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Culture, history and society

Culture, history and society

Physics-themed holidays, meet the next director of the European Spallation Source

05 Aug 2021 Hamish Johnston

It is summer holiday season, at least here in the northern hemisphere, and hardworking physicists deserve a break. In this episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast, editors chat about holiday hotspots for physicists including Isaac Newton’s home and dark skies parks for stargazing.

This year marks 50 years of operation of the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL) in France, which is an international centre for neutron science. Helmut Schober is the facility’s outgoing director general, and he talks about how researchers at ILL have joined the scientific battled against COVID-19. He also chats about his hopes for the European Spallation Source neutron facility, which is currently being built in Sweden and will soon count Schober as its director general.

For many physicists, 2021 will be the second consecutive year that they are unable to attend their favourite conferences in person. Fortunately, technology has come to the rescue and virtual meetings are getting much better at filling the gap. We chat about the recent American Association of Physicists in Medicine virtual meeting and find out how access to radiotherapy can be improved in low- and middle-income countries.

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