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Print edition: May 2009


The rise and fall of a physics fraudster

Seven years after rumours of massive fraud began to surface, the repercussions of Jan Hendrik Schön’s lies still reverberate. In her new book Plastic Fantastic, abridged and edited here, Eugenie Samuel Reich chronicles how his fraud shook the scientific world

Doing science in the open

Online networking tools are pervasive, but why have scientists been so slow to adopt many of them? Michael Nielsen explains how we can build a better culture of online collaboration

The gambling scholar

At the root of quantum theory we find only two basic ingredients — complex numbers and probabilities. Both, amazingly, were discovered by the same man. Artur Ekert tells the story of one of the finest minds of the Renaissance, the colourful and unpredictable Girolamo Cardano


Toilet troubles

April fools

Spot kick

Top toy


Algorithm automates physical laws

CP violation estimated

Curved light bends the rules

Maxwell's demon lives

Bubbles burst for hospital cleanliness

News & Analysis

Telescope hunts for cosmic explosions

Clover and out for UK telescope

Giant array faces financial and political challenges

World's brightest synchrotron powers up

US seeks to lift export ban on satellite technology

Russia plans new generation of lunar spacecraft

Boost in minorities doing PhDs in the US

Science offers hope for Irish economy

Canada stamps its mark on the IYA

Boost for Swedish neutron bid

Qatar opens science park

Physicist nominated for top job at Department of Energy

Future nuclear plants could put pressure on helium supply

The Pope's scientists

Damaging effect: the impact of the L'Aquila earthquake

NASA maps the way for lunar return


Physics and fraud

Join the Twitter bandwagon


Accelerating into the future

Critical Point

‘Two cultures’ turns 50

Robert P Crease asks why the idea of the “two cultures”, coined by C P Snow 50 years ago, still feels so current — despite the book that promoted the idea being both dated and flawed


Wireless worries

Judging Galileo

Comments from

Y oh y study physics?

That gravity thing

In the dark

Unitary own goals


The story of the quantum

The Hawkings in space

Hmm, that's funny...

Science faction


Riding the red dragon

Western universities have long welcomed visiting students and academics from the Far East. Now China’s ascendance offers career opportunities for researchers like Ian Broadwell who want to make the reverse journey

Once a physicist: Nick Horvath

From physics to professional basketball

Nanopioneer honoured

Exoplanet fellows named

Tune in to science

Movers and shakers

Lateral Thoughts

Subs, satellites and dark matter