggests that cold water could warm faster than hot, and the other by two Norwegian researchers studying how best to treat wintry roads with salt.

Then there’s our festive reviews special, where we cast our eye over some of the best end-of-year reads, ranging from the physics of everyday life to extrasolar planets. Plus we review the “tremendous” new documentary about the Voyager missions.

Finally don’t miss our insight into quantum-computing careers at Google plus our great end-of-year LIGO-related caption competition.

Remember that if you’re a member of the Institute of Physics, you can read the whole of Physics World magazine every month via our digital apps for iOSAndroid and Web browsers.

For the record, here’s a run-down of what else is in the issue.

Frankenstein on stage – Robert P Crease meets a physicist who’s just had his own musical staged in New York City

• When cold warms faster than hot – Does hot water really freeze faster than cold? Jennifer Ouellette describes what could be a new theoretical understanding for the so-called Mpemba effect – and why it predicts that cold water could even heat up faster than warm water

• A salty safety solution – As the wintry months take their grip on the northern hemisphere, Johan Wåhlin and Alex Klein-Paste explain why salt keeps us safe on icy roads

• A day in the life – Achintya Rao reviews The Physics of Everyday Things: the Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day by James Kakalios

• A little learning is a dangerous thing – Philip Moriarty reviews The Death of Expertise: the Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters by Tom Nichols

• How to build a planet – Louisa Preston reviews The Planet Factory: Exoplanets and the Search for a Second Earth by Elizabeth Tasker

• What makes a mathematician?– Margaret Harris reviews Significant Figures: Lives and Works of Trailblazing Mathematicians by Ian Stewart

• A grand tour – Tushna Commissariat reviews The Farthest: 12 Billion Miles and Counting, a documentary directed by Emer Reynolds

• The many faces of Fermi – Marco Delmastro reviews The Last Man Who Knew Everything: the Life and Times of Enrico Fermi, Father of the Nuclear Age by David N Schwartz

• Random walks to quantum computing – Computer scientist Rami Barends describes his unorthodox route through academia that led to him joining Google’s hardware lab to build a quantum computer

• Caption competition: a very LIGO Christmas – In this exclusive comic drawn by physicist Nutsinee Kijbunchoo, the LIGO Collaboration gets a surprise visit and an unexpected gravitational-wave signal. We invite you to fill in the blank speech bubble in the last frame

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