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Print edition: July 2009


The quantum life

The idea that quantum mechanics can explain many fundamental aspects of life is resurging, as Paul Davies reveals

Do cells care about physics?

Startling new discoveries show that there is more to the cell than just genetics and biochemistry, explains Jochen Guck

Postcards from the brain

Sam Wang describes some of the physics of our most complex organ

Darwin’s legacy

Born 200 years ago, Charles Darwin is rightly celebrated for his work explaining the origin of species. But in setting a new standard for what an explanation of nature should be like, he also had a huge impact on physics and cosmology, as Leonard Susskind explains


The handbag has landed

Physics has talent

Calling the space 'tweedia'

Who needs the lunar breakdown services?


Black-hole analogue traps sound

New light on axions

Double helix is an 'electric slide' for proteins

Hot dating for old pots

Diamond targets E. coli

News & Analysis

China opens giant celestial scanner

Cautious ITER chiefs opt for 2026 target

Isotope shortage triggers delays for patients

Sweden picks site for waste repository

'Shockley park' stirs racism row

Canadian neutrino lab branches out

Telescope rises to the Sun

Sweden bags neutron source

Boost for carbon-capture facility

Women beat men to faculty positions

Germany unveils €18bn research plan

Deflecting another Tungunska

Intel turns to photonics to extend Moore's law

Game simulates destruction according to the laws of physics


In praise of Darwin

Darwin was no physicist, but his approach to science will be familiar to us


How physics can inspire biology

Alexei Kornyshev thinks that physicists and biologists are now working more closely together than ever before, but that barriers to closer collaboration still exist

Critical Point

The call of the wild

Robert P Crease talks to a former string theorist who found what he wanted in science when he applied the tools of physics to fundamental questions in biology


Reflections on the Schön affair

Snowed under: 50 years of the 'two cultures'

Comments from

Italian magic

Observing the economy

Twinkle, twinkle

Sprechen Sie Physik?

Unusual units


Between chance and necessity

Andrew Steane reviews Stuart Kauffman's Reinventing the Sacred

Beyond Einstein's gravity

Web life: Foldit

How protein folding can be fun

Bad golfers of the world, unite

Physics tackles rugby

Avast ye landlubbers

Into the woods


Tools for learning

Some instruments in teaching laboratories may look old-fashioned, but those wooden boxes can hold surprisingly advanced equipment. George Herold describes his career designing experiments for undergraduate labs

Careers and people

Once a physicist: Bruce McWilliams

Life at the top of a semiconductor company

Lateral Thoughts

On the origin of the Darwin unit