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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: Geophysics & environmental physics

Fusion's bright new dawn

The world's largest laser could transform the search for abundant, carbon-free electricity, as Mike Dunne explains

The unsettled heavens

Aaron Leonard enjoys a fictionalized account of a meteorologist's role in the D-Day landings

Between the lines

The other Oppenheimer, cooking for astronauts and the "amazing" Grace Hopper

Between the lines

A round-up of the best books to put on your Christmas shopping list – or for someone else to buy for you

The lure of synchrotrons

Robert P Crease asks how sound are the arguments that the next generation of synchrotron sources are an essential tool for meeting the energy challenge?

Sustainability made simple

Niall MacKay and Roger Edgar assess what the UK government's new climate adviser has to say on energy

Wrong but useful

Gavin Schmidt explains how climate models are becoming an essential tool for politicians and policymakers

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

Publicize or perish

Joseph Romm urges scientists to do much more to warn the public of the dangers of climate change

Web life: Clim'City

Try the game that lets you stave off climate change

Challenges in tackling climate change

In order to limit global warming by reducing carbon emissions, Lord Browne argues that the biggest barriers to a low-carbon economy in the UK are not scientific or technological but political

Plan B for climate change

Techniques to manipulate the Earth's climate are now rightly entering mainstream debate

Engineering the climate

Geoengineering has so far been something of a taboo topic for climate scientists. Peter Cox and Hazel Jeffery explain why it is now time to take it seriously

The Earth – for physicists

Scientists are beginning to understand the extent to which the evolution of our planet has been shaped by collisions, bombardments and catastrophes. John Baez tells the violent history of a pale-blue dot

The power of robotics

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