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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: Condensed matter

The road to sustainability

"Sustainability" is the hottest topic in energy research today, but what does it actually mean? George Crabtree and John Sarrao describe what makes a technology sustainable, and outline the materials-science challenges standing between us and clean, long-lasting energy

Of gluons, atoms and strings

An unusual alliance between physicists who study ultrahot plasmas and ultracold atoms is yielding intriguing results – and may even lead to an experimental test for string theory, as Barbara Jacak reveals

Diamond coatings are branching out

Chris Walker looks at some of the uses of a novel amorphous diamond material

The power of robotics

Robotics competitions supply a vital missing link in science and engineering education, says Robert P Crease

Web life: Hyperphysics

Doing science in the open

Online networking tools are pervasive, but why have scientists been so slow to adopt many of them? Michael Nielsen explains how we can build a better culture of online collaboration

In search of the black swans

The publish-or-perish ethic too often favours a narrow and conservative approach to scientific innovation. Mark Buchanan asks whether we are pushing revolutionary ideas to the margins

Reasons to be cheerful

The economy may be in a nosedive but there is plenty to look forward to in science this year

Seeing the quantum world

Barry Sanders explains how state-of-the-art animations are taking over the role of classic quantum-mechanical Gedanken experiments to help visualize the complexities and challenges of the new quantum technologies

A feast of visualization

As physics enters the age of the petabyte, pioneering methods of visualization are fast changing the way we understand and disseminate science. Opening this special issue, Physics World presents a gallery of stunning images from New Journal of Physics

Optical tweezers: where physics meets biology

Joost van Mameren explains how quantitative force measurements by optical tweezers can unravel the mechanical properties of biological molecules

...And now for the next 20 years

Six leading physicists peek into the future

The global-village pioneers

Paul Ginsparg, who founded the arXiv e-print archive, recounts the early days of the Web and looks at how it has changed scientific communication

Two decades and counting...

Opening this special issue marking the 20th anniversary of the launch of Physics World, Matin Durrani says that the magazine still has a vital role to play in the electronic age

Inspired thinking

Douglas Osheroff was one of 19 Nobel-prize-winning physicists who attended a meeting in Germany last month that played host to over 550 of the world’s most promising young researchers. He gives Matthew Chalmers his tips for would-be Nobel laureates of the future