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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: Atomic, molecular & optical physics

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 cutting edge of quantum physics

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

The secrets of the blue fog

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

The return of supersolids

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

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

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

From weapons to white dwarfs

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

A light-connected world

Harald Haas explains how ordinary LED light bulbs could become our portals to the digital world thanks to a new wireless communications network that uses visible light

Making space for nonlocality

George Musser’s new book reveals that nonlocality is more than just "spooky action at a distance", as James Millen learns

The rise of Rydberg physics

Rydberg atoms are perfect for quantum logic gates and can even be used to make molecules of light, reports Keith Cooper

Six secrets of champagne

Gérard Liger-Belair reveals the hidden science of the world’s top sparkling wine

Fifty shades of black

Jon Cartwright reports on the rival groups creating the darkest substances yet

Catching gravity, rolling by

David Appell explores how the Advanced LIGO facility is designed to detect gravitational waves