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Print edition: March 2002

Features

Liberté, égalité and fraternité

The battle cry is as relevant in physics now as it was in France over 200 years ago

Learning lessons from the classroom

Valerie Jamieson asks female pupils what they really think

Semiconductor microcavities: half light, half matter

Quantum wells can form a laser that amplifies light more than any known material

Physics and forensics

Synchrotron radiation identifies traces of materials found at crime scenes

Physics in Action

A new golden age for astronomy

Early results from the Gemini South and VLT observatories herald a new era in astronomy

Cold positrons support the annihilation theory

Physicists solve a long-standing puzzle about positron annihilation in molecular gases

Protein folding and the secret of life

Theoretical physicists discover a limit to the number of shapes that a protein can remember

Quantum dots break new ground

The sequence of photons emitted by artificial atoms can now be controlled

Post-deadline

Liquid droplets take off

Death by supernova

Molecular biology goes nonlinear

News & Analysis

Probably the best experiment ever

Dispute follows rare-decay claim

Nuclear door remains ajar

The energy-saving quantum afterburner

New letters reveal war-time mysteries

Meeting the modest master of M-theory

Quantum gravity's new phenomenon

Cartoonist draws in people

Physics wins cash windfall

Editorial

Physics needs women

Female physicists meet at the first international conference aimed at lifting the number of women in physics

Forum

Turning women into leaders

More female leaders are needed to encourage women to take up physics

Mixing motherhood and science

We need to make it easier for women to be physicists and raise a family

Reviews

A Brief History of Science: As Seen Through the Development of Scientific Instruments, Thomas Crump

Encyclopedia of Chemical Physics and Physical Chemistry, John Moore and Nicholas Spencer (ed)

Science Askew: A Light-hearted Look at the Scientific World, Donald Simanek and John Holden

Top equations add up to beauty

A modern view of the history of science

Careers

Those who can, teach physics

Catherine Wilson examines the many ways to become a qualified physics teacher in the UK

Lateral Thoughts

Do we really know as much as we think?