Predicting the future is often a fool’s errand, but we’ve decided to do it anyway. In our first podcast of 2018, regular podcast host Andrew Glester catches up with a selection of journalists from the Physics World team to get their thoughts on the year ahead in physics. Also appearing in the episode is Dave Newbold, a particle physicist from the University of Bristol, who speaks about the possibilities for new physics discoveries at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). When CERN’s particle smasher turns back on in May could it finally reveal clues of physics beyond the Standard Model?
Fortunately for scientific soothsayers, some developments in 2018 are entirely predictable, not least the space missions scheduled for the next 12 months. Physics World managing editor Matin Durrani introduces a few of these, starting with BepiColombo, the European Space Agency mission to Mercury, scheduled for October. He also talks about China’s Chang’e 4 mission to the far side of the Moon, as well as the two asteroid-sampling missions – Japan’s Hayabusa 2 and NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex – that will reach their targets in July and August respectively.
Closer to home, Physics World will complete its own launch in the form of a new website, which will go live in the next month or so. One of the changes is that we’ll be expanding to incorporate three existing websites in the fields of environment and energy, nanotechnology and biomedical physics. Journalists James Dacey and Liz Kalaugher focus on the environmental side of things, discussing the type of coverage you can expect in that area, including climate studies, renewable energy and natural hazards. You’ll hear about the launch of a new video series for 2018 focusing on environmental challenges and the possible technology solutions.
Of course, any look to the year ahead can’t avoid a mention of how science interacts with political situations around the world. Physics World journalists share their views on the continued emergence of Chinese science, the likely impacts of Brexit and whether the March for Science events in 2017 can pave the way for a more unified global movement in 2018. For a quick dip into some of the news and analysis likely to feature on the Physics World website in the coming year, look no further than this podcast.