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Matin Durrani: December 2012 Archives

By Matin Durrani


The latest Physics World special report, which examines the challenges for physicists in India, is ready for you to read online now.

The report contains a great mix of news, features and opinion, including a look at the work carried out a top research centres such as the Indian Institute of Science, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and the Raman Research Institute.

It also has a great podcast on “India’s physics rebels” – the students who resist the pressure to study engineering and let their passion for physics burn instead.

For the record, here’s a list of the main articles in the report.

Welcome to science city – Why is Bangalore home to so many top science institutes?

Igniting a passion for physics among India’s top students – What the Indian government is doing to get more students turned on to science

New horizons for the Tata institute – How one of Mumbai’s leading research centres has ambitious plans to expand into Hyderabad

Speaking up for women – An interview with Shobhana Narasimhan from the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore

India sticks to the thorium trail – Why thorium is still so central to India’s energy plans

India sets its sight on Mars – Opinions are still divided over the country’s bold Martian plans

Digging deep for neutrinos – A look at India’s ambitious plans for a huge underground neutrino detector

Uniting Indian astronomy – An interview with Ajit Kembhavi from the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune

Delivering on a promise – Shiraz Minwalla from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research says that India must urgently reform its education system.

The report reveals that money for India’s top physicists is thankfully not in short supply, but what India currently lacks is a critical concentration of highly capable scientists who can make the country a world leader in research and boost its innovation.

I hope you enjoy reading the report – and do let me have your comments by e-mailing

Love and physics on film

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By Matin Durrani

I wrote last week about the imminent launch of a new five-minute online film about particle physics, cosmology and love called The Theory of Everything.

I’d been to the launch in Covent Garden and quite liked the film, but some of my colleagues groaned that it sounded incredibly cheesy and that I might have been brainwashed in my judgement by meeting the cast and crew at the premiere.

Well, the film has just been released on YouTube so it’s now time for you to judge for yourself.

The company that made the film also has a Facebook competition to win a trip to see the Northern Lights.

By the way, the film wasn’t really filmed in Chile as the video suggests, but at an observatory in Mill Hill in London.