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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: Instrumentation & measurement

Subterranean science

Sean Paling and Stephen Sadler describe how deep underground labs are diversifying into areas such as astrobiology and earth sciences

Ringing changes on vital information

How do you capture the information revolution in a museum exhibit? Andrew Robinson reviews a book with plenty to say about this challenge

Shutdowns and start-ups

Robert P Crease on the meaning of ceremonies we hold for labs that are closing down

Dialling up the cosmos

Edwin Cartlidge reports on the new apps that allow smartphone users to detect cosmic rays

Web life: Crystallography365

Blogging the International Year of Crystallography, one crystal structure at a time

Social physics and antisocial science

An accessible overview of Sandy Pentland's work on the physics of social networks, reviewed by Martin Zaltz Austwick

Listening to the world

Acoustical physicist Philippe Blondel sings the praises of Sonic Wonderland, a book dedicated to the science of sound

Rendezvous with a comet

Matt Taylor braces himself as Europe's Rosetta craft gets set to land a probe on a comet for the first time next month

Hunting gravitational waves using pulsars

Louise Mayor reports on the search for these ripples in space–time

Fantasy physics for nuclear testers

Edwin Cartlidge previews the ultimate role-playing game when physicists will scour Jordan for signs of a fictitious nuclear test

Roll over, Boltzmann

Jon Cartwright examines whether a new form of entropy can revolutionize our understanding of disorder

Patenting science

Do patents hinder fundamental research? Robert P Crease wants your view

The lure of G

Jon Cartwright finds out why physicists are still scratching their heads over the value of the gravitational constant, "big G"

Technology whose time has come

Joshua Pearce describes how open-source appropriate technology is bringing simple and life-changing devices to people all over the world

Shedding new light on old art

Martin Fischer shows the benefits for the art world of the laser-based technique of pump–probe microscopy