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Editor's choice

Mar 10, 2014

Download your free copy of our special issue "New ways to teach and learn physics", which is packed with the latest techniques, tips and trends in physics education

In depth: Astronomy, astrophysics & cosmology

Between the lines

Books about back-of-the-envelope calculations, cosmology and water waves, reviewed by Matin Durrani and Tushna Commissariat

The secret of life

David Jenkins and Oliver Kirsebom explore the mysterious nuclear energy level of carbon-12 that made life possible

A fusion of minds

Richard Corfield examines the mystery of the astronomer Sir Bernard Lovell's visit to the Soviet Union in 1963

Cool dust and baby stars

Steve Eales revels in the new view of the universe provided by the Herschel Space Observatory

The why and how of it all

Two books about why the universe bothers to exist, reviewed by Tim Maudlin

Voyager – a mission for life

Mark Williamson asks what keeps scientists motivated in the 35-year-old Voyager mission

My life on Mars

Ashley Dale recounts his experiences during a two-week stint at the Mars Desert Research Station, a facility in the Utah desert

Web life

Space insider Wayne Hale blogs with the aim of "starting a conversation about space exploration"

Transit watching

Robert P Crease unveils a key finding from this year's transit of Venus

100 years of cosmic rays

A century on from the discovery of cosmic rays, Alan Watson examines the remaining mysteries

Astrophotography – readers' pictures

A selection of images from the Physics World photo challenge

Between the lines

Books about transits of Venus, scientific tattoos and world-changing equations, reviewed by Margaret Harris

Between the lines: fiction special

A round-up of recent fiction books with a physics theme, reviewed by Margaret Harris and Matin Durrani

Web life

Universe Sandbox: an interactive space simulator that allows you to build your own solar system, fling asteroids at the Earth and send a teapot into orbit

Venus: it's now or never

As next month's transit of Venus nears, Jay M Pasachoff examines the science and history of these exceptionally rare events