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Print edition: April 2009


In search of the black swans

The publish-or-perish ethic too often favours a narrow and conservative approach to scientific innovation. Mark Buchanan asks whether we are pushing revolutionary ideas to the margins

The (unfortunate) complexity of the economy

Jean-Philippe Bouchaud explains how physicists are bringing new ideas and methodologies to the science of economics

Planets under pressure

The pressures inside planets can be high enough to collapse diamonds and turn noble gases into metals. Raymond Jeanloz describes how we can study such extreme conditions without leaving the laboratory, and what the results might tell us about life elsewhere in the universe


In stitches

Flat-packed living

A year in the making

Still a planet


Top result for two Tevatron teams

Fermi surface unmasked

MRI gets new legs

An eye on entanglement

Seeking a biosensor powered by vibrations

News & Analysis

US nuclear repository in jeopardy

NASA rocket failure delays Glory mission

China experiments with solar-thermal power production

Peter Higgs appears on canvas

Mapping the cosmos

COMPASS tokamak points towards ITER

Bureaucracy blights funding in Europe

Physicist bags Templeton prize

Flu fighters use the Web to track virus

US pays price for $500m budget blunder

NASA missions: late and expensive

Physicist accused of misappropriating NASA funds

CERN marks 20 years of the Web

Finland publishes space strategy

China outlines lunar programme

Oxford Instruments honoured

Unleashing science in India


Backing black swans

Pure genius


German for physicists

Critical Point

Making physics popular

Writing about physics for the public involves more than just translating complex scientific ideas into simple language, says Robert P Crease


Nuclear politics

The ratings game

Art meets science

Comments from

Canoe do physics?

Students and the LHC

Unitary disagreements


Beautifully strange

John Enderby describes the life of the "strangest man": Paul Dirac

Cosmic alternatives?

Web life: The Evil Mad Scientist Project

How to electrocute a hot dog...and more

In their own words

One scientist's faith

A voice of dissent

Of algebra and Allah


Riding the storm out

A career in severe-weather research offers flexibility and plenty of opportunities to experience the fascinating physics of the rotating fluid called the atmosphere. Josh Wurman describes the science of storm-chasing and why hurricanes are scarier than tornadoes

'Past' prize for astrophysicists

Science-writing stars

Movers and shakers

Once a physicist: Vijay Iyer

From physics to acclaimed jazz musician

Lateral Thoughts

The downside of technology