4 questions about CQG Letters

Adam Day

Adam Day is the Publisher of Classical and Quantum Gravity and CQG+

At the 2015 CQG Editorial Board meeting in London, it was agreed that a subset of the gravitational physics community should be surveyed to find out if there was interest in launching a Letters section for CQG.

In this survey, a number of gravitational physicists were asked to answer a set of questions about Letters. Just to make things interesting, invitees were split into 2 groups: one group was asked to think as authors and the other as readers.

Here are the results. Continue reading

Interview with Patricia Schmidt, winner of the 2015 GPG thesis prize

Patricia Schmidt

Patricia Schmidt is a Postdoctoral Scholar in TAPIR at Caltech

What was the most interesting thing that happened during your PhD?

The most interesting thing was that literally every day, you would do something new. Even looking at the same set of equations again and again you would get new ideas and new insights.

Were there any big surprises?

The biggest surprise was that it actually worked out! We didn’t have a path set out to reach this result when we started, so who would have thought when Mark and I set out that we would actually have exactly Continue reading

Nominate your student for the Bergmann-Wheeler Thesis Prize for quantum gravity

Gary Horowitz

Gary Horowitz is President of the ISGRG

In 2008, the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation instituted a Thesis Prize in memory of two great pioneers of quantum gravity: Professors Peter Bergmann (1915–2002) and John Wheeler (1911–2008). This prize is sponsored by Classical and Quantum Gravity and is awarded for the best PhD thesis in the broad area encompassing all approaches to quantum gravity. The winner of the next iteration of the prize will receive a cheque for $1800 and a certificate.

The primary criteria for selection will be the high quality of scientific results, creativity and originality, and the significance of results to the broad area of the prize. The winner for this prize will be chosen by a committee of leading international experts in the field approximately six months before presentation of the prize at Continue reading

Press release: Interstellar technology throws light on spinning black holes

Michael Bishop

Michael Bishop is a Senior Press Officer for IOP Publishing

The team responsible for the Oscar-nominated visual effects at the centre of Christopher Nolan’s epic, Interstellar, have turned science fiction into science fact by providing new insights into the powerful effects of black holes. In a paper published today, 13 February, in IOP Publishing’s journal Classical and Quantum Gravity, the team describe the innovative computer code that was used to generate the movie’s iconic images of the wormhole, black hole and various celestial objects, and explain how the code has led them to new science discoveries. Using their code, the Interstellar team, comprising London-based visual effects company Double Negative and Caltech theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, found that when a camera is close up to a rapidly spinning black hole, peculiar surfaces in space, known as caustics, create more than a dozen images of individual stars and of the thin, bright plane of the Continue reading

Movie review of The Theory of Everything by Eric Poisson

Eric Poisson

Eric Poisson is a professor of physics at the University of Guelph.

The Theory of Everything directed by James Marsh, starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.

We physicists can count ourselves lucky these days. We enjoy an unprecedented presence in popular culture, having central characters in today’s most popular sitcom (The Big Bang Theory) and two recent high-profile movies, Interstellar (previously reviewed for CQG+ by Richard Price) and the subject of this review, The Theory of Everything. Science has become cool. Let’s enjoy this while it lasts!

The Theory of Everything relates the life of today’s most famous physicist,  Stephen Hawking. The movie focuses mostly on Stephen’s relationship with his first wife, Jane Wilde Hawking, whose book “Travelling to Infinity” provided the basis for Continue reading

IOP Gravity Thesis Prize 2015


Dr Timothy Clifton is the Secretary of the Gravitational Physics Group, at the Institute of Physics

Submissions are now invited for the £500 prize.

The Gravitational Physics Group at the IOP is inviting submissions for their annual thesis prize.  Recent graduates from PhD programs in any area of gravitational physics, or other related areas, are strongly encouraged to apply.  Details are as follows:

Terms of reference, and elligibility
The prize is awarded for excellence in research and communication skills, as demonstrated by the candidate’s thesis.  All members of the IOP Gravitational Physics Group who passed their viva voce exam during the period 1st January 2012 and 31st December 2014 are elligible.

How to enter
Candidates should email an electronic copy of their thesis to Timothy Clifton, and complete the application form.  All sumissions should be made before the 31st of January 2015.

Furthermore, the winner will be invited to submit a paper to Classical and Quantum Gravity based on the winning thesis which, if accepted, will be made a ‘select article’ in CQG.  They will also be given the opportunity to present their work at one of the UK ‘BritGrav’ meetings. Continue reading

Video: Hunting for gravitational waves using pulsars

Louise Mayor

Louise Mayor is features editor of Physics World

As features editor of Physics World magazine, my search for stories to share with our readers takes me far and wide – from nuclear reactors to the quietest lab in the world. But sometimes I need look no further than the very office in which I work. That’s because I share my workplace with the staff behind nearly 70 journals published by IOP Publishing. So it was that one lunchtime earlier this year, I got chatting to Adam Day, publisher of Classical and Quantum Gravity (CQG).

Day began telling me about a method of detecting gravitational waves I’d not heard of before, and in no time at all I was hooked. First proposed in the 1970s, the method involves Continue reading

Movie Review of Interstellar, by Richard Price

See more Interstellar posters

Image copyright Warner Bros and Paramount Pictures

CQG has never published a movie review before. It is therefore with appropriate humility that I offer a review of Interstellar.  This scifi epic wins the historic honor because it lists a physicist, Kip Thorne, as an executive producer, and is advertised as based on his theories. Indeed, the movie plot and graphics do involve ideas of relativity in very important ways.

In the spirit of disclosure I state, right up front, that I am not a fan of science fiction, but am a fan of Kip Thorne; like many of his former students I have remained a friend.  My fan/antifan biases should cancel and leave me to do the objective job that a scientist is expected to do.

This is not, of course, a review for the general public. CQG is seldom found in the waiting room of dentists. If you Continue reading

The new CQG Highlights of 2013-14

Ben Sheard

Ben Sheard is the publishing editor of Classical and Quantum Gravity

It is my pleasure to present the CQG Highlights of 2013-14. The Highlights articles are chosen by the Editorial Board as a selection of some of the best work published in the journal, based on criteria of interest, significance and novelty.

The articles span the whole of CQG’s subject scope and include focus issue articles and topical reviews in addition to regular papers. All of the Highlights articles are free to download until the end of 2015.

As part of the promotion of the Highlights we produce an annual Highlights brochure which contains further information about journal activity including forthcoming special issues and prize Continue reading

Video: A look at the Square Kilometre Array (SKA)


James Dacey is multimedia projects editor for Physics World

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) promises to usher in a new era in radio astronomy. Astronomers will use the telescope to probe the early universe by looking as far back in time as the first 100 million years after the Big Bang. It will also be employed to search for life and planets, as well as to study the nature of dark energy, and to examine theories of gravity and general relativity.

I recently travelled to the global headquarters of the SKA Organisation at the Jodrell Bank observatory in the north of England, along with a small film crew. We met scientists and engineers involved with the SKA, and we produced this short film about what the project is designed to achieve. The video takes you on a tour of the sites in Australia and southern Africa that will host the SKA, featuring artists’ impressions of the impressive telescope equipment.

It was inspiring to hear the SKA representatives talk about the unprecedented scale of the project and the range of scientific fields that stand to benefit from the new tool. But it was also interesting to learn about the economic and social considerations that underpin a scientific project of such vast scale. The hope is that it can inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers in Australia and the African continent.

We produced the film in connection with the July issue of Physics World, a special issue devoted to dark matter and dark energy. Physics World is published by the Institute of Physics, which also publishes CQG and CQG+.