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Looking for a coffe table magazine / journal

  1. Dec 8, 2004 #1
    Hi all,

    For some time now, I've been looking for a good magazine / journal which handles physics.
    Coffee table should be interpreted like in Integrals definition:

    As of today, I've found some popular ones, like "new scientist", "scientific american". The issue I have with them that you never learn things from them. You only read about ongoing research, but no details.

    On the other side of the spectrum, there are the journals / magazines which focus on the professional physicists, like "nature", "science". Trouble I have with them is that I need to be a professional physicist to understand anything of the articles mentioned in them.

    What I'm interested in is a magazine which elaborates more on the maths / physics behind new scientific developments.

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2004 #2


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    You do realize that there is more then just a little sarcasm in the last clause of that definition? There does not exist a book which fills those requirement. You can find (e.g. Gribbin's books) which can be read in a week, which will give you a quick over view of physics. To truly be an expert requires mathematics and a great deal of time an effort.
  4. Dec 8, 2004 #3


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    If you are interested in material which elucidates and elaborates on the mathematics and physical undrpinnings (like experiments) of science, there is no JOURNAL (to my knowledge) which does this.

    This is commercially speaking, the province of TEXTBOOKS, so if you wish to deepen your knowledge of physics by learning the techniques and rationale behind its practice, it's a textbook you should pick up, not some journal.

    Professional magazines, like "Physical Review", "Nature" and so on ASSUMES that the reader is intimately familiar with this stuff, whereas a journal like "Scientific American" is specifically aimed at the science-interested, lay public.
  5. Dec 9, 2004 #4
    Indeed, the irony was understood, but being so, it was pointing in the right direction with the addition of a little humor.

    Books it is then, and on line material :)

    I always wonder why people are writing popular science magazines for the lay mans assuming that this very lay man has no knowledge whatsoever about mathematics...
    In my experience most people interested in science do have at least a minimal mathematical background.

    Thanks for reacting :)
  6. Dec 10, 2004 #5
    Physics Magazine

    I feel the same need as you do and I enjoy reading the following magazines:
    1. IEEE's "Computing in Science and Engineering"
    2. AIP's "Physics Today"
    Depending on your personal interests, you might find other societies publishing interesting magazines (e.g., SIAM, AAS, ...). The downside of my approach is that you have to become a member of the society, which is often not cheap and sometimes not trivial (e.g., IEEE). But, in my experience, it's worth the trouble.
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