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Editor's choice

Jan 19, 2014

A special free-to-read digital edition containing 10 of our very best feature articles on the science and applications of light

In depth

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Features, opinions and reviews from the world’s top physicists and professional science writers


A natural neutron source

Lightning produces millions of neutrons per stroke – but how? Casper Rutjes and Ute Ebert explain how our understanding of thunderstorm physics has evolved and how neutron measurements could lead to fresh insights

Starting out strong

Choosing meaningful research topics at the start of a career is essential, say Philip G Judge, Isabel Lipartito and Roberto Casini, as they give their tips for the budding research scientist

Show us your metal

Harvard physicists Isaac Silvera and Ranga Dias claim they made metallic hydrogen, but other remain unconvinced. Jon Cartwright explores both sides of the argument

The physics of bread

Robert P Crease talks to Nathan Myhrvold – author of the new five-volume blockbuster Modernist Bread – about the science and history of our favourite foodstuff

Your pathway to industry

Crystal Bailey urges today’s physics graduates to sharpen their skills – and their CVs – for careers in industry; while also calling on academic staff to provide students with more support in this


Making space

Robert P Crease reveals that space is not always as we know it

Serving the public

Congressman Bill Foster calls on more physicists to get involved at all levels of government and politics

Oh, America!

Robert P Crease identifies the main threat to the US's approach to scientific planning

Building bridges with the West

Fuchun Zhang on the challenges of attracting researchers to China

Whose cave is it?

Robert P Crease is unhappy about what some physicists think about Plato


Tale of two physicists

The Quantum Labyrinth is an interesting look at the working relationship between the “calm and elegant Wheeler” and the “flamboyant, excitable Feynman”, writes Philip Ball

Science at the Fringe

Andrew Glester visits this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe and reviews three of the several science-themed shows at this year’s festival

Book of Sol

The Sun is more of a reference book with pretty pictures than a general science book, writes by Tushna Commissariat

Big data, big responsibilities

Big Data, which looks at the good, the bad and the new power relationships created by the “information revolution” is a quick but fascinating read, says Tushna Commissariat

At the boundary of knowledge

We Have No Idea is a “frequently hilarious and deeply charming” exploration into the unknown, writes Aatish Bhatia