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Tag archives: Physics World magazine

Physics World Special Report: Republic of Korea

By Matin Durrani

Physics World Special Report: Republic of Korea

Physics World Special Report: Republic of Korea.

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.

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The September 2013 issue of Physics World is out now

By Matin Durrani

Physics World September 2013

Physics World September 2013.

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.

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Physics World 2013 Focus on Vacuum Technology is out now

Physics World 2013 Focus Issue on Vacuum Technology

Physics World 2013 Focus on Vacuum Technology.

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.

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The August 2013 issue of Physics World is out now

By Matin Durrani

Physics World August 2013

Physics World August 2013.

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.

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Hang out with Physics World as we discuss the physics of cancer

By James Dacey

Cover of Physics World July 2013 special issue on "physics of cancer"

Physics World July 2013 special issue on the physics of cancer.

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:

UTC 11:15

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.

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The June 2013 issue of Physics World is now out

Physics World June 2013

Physics World June 2013.

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.

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Hangout with Physics World

By James Dacey

This year Physics World is celebrating its 25th birthday. The first issue of the magazine was published in October 1988, so for October this year we are producing a special anniversary issue. It will celebrate the big physics stories from the first quarter of a century of our existence, but it will also have a strong focus on the exciting new physics that await us in the near future. To discuss our plans, I joined editor of Physics World Matin Durrani in this Google Hangout, recorded yesterday.

It was the first time we had attempted one of these fancy new hangouts; this was something of a pilot run. But with the likes of Barack Obama, CERN and the BBC all attempting this new, accessible way of video broadcasting, I reckon we’re in good company.

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South Korea – day one

By Matin Durrani

Flag of South Korea

South Korea: physics rising star.

Hello from South Korea, where I’m on a week-long tour with Physics World news editor Michael Banks. We’re here to visit a series of top physics institutes and research organizations in a trip that’s taken several months of careful planning to arrange.

There are three main reasons for coming here. The first is to gather material for a Physics World special report on physics in South Korea, which will be published in September. This report will follow on from our previous special reports on India, Japan and China.

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An afternoon of quantum theory

By Louise Mayor

Yesterday I had an exciting trip out of the office.

This month's cover story

This month’s cover story.

Earlier this week, one of Physics World’s freelance writers, Jon Cartwright, told how me he’d been invited to the Bristol University theory department’s weekly seminar. Felix Flicker, a 2nd-year PhD student who organizes these events, had seen Jon’s article “The life of psi” in this month’s Physics World, which discusses a theorem published in Nature Physics. The theorem is interesting because if its assumptions hold, it rules out one of the four interpretations of quantum mechanics and leaves us with three.

I wanted in on the seminar action!

Last year when I was planning the Physics World special issue on quantum frontiers (which was out in March and is still available as a free PDF download), I had approached Jon to ask whether he’d like to tackle a quantum topic, and he let me know he was interested in covering the paper by Matthew Pusey, Jonathan Barrett and Terry Rudolph. Jon had seen the story reported elsewhere but had found these accounts were light on the details and didn’t get to the bottom of the science. I liked the idea and Jon went ahead. Once the story arrived in my inbox I was hooked! I found it to be one of those stories that covers some tricky concepts but if you let yourself become immersed in the story and think through what’s being explained, is very rewarding.

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The May 2013 issue of Physics World is now live

Physics World May 2013

Physics World May 2013.

By Matin Durrani

We’re sometimes accused here at Physics World of being hopelessly in awe of supposedly esoteric science such as the Higgs boson or quantum entanglement. In fact, as if to prove the point, the lead news story and the lead feature in the May issue of Physics World are on those very topics!

However, the new issue of the magazine – which you can read online and via our apps – also contains some very down-to-Earth physics in the form of an article that describes how special “wave bypass” structures could enable bridges to cope with potentially damaging vibrations. The most famous example of such destruction was the Tacoma Narrows Bridge – the falling-apart of which you can watch in our archive video clip on page 33 of the digital magazine.

Elsewhere in the issue, we look at the exciting potential of the brain-imaging technique of magnetoencephalography, while we have a great careers article this month outlining the benefits of a career as a scientific consultant.

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