Tag archives: Physics World magazine
By Louise Mayor
Unless you’ve been living under a stone or aren’t a regular reader, you’ll know that this month marked the 25th anniversary of Physics World – the member magazine of the Institute of Physics (IOP).
We pushed the boat out by turning our October issue into a celebration of all things physics – past, present and future – by picking our top five discoveries in fundamental physics over the last 25 years, the top five images during that period, the five biggest unanswered questions, the top five people changing how physics is done, as well as the top five spin-offs from physics that will improve people’s lives over the next quarter century.
Apart from the special 25th-anniversary issue being the top story on the BBC website for a glorious few hours early in October, we were particularly pleased to see that our pick of the top breakthroughs in fundamental physics inspired a fascinating discussion at John Preskill’s group meeting over at Caltech’s Institute for Quantum Information and Matter.
By Matin Durrani
As you may have gathered (and if not, where have you been?) this month marks the 25th anniversary of Physics World – the member magazine of the Institute of Physics (IOP).
The issue has been available in print, online and via our apps (from the App Store and Google Play) since the start of the month to all members of the IOP, but because we want to celebrate our birthday with as many people as possible, we’re now making available a free PDF download of the entire issue to members and non-members alike. The PDF doesn’t have all the great multimedia you’ll find in the online and app versions, but it is still worth checking out.
The issue looks back at some of the highlights in physics of the last 25 years and also forward to where the subject is going next. We’ve split the bulk of the issue into five sections, each with five items (five times five being 25, of course):
By Matin Durrani
Today marks the 25th anniversary of Physics World – the member magazine of the Institute of Physics (IOP) – which launched in October 1988. And to celebrate that fact, we’ve created a fantastic special issue of Physics World in which we look back at some of the highlights in physics of the last 25 years and also forward to where the subject is going next.
All members of the IOP can access the entire new issue right now via the digital version of the magazine or by downloading the free Physics World app onto your iPhone or iPad or Android device, available from the App Store and Google Play, respectively. The issue includes a stack of bonus audio and video content, including three short films we’ve specially made about some of the top spin-offs from physics.
We’ve split the bulk of the issue into five sections, each with five items (five times five being 25, of course):
• Find out our choice of the top five discoveries in fundamental physics over the last 25 years.
• See what five leading researchers have to say about Physics World‘s choice of the five biggest unanswered questions in physics right now.
• Enjoy our pick of the five top images from the last 25 years that have let us “see” a physical phenomenon or effect.
• Learn more about the five people who are changing the way physics is done.
• Gaze into the future as we disclose the five most promising spin-offs from physics.
We also have a set of fiendish physics-themed puzzles devised for you by staff at the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) – the first is revealed in the special issue and on our blog, with the rest to be unveiled on physicsworld.com throughout October.
By Michael Banks
All eyes will be on Stockholm next week as the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics is announced. One of the frontrunners for the prize in the minds of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences will surely be the discovery last year of the Higgs boson at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
But the LHC story is far from over and in the latest Physics World focus issue on “big science” find out how the LHC will hunt for new particles beyond the Higgs boson once the collider restarts in 2015 following an 18-month repair and upgrade programme at the Geneva-based lab.
All full members of the Institute of Physics will receive a print edition of the focus issue along with their copy of the October issue of Physics World, but everyone can access a free digital edition. The focus issue also looks at how particle physicists are already thinking about what could come after the LHC, with bold plans for a 80–100 km proton–proton collider. There are even plans for a collider based on lasers, with an international team looking at creating an array of “fibre lasers” to be used as a future “Higgs factory”.
By Matin Durrani
The Republic of Korea – known colloquially as South Korea to outsiders – has transformed itself over the last 50 years from a nation based primarily on agriculture to a hi-tech industrial powerhouse.
No longer in the shadow of its neighbouring powerhouses in Asia – China and Japan – the country is fast becoming a hotbed of top-quality research, as you can find out by reading the new Physics World Special Report on the Republic of Korea.
We delve into some of the areas of science, including synchrotron science, graphene and fusion energy, where Korea is leading the way.
The report begins with an overview of the country’s research scene, including interviews with Kookrin Char (head of physics at Seoul National University), Hawoong Jeong (head of physics at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) and Cheol Eui Lee, a nanophysicist at Korea University in Seoul, who is also president of the Korean Physical Society.
By Matin Durrani
If you’re a member of the Institute of Physics (IOP), it’s time to get stuck into the September 2013 issue of Physics World, which has a great range of articles that are sure to pique your interest.
Remember that all members of the IOP can access the entire new issue free via the digital version of the magazine or by downloading the Physics World app onto your iPhone or iPad or Android device, available from the App Store and Google Play, respectively.
This month we catch up with the latest developments in what seems almost like science fiction: creating artificial organs with a 3D printer that uses a patient’s own cells as ink. We also look at the life of Laura Bassi, who in 18th-century Italy became possibly the first ever female professional physicist. Our final feature this month examines the interplay between chaos in art and science, which has included everyone from Jackson Pollock to Edward Lorenz.
Don’t miss either a great Lateral Thought about the link between physics and bringing up babies, while this month’s careers article has some top tips for anyone wanting to get a job in industry.
By Matin Durrani
What would happen if the global positioning system (GPS) were suddenly to stop working or be switched off? A lot more than a few wrong turns during a car journey, that’s for sure.
With so much technology relying on GPS, which is owned and operated by the US, it’s vital that alternative global satellite-navigation systems enter service. Thankfully, Europe’s Galileo system, currently in production in the UK, will be fully operational by the end of the decade. It will also be more accurate than GPS, which could lead to a host of novel applications.
But what’s interesting for physicists is that Galileo would not be possible without advanced vacuum engineering and testing – as you can find out in our new focus issue of Physics World on vacuum technology.
By Matin Durrani
If you’re a member of the Institute of Physics, it’s time to get stuck into the August 2013 issue of Physics World, which has a great range of articles that are sure to pique your interest.
Michael de Podesta from the UK’s National Physical Laboratory describes attempts to redefine the SI unit of temperature in terms of the Boltzmann constant. We also examine how ambitious plans to pipe energy to Europe from massive solar-power plants in north Africa and the Middle East appear to have bitten the dust.
This month’s Critical Point column by Robert Crease examines a fascinating institution in the US that seeks to teach physics and engineering through project-based work based on the intriguing principle of “just-in-time” – rather than “just-in-case” – education. Finally, a feature by our own Michael Banks tackles the move to open-access publishing, which is fast becoming a reality.
By James Dacey
Tomorrow we will be hosting a Google Hangout about the July issue of Physics World – a special issue on an emergent field known as the “physics of cancer”. If you have not read the issue already, it is available as a free PDF download.
I will be joined in the Hangout by Matin Durrani, the editor of Physics World, and Louise Mayor, the magazine’s features editor, and the three of us will be discussing the themes and issues raised by the magazine. We would also like to hear from you on this topic. So please send us your questions about the issue by posting a comment below this article.
You will be able to watch the Hangout live, on both the Physics World Google+ page and the Physics World YouTube channel. The Hangout will be taking place this Friday at 12.15 p.m. local time, which corresponds to the following times:
London (BST) 12.15 p.m.
New York (EDT) 7.15 a.m.
Mumbai (IST) 4.45 p.m.
Sydney (EST) 9.15 p.m.
By Matin Durrani
As physics has grown into a bigger, increasingly global and more connected endeavour, are there still any true physics hot spots? Are there any institutes, universities or regions that really are “the place to be”? Does good physics, in other words, depend more on who (or what) you know than where you are?
The importance of having the right people in the right location is well illustrated in this month’s issue of Physics World, in which science writer Brian Clegg looks at the role played by Manchester in the development by Niels Bohr of his model of the atomic nucleus 100 years ago.
What drew Bohr there were not so much the facilities at the University of Manchester’s physics department but rather its working environment and in particular the presence of the New Zealander Ernest Rutherford, with whom Bohr struck up a great rapport.
Our cover story this month concerns attempts to extract carbon dioxide from the air in the fight against climate change, while elsewhere in the issue we look at all the cool – and pretty fundamental – things you can do with ultracold neutrons.