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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: Astronomy, astrophysics & cosmology

Between the lines

Books about gravity, Cavendish lab and dark technologies, reviewed by Matin Durrani, Kate Gardner and Tushna Commissariat

Then and back again?

The formation and evolution of the concept of “time travel” blur the lines between fact and fiction, says Brian Clegg

On the shoulders of hidden giants

NASA engineer K Renee Horton raves about Hidden Figures, the film and the book, that tells the story of the African American women who helped the US win the space race

A tour de force of the cosmos

The line between scientific idealism and scientific realism is blurry, as all scientific endeavours are affected by human bias, says Lionel London

Between the lines

Books about meteorology in under a minute and the latest on astrophotography, reviewed by Tushna Commissariat

Between the lines

Books about the search for extraterrestrial life and the Royal Institution’s Christmas lectures, reviewed by Tushna Commissariat

Decoding the quantum horizon

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

Galaxies and auroras and planets, oh my!

The coffee-table book of all the winning and shortlisted images in the 2016 Astronomy Photographer of the Year award is a sight to behold, says Tushna Commissariat

Tracing the path towards totality

Tyler Nordgren’s book on the history, science and beauty of a total solar eclipse flows between personal experiences and scientific facts, writes Shadia Habbal

Life as we do and don't know it

Looking at everything from extremophiles on Earth to galactic habitability zones, this book on astrobiology covers all the basics, says Dimitra Atri

Between the lines: Christmas special

An eclectic mix of popular-science books, from everyday physics to loop quantum gravity to collider cartoons, reviewed by Matin Durrani, Kate Gardner, Hamish Johnston, Margaret Harris and Louise Mayor

Is the universe a sponge?

J Richard Gott’s book on the large-scale topology of the universe goes beyond a “Cosmology 101” pseudo-history, writes Martin Bucher

Finding the right boundaries

Roger Penrose’s book on “fashion, faith and fantasy” in physics asks excellent questions, but reviewer Chanda Prescod-Weinstein finds some of the answers wanting

The descent of mass

Jon Cartwright talks to the physicists who are hoping to find a flaw in the equivalence principle

From weapons to white dwarfs

Edwin Cartlidge examines “academic access” programmes at military research centres