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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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?