What is Physics?

Physics provides daily online-only news and commentary about a selection of papers from the Physical Review journals. The website is aimed at the reader who wants to keep up with highlights of physics research with explanations that don't rely on jargon and technical detail.

Articles on Physics fall into one of several categories:


Commentaries on papers written by prominent experts in their field. Written by an active researcher for an audience with a college-level background in physics.

Read Viewpoints »

Focus Stories

Explanations of research papers geared toward students and non-experts. Written by a journalist for an audience with a general interest in physics.

Read Focus Stories »


Brief news summaries about papers. Written by an editor or journalist for an audience with a college-level background in physics.

Read Synopses »

Editorial Staff

Daniel T. Kulp, Editorial Director

Jessica Thomas, Editor

Photo of Jessica Thomas.

Jessica Thomas received her Ph.D. in physics at MIT in 2002. She held a post-doc (2003 to 2004) and later a staff position (2005 to 2006) at Brookhaven National Laboratory in the x-ray scattering group of the Condensed Matter and Materials Science Department, where she used "soft" x rays to study magnetic and orbital order in manganites.

From 2006 to 2008, she worked in London and New York as part of Nature Nanotechnology's first editorial team. Jessica joined the American Physical Society in 2008 as an Assistant Editor with Physical Review Letters and to launch Physics. She became Editor of Physics in 2011. She continues to do some freelance science writing — and the odd piece on her neighborhood in Brooklyn.

Matteo Rini, Deputy Editor

Photo of Matteo Rini.

Matteo Rini received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Pavia in 2002 and a Ph.D. in physics from the Humboldt University of Berlin in 2003. He held a post-doc (2004 to 2008) and a scientist position (2009) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, working on the ultrafast dynamics of correlated electron solids and complex materials.

From 2009 to 2012, he worked at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Institute for Transuranium Elements (2009-2011) and at the Directorate for Climate Action of the European Commission (2011-2012), carrying out both research and science policy activities. Matteo joined the American Physical Society in 2012 as Deputy Editor of Physics and keeps an active interest in supporting the role of science in politics.

David Ehrenstein, Focus Editor

Photo of David Ehrenstein.

David Ehrenstein was the founding Editor of Physical Review Focus, an APS web publication that existed for almost 14 years before its content became part of Physics in 2011. He received his Ph.D. in biological physics from the University of Illinois in 1994, working under Hans Frauenfelder on the physics of myoglobin and other proteins.

He spent the next three years as a postdoctoral fellow studying the biophysics of the inner ear and as a part-time science writer at the National Institutes of Health. Prior to joining the APS staff, he was an intern at Science magazine, where he wrote research news and science policy articles for the magazine and the ScienceNOW web site. His prior experience also includes a summer stint in 1993 as a radio journalist for Science Update, a nationally broadcast radio program produced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Katherine Wright, Contributing Editor

Photo of Katherine Wright.

Katherine received her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, where she studied various thin film surface phenomena in polymer, soft matter, and biological systems. During her Ph.D., Katherine spent several months working at the ExxonMobil Chemical Company research labs in Texas. She went on to work as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, Germany.

In 2013, Katherine joined the staff of Physical Review Letters, and is now an Associate Editor. She joined Physics as a contributing editor in 2015. She writes the occasional freelance science story, with articles in APS News, Scientific American, and Edible East End.

Michael Schirber, Corresponding Editor

Photo of Michael Schirber.

Michael Schirber obtained a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the Ohio State University in 2004. His research focused on quasars and the ultraviolet background. He also received a Master’s in journalism from New York University in 2005. His writing career began with internships at Scientific American, Space.com, and Science. In 2006, he became a freelance science writer based in Lyon, France.

His articles have appeared in various publications including Physics World, LiveScience, and New Scientist. He began writing stories for Physical Review Focus (now part of Physics) in 2006 and contributing regularly to Physics in 2010. When not composing or editing stories about physics, he enjoys writing about astrobiology and the origin of life.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are Papers Selected for Coverage?

Papers are selected based on a number of criteria, the most important of which is broad interest. Papers must also be technically sound and have a clear element of novelty. Examples of suitable papers include experimental breakthroughs, theories that inspire a new perspective, applications-oriented research and physics of the everyday. The selection of papers is made in consultation with journal editors and outside experts.

Many excellent papers don't get covered in Physics because they would likely only be of interest to a narrow slice of the physics community.

Can I submit an article to Physics?

All of the articles in Physics are commissioned by the Physics editors; direct submissions are not accepted. However, suggestions for topics or events to cover can be submitted to physics@aps.org.

How do I comment on an article?

Please send any comments to physics@aps.org.

Physics is free, but what about the papers it covers?

No journal subscription is needed to read Physics, but some of the papers covered by Physics articles can only be viewed with a journal subscription. All papers covered by a Viewpoint are made freely available from the "PDF (free)" link in the grey box at the top of the article. Papers covered in Focus stories and Synopses in general require a subscription, unless the papers are explicitly open-access.

Can I reuse an image from Physics?

Requests for permission to reuse an image from a Physics article should be directed to physics@aps.org.

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