Melanie Windridge’s ascent of Mount Everest is the cover story of the September 2018 issue of Physics World magazine, which is now out in print and digital format. Windridge, who is a physicist by training, describes how science and technology are vital for any successful ascent, whether it’s for communication, clothing or climate.
Elsewhere in the issue, James McKenzie offers his top tips for shining at a job interview, while Robert P Crease reveals your best metaphors for doing physics. We also have Philip Ball writing on how to exploit quantum noise, while Alan Cottey looks at the life of Nobel laureate Martin Ryle, who was born 100 years ago this month.
For the record, here’s a run-down of what else is in the issue.
• Building the next collider – Yifang Wang, director of China’s Institute of High Energy Physics, talks to Physics World about the country’s plans for a 100 km circumference collider to study the Higgs boson
• Shaking up the system –A year after a devastating earthquake hit Mexico City, Lucina Melesio examines how the development of early-warning smartphone apps could help save lives in the future
• Breaking the silence –Emma Chapman, who suffered sexual misconduct as a PhD student at a UK institution, urges universities to reform their complaints procedures to allow other victims to speak out
• Physics is like… – Robert P Crease muses on the metaphors for physics that you sent him
• Talent spotting – People are said to be the biggest asset of any hi-tech business. But they have to be the right people, warns James McKenzie
• Physicist on top of the world – Reaching the summit of Mount Everest takes courage, fitness, mental strength and organization, but advances in science and technology are making it a safer adventure. Melanie Windridge discusses the science that helped her climb to the highest point on Earth
• Noisy work in progress – Could noise in a quantum system be used to do work? Philip Ball looks at new research that’s attempting to make a feature of a fault, which may also link quantum mechanics to thermodynamics on a fundamental level
• Martin Ryle: an energy visionary – Born 100 years ago this month, Martin Ryle was more than just a Nobel-prize-winning astronomer. Alan Cottey takes a fresh look at the life of a brilliant and conflicted scientist who was also a visionary about the human use of energy
• The trouble with beauty – David Appell reviews Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray by Sabine Hossenfelder
• Two paths diverged – Tushna Commissariat reviews Through Two Doors at Once: the Elegant Experiment that Captures the Enigma of Quantum Reality by Anil Ananthaswamy
• Ingenious inventions – Tushna Commissariat reviews Audrey the Amazing Inventor by Rachel Valentine and illustrated by Katie Weymouth
• My years in China – Richard de Grijs, who spent eight years as a senior scientist in China, outlines the advantages and disadvantages of working in this burgeoning scientific powerhouse
• Once a physicist: Noel Bakhtian – Meet the director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies at the US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory
• Schrödinger’s cat – Eugenia Viti and Ivan Viti depict the famous feline as you’ve never seen it before