News

NuSTAR captures dead star and distant black holes

A picture of domestic bliss

The house of the future is so full of gadgets, you need never leave the sofa, says Andrew North

Space satellites to study effect of Sun's lethal wind

A flying formation of four identical satellites will be launched by the European Space Agency later this month to watch the weather in space and study the effect on the Earth of storms on the surface of the Sun.

Obituary: Lord Marshall of Goring

In 1956, a couple of years after his doctorate, Walter Marshall, as a young Scientific Officer at Harwell, attended a Summer School on Magnetism at Varenna on Lake Como, in the company of some of the greatest authorities on that subject, writes Professor Nicholas Kurti [further to the obituary by John Baker, 26 February]. The deep impression made by this brilliant young physicist is proved by the fact that Professor J.H. van Vleck of Harvard and Professor C. Kittel of the University of California, Berkeley invited him to spend a year in each of their respective departments. After his return to AERE it was largely thanks to his dynamic leadership and personal contributions that Harwell became one of the leading centres for solid state physics.

Letter: High voltage

From Dr T J Dennis

No earthly power in the heavens for Nasa

DANNY PENMAN

Power lines linked to cancer, study claims

Scientists say they have obtained evidence of how high-voltage power cables might cause certain types of cancer, threatening to fuel the controversy surrounding the issue.

The future is pointy for mobile phonies

BRITAIN'S five million mobile telephone users may soon literally be talking through their hats, if Harvard University scientists have their way.

OBITUARY: Professor Keith Runcorn

Keith Runcorn derived amusement from a remark by an American friend to the effect, "The average speed of motion of geophysicists relative to the Earth's surface is about 60 miles per hour, and we rely on you, Keith, to make up for those of us who prefer to work close to home." Runcorn was once described as the "theoretical visiting professor of physics in Newcastle". But he never stopped thinking about the physics of the Earth and planets, and at most geophysical meetings he could be found entertaining audiences with his latest musings about the magnetism of the Moon, convection in planetary interiors or geomagnetic polarity reversals.

The forecasters from space

DANNY PENMAN

Classical CBSO 75th anniversary concert / Vanburgh Quartet / BCMG Symphony Hall, Birmingham / Pebble Mill / Adrian Boult Hall

A significant birthday seems like a good excuse for a premiere. Not only was the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra commemorating its 75th anniversary with new works by Oliver Knussen (well, nearly new), and John Adams, a few days earlier there was the first broadcast from Pebble Mill of Michael Berkeley's Magnetic Field specially commissioned to celebrate the 10th birthday of the Vanbrugh Quartet. Magnetic Field is something of a homage to Purcell in its exploration of the possibilities inherent in one note; if at times the concentration on a single note became a little too insistent, the clarity of the overall design and Berkeley's resource in the handling of the instruments made for rewarding listening.

There's a little black spot on the sun today

Dark patches on the stellar surface may cause freak weather on Earth.

How customers were fooled by fake dispensers

Charles Arthur studies some of the methods criminals use to commit fraud

Letter : Libraries lead way to bright new dawn

From Mrs Pat O'Connor

SCIENCE; THE LAST GRE; AT FRONTIER

The brain is the ultimate enigma. Now, after centuries of study by philosophers and scientists, some of its deepest secrets are being unveiled. In the first of a three- part series, we look at the technological advances that have led to these discoveries
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The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
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3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
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The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution