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Print edition: August 2008

Features

A light in the dark?

For the last 10 years physicists in Italy have been claiming to have directly detected dark matter, which is believed to make up 23% of the universe. Edwin Cartlidge finds out why their results continue to create controversy

Superfluidity: three people, two papers, one prize

Most accounts of the controversial discovery of superfluid helium by Peter Kapitza, Jack Allen and Don Misener are often incomplete or simply wrong. Allan Griffin tries to set the record straight

Remapping the quantum frontier

A full-scale universal quantum computer may still be a long way off, but the quest for this goal is opening up new areas of science and producing useful applications and techniques along the way. Christopher Monroe and Mikhail Lukin reveal a few of the most exciting developments

Quanta

Artistic gravitas

Watch your speed

Football's new wave

Pi in the sky

Frontiers

TEM sees the light

The lightest bottomonia

Glass arrested on the road to crystallization

Fallout exposes fake art

Wave power made easy

News & Analysis

US teams vie for rare-isotope facility

Supplemental bill saves staff lay-offs

Projects reprieved – but cuts still loom

Protests force rethink on CNRS reforms

Spanish synchrotron facility warms up

Germany unites behind national academy

IBM forms new nanotech hub

Italy trials solar-thermal power plant

India tests merits of thorium reactor

Scientist to appeal misconduct charge

Europe prepares for the ILC

Sarkozy plans new nuclear plant

Carbon-capture plant wins reprieve

Inspired thinking

Douglas Osheroff was one of 19 Nobel-prize-winning physicists who attended a meeting in Germany last month that played host to over 550 of the world’s most promising young researchers. He gives Matthew Chalmers his tips for would-be Nobel laureates of the future

Japanese particle-physics leader dies

Rise of the dragon

Editorial

Fame or footnote?

The award of a Nobel prize can leave some deserving researchers empty-handed

Forum

Turning Europe's innovation dream into a working reality

Critical Point

A question of trust

Scientists and those people with religious convictions may have sharply contrasting beliefs, says Robert P Crease, but does that forbid them from having stimulating conversation?

Feedback

Biofuel considerations

Curriculum concerns

What grey ceiling?

Bright future for plastic

Inverted conceit

Reviews

Postmodernism, politics and religion

Philip Anderson looks at what Sokal the hoaxer did next

Blog life: Michael Nielsen

Michael Nielsen looks at science publishing

List mania

The new space age

Surviving academic life

The mathematical rabbit hole

Careers

Secure your future

A background in physics plus a keen interest in politics and current affairs can add up to a rewarding career in international security, as James Acton explains

Keeping EU researchers in touch

Life-changing innovations

High honours for low temperatures

Movers and shakers

Once a physicist: Al Powell

A life in mountain running

Lateral Thoughts

Conferences revisited