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Print edition: October 2008


Two decades and counting...

Opening this special issue marking the 20th anniversary of the launch of Physics World, Matin Durrani says that the magazine still has a vital role to play in the electronic age

Ending the great drought

For more than 20 years, particle theory has left experiment far behind in its wake. Michael Riordan hopes that the Large Hadron Collider will help bring particle physics back to its experimental roots

The global-village pioneers

Paul Ginsparg, who founded the arXiv e-print archive, recounts the early days of the Web and looks at how it has changed scientific communication

Pop science's big bang

Stephen Hawking’s book A Brief History of Time, first published 20 years ago, reshaped the science publishing landscape. John D Barrow charts the rise of the popular-science book and looks at the huge impact of Hawking’s bestseller on popular culture

Map of physics

Corporate interests

Bell Labs, once the epitome of synergy between fundamental and applied physics, is about to close its basic-research department. Jennifer Ouellette investigates how this reflects industrial physics today

Life at the frontier

Physics has traditionally been viewed as a grand quest to understand the building blocks of matter and the forces holding them together. But as Robert P Crease argues, the reality is no longer that simple

The new geography of science

China, Brazil, India and other emerging superpowers are reshaping the scientific landscape and breaking the US–Europe hegemony. James Wilsdon reports on the new balance of power in physics

...And now for the next 20 years

Six leading physicists peek into the future


Lightning Bolt

Animal magnetism

It's a dog's life

Fat lot of good


Quantum repeater demonstrated

Stars dodge black holes

Atoms do a clover to the 'bose-nova'

Holey sheet stops sound

Pulsar signal for phones

News & Analysis

The day the world watched

Caucasus conflict challenges US space policy

Jefferson lab receives upgrade boost

Dark-matter 'paparazzi' exposed

NASA selects new Mars mission

China due for its first spacewalk

Satellites to provide broadband

Science sidelined in US presidential campaign

Physicist falls foul of US export law

Bubble-fusion professor loses faculty post

Medical-isotope supply hit by production problems

Proton-beam technique dates fine wine


Physics World turns 20


Have PhD, will travel

Life as a postdoctoral researcher offers opportunities for making independent contributions to science, but there are pitfalls too, as Margaret Harris explains

Once a physicist: Theo Jansen

The Dutch artist who makes “living” beach sculptures that can move

US trio win national medals

Calling all extraterrestrial researchers

Nominees sought for Institute awards

Movers and shakers

Lateral Thoughts

The science that never was