Welcome to Physics

Physics is a free, online magazine from the American Physical Society. The publication primarily reports on papers from the Physical Review journals, focusing on results that will change the course of research, inspire a new way of thinking, or spark curiosity. The stories behind these findings are written by experts, journalists, and our staff writers for the benefit of the physics community and beyond.

The Physical Review provide no end of great stories. But physics is more than papers, and we want the magazine to reflect the people, debates, and events behind the reported research. Physics regularly includes interviews with physicists and news stories on a variety of topics, as well as articles about the influence of physics on the arts.

Here is an overview of what you'll find in Physics.

Highlights of papers from the Physical Review journals

Other articles

Editorial Staff

Jessica Thomas, Editor

Photo of Jessica Thomas.

Jessica Thomas completed her Ph.D. in physics at MIT in 2002. She went on to a post-doc position at Brookhaven National Laboratory in the Condensed Matter and Materials Science Department, where she used x rays to study strongly correlated electronic materials.

From 2006 to 2008, she worked in London and New York as part of Nature Nanotechnology's first editorial team. Jessica joined APS in 2008 as an Assistant Editor with Physical Review Letters and to launch Physics. She has written freelance about physics, applied physics, and materials science, and she has contributed to The Local (a neighborhood news site) and APS News. Jessica became Editor of Physics in 2011.

Matteo Rini, Deputy Editor

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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 APS in 2012 as Deputy Editor of Physics and keeps an active interest in supporting the role of science in politics.

David Ehrenstein, Focus Editor

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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, Senior Editor

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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.

Katherine joined APS in 2013 working as an editor for Physical Review Letters and for Physics. In 2018 she moved to Physics full time as a Senior Editor. She writes the occasional freelance science story, with articles in APS News, Scientific American, and Edible East End.

Michael Schirber, Corresponding Editor

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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.

Erika K. Carlson, Corresponding Editor

Photo of Erika K. Carlson.

Erika K. Carlson obtained a master’s degree in astronomy from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she studied stellar astrophysics and multiple-star systems. She also received a master’s degree in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is an alumna of the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship.

She became a full-time freelance science writer in 2019 and joined Physics as a Corresponding Editor in 2020. Her work has appeared in Quanta Magazine, Discover, Astronomy, and other print and online publications. In addition to writing and editing stories for Physics and other outlets, she fact checks articles on the physical sciences and mathematics.

Rachel Berkowitz, Corresponding Editor

Photo of Erika K. Carlson.

Rachel received her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, where she developed lab and computer models of fluid flow within pressurized systems based on field data from volcanoes and carbon sequestration. Alongside her Ph.D., Rachel wrote the online Down to Earth column for Physics Today, which covered research in the geosciences, sustainable energy, and climate.

Afterwards, she held positions as a Senior Communications Specialist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Materials Sciences Division; and as a Research Analyst for i2k Connect, a technology company that is developing a platform to transform unstructured documents into structured data. Since then, she has continued to build her freelance writing career, with stories appearing in Scientific American, The Scientist, and Science as well as Physics and Physics Today. Rachel joined Physics as a Corresponding Editor in 2020, and she is also a Contributing Editor at Physics Today.

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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