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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: Culture, history & society

Another giant leap

The story of a group of women who worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the early days of rocketry draws both praise and criticism from Lisa Ruth Rand

Web life: Universe Awareness

The Universe Awareness project aims to bring the beauty and grandeur of the cosmos into the classroom for children aged four to 10

See like a solar system

Robert P Crease discusses what the science of the solar system teaches us about perception

Pathway to Planet Nine

Konstantin Batygin explains what led him and astronomer Mike Brown to propose the existence of a ninth planet in our solar system

China’s tunnel vision

A new book makes a compelling case for building the next big particle collider in China, but Richard de Grijs can’t help wondering who its real audience is

Web life: Gravity and Levity

Tackling the big ideas in physics in a deep but often mathematically simple way

A space–time operetta

Janna Levin’s Black Hole Blues describes the search for gravitational waves in a fun and human fashion, but Mark Hannam thinks the topic deserves more

Between the lines

A scientific biopic of Srinivasa Ramanujan, atomic sabotage in wartime Norway, and a journey to the centre of the Sun, reviewed by Tushna Commissariat and Margaret Harris

Guarding integrity

Robert P Crease meets Marcia McNutt, the incoming president of the US National Academy of Sciences

Maths meets myths

Ralph Kenna and Pádraig Mac Carron describe how they used techniques from statistical physics to provide new insights into the Sagas of Icelanders

Cloudships in our future

This lively book about geoengineering delves deeply into the science and history of fighting climate change with technology, finds Ian Randall

Web life: dy/dan

Dan Meyer’s blog about mathematics education contains lessons for physics teachers, too

Riffing on the universe

Jazz musician and theoretical physicist Stephon Alexander brings a fresh perspective to links between science and music, writes Trevor Cox

Between the lines

A book about the benefits of failure in science, plus a thoughtful history of earthquakes, reviewed by Margaret Harris

Meet the topaholic

Robert P Crease visits a physicist with an unusual passion