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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

Features

A gateway to the biological world

Optical physicist Gail McConnell discusses how novel biomedical imaging techniques are changing the kinds of questions biologists can ask

Just beyond our fingertips

An optical glucose sensor would be a boon for millions of people with diabetes. So why hasn’t someone built one yet? Kate Bechtel discusses the factors standing in the way

The power of the blackboard

Philip Ball on why we physicists still love our blackboards

Smooth sailing

Superhydrophobic surfaces with the right microscopic structures could help reduce friction on ships, as CJ Kim explains

The cutting edge of quantum physics

Daniel Twitchen and Matthew Markham explain how diamonds could become a quantum physicist’s best friend

Simulating the universe

Tom Giblin, James Mertens and Glenn Starkman on how Einstein’s equations have been used in a cosmological setting for the first time

The long road to ignition

Margaret Harris reports on progress towards fusion’s “break-even” point at the US National Ignition Facility

The secrets of the blue fog

Oliver Henrich and Davide Marenduzzo reveal how blue liquid crystals could lead to new display devices

Leadership lessons learnt in the lab

Headteacher Mark Whalley says he learnt how to become a good leader thanks to his research days

Why we should give credit to code creators

Arfon Smith argues that we need to adopt better ways of recognizing contributors to software development in physics

A quantum boost for machine learning

Maria Schuld describes how researchers plan to enhance machine learning using quantum computation

The return of supersolids

Stephen Ornes reports on how two groups may have finally observed supersolids

Deducing how dinosaurs moved

Matthew R Francis describes how physicists are modelling the movements of these ancient beasts

Cuckoo forgeries – a bird's-eye view

Liz Kalaugher describes how researchers are visualizing how birds see to work out why they don’t reject cuckoo eggs

Decoding the quantum horizon

Patrick Hayden and Robert Myers describe how “qubits” may hold the key to quantum gravity