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What’s in our browser tabs? August 2019

Welcome to our new monthly link round-up! As editors of physics journals, we love reading the latest research papers, but we also love a bit of lunch-break popular science reading. Here are some pieces that caught our eyes in August:  … Read more

Interactions: Chen Fang and the Materiae database

Interactions: Chen Fang and the Materiae database

In theory, many ordinary materials can have exotic topological phases. But how can we find them? In 2018 a research group from the National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics in Beijing scanned 39519 materials to predict which phases of the already-known compounds might exhibit topological properties. These materials were summarised into an interactive database Materiae, where you can browse compounds containing particular elements, check if they have any topological phases and visualise their band structure.  Read more

What is physics? Challenges and opportunities when working at the interface with other disciplines.

What is physics? Challenges and opportunities when working at the interface with other disciplines.

This year’s Berlin Science Week kicked off with a diverse programme. Among many events, visitors could discuss the connection between art and astronomy or learn how new technologies can be inspired by nature, or participate in a panel discussion at the Springer Nature office. The panellists set out to find an answer on how we define physics today, and to map out the boundaries with other related areas such as chemistry or biology.  Read more

X-rays : a tale of bones, molecules and mummies

X-rays : a tale of bones, molecules and mummies

X-rays are the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that falls between gamma rays and the ultraviolet (UV) — their wavelength is of the order 0.01−10 nanometres. What’s fascinating about them is their extremely wide range of applications, going from astronomy to art.  Read more

Interactions: Conversation with Philip Ball

Interactions: Conversation with Philip Ball

Philip Ball talks about his latest book “Beyond Weird” — an exploration of the meanings of quantum theory and a tale of a continued effort to make sense of it. Call it counter-intuitive, challenging or puzzling — just don’t call it weird.  Read more

Adventures in New York and beyond: lab visits at the Advanced Science Research Center and Princeton

Adventures in New York and beyond: lab visits at the Advanced Science Research Center and Princeton

You might think that tweeting is a waste of time, but on my recent trip to New York it got me an unexpected and very much appreciated invitation to visit the City University of New York (CUNY) Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC), after I announced that I would visit a few institutions in the area to introduce the soon-to-launch journal Nature Reviews Physics to its future readers (and maybe authors). As I learned during my visit (and as you probably already know) CUNY is the largest urban university system in the US. CUNY ASRC is an initiative launched in 2008 with the aim of — according to their website — fulfil “its multi-billion-dollar commitment to becoming a national leader in visionary scientific research of vital, real-world consequence”.  Read more