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Print edition: February 2009

Features

Electricity unplugged

In the near future, wireless electricity could replace the ubiquitous power cable. Aristeidis Karalis looks at a revolutionary new way of transmitting power without wires

The race to build a quantum computer

Quantum computation was a highly speculative enterprise facing serious technological obstacles until a shy young physicist came along. Dave Bacon tells the story of Alexei Kitaev’s big idea

Underneath the surface

From Leonardo da Vinci to Jackson Pollock, physics is shining new light on old art. Calla Cofield reports on the fertile intersection between the two cultures

Quanta

Collector's item

Einstein on the buses

Top job

Storm in a teacup

Poker face

Frontiers

Repulsive Casimir effect captured

Light mystery solved?

Simulation takes the limit off star formation

Bacteria could provide alternative energy supply

Nanowires stick to chips

News & Analysis

China to build giant radio telescope

Hidden sketches by Leonardo da Vinci revealed

Obama signals fresh approach to science

Stanford sets up $100m energy institute

Construction starts on €1bn X-ray free-electron laser

Brookhaven lab gets the nod for $900m light source

SuperB machine set to study antimatter

CERN seeks better communication

Japanese mega-lab nears completion

Top minds sought in China

US neutron source wins upgrade

Fusion ambassador

From boss of the CERN particle-physics lab to head of the UK’s fusion programme, Chris Llewellyn Smith has held some of the top jobs in physics. He talks to Michael Banks about his new roles in the ITER fusion project and a plan to help science in the Middle East

Solar power edges towards grid parity

US teenagers still discouraged from science

India targets bigger and faster grants

Editorial

Science at centre stage

Art and science

Forum

The nuclear threat: a new start

As US President Barack Obama takes office, his leadership will be needed to reduce the dangers of the world’s nuclear weapons and to stop nuclear materials from falling into rogue hands, argues Sidney Drell

Critical Point

Journeys to greatness

To practising physicists, the great equations of physics might seem obvious, logical and trivial. But to their discoverers, Robert P Crease argues, that was far from true

Feedback

RAE wranglings provoke debate

Framework faults

Hands-on innovation

Topological toys

Yours anonymously

What goes up...

More sticky memories

A modest proposal

Comments from physicsworld.com

Reviews

Not wrapped up yet

Is the universe multiply connected? wonders Andrew Jaffe

Web life: The Internet Plasma Physics Education Experience

Explore the physics of fusion through interactive games on a simulated tokamak

E=mc² in theory and in practice

Putting ATLAS on the map

Not forbidden fruit

Literary love

A universe of verse

Careers

The science of fine art

Working at the interface of science and art, conservation research extends our knowledge of artworks and helps keep fragile items safe for future generations. Christina Young explains how physics can help to preserve our cultural heritage

Once a physicist: Zhengrong Shi

From laser physics to solar power: the founder and chief executive of Suntech Power

Early-career scientists honoured

Winners of Liebniz Prize announced

Movers and shakers

Lateral Thoughts

What did sociologists ever do for us?