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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: Instrumentation & measurement

From ray-gun to Blu-ray

Fifty years after their invention, Sidney Perkowitz examines the huge impact of lasers on science, culture and everyday life

Where next for the laser?

Six laser experts recall how the laser has advanced their fields of interest – and speculate where it will take these areas next

Between the lines: CERN special

CERN special – learn about the Large Hadron Collider, its detectors and the man who made it all happen

Your favourite units

Robert P Crease explains the enduring popularity of non-SI units, including the ox-day, firkin and litre

Between the lines

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

Seeing through the 'two cultures'

Matthew Jones on the inseparability of the arts and sciences in early 19th-century France

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?

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

Your best unit

Robert P Crease discusses the origin of some units of measurement, and asks for your favourites

Diamond coatings are branching out

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

RGA User Group offers broad appeal

Robin Hathaway explains how a user group provides a forum for sharing experiences and discovering new ways to exploit the powerful diagnostic features of residual gas analysers across a wide range of applications

Chamber simulates space on Earth

Stan Grisnik describes how NASA’s huge craft-testing facility can recreate the vacuum conditions of space.

Threats to ultra-high-field MRI

A new European directive designed to prevent workers from being exposed to high magnetic fields could potentially have a severe impact on research into magnetic resonance imaging, warns Denis Le Bihan

The power of robotics

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