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WHAT'S HOT IN... PHYSICS - 2008

The Top Ten lists in Physics feature papers published during the last two years (excluding review articles) that were most cited in current journal articles indexed by Clarivate Analytics during a recent two-month period. Papers are ranked according to the latest bimonthly citation count. The articles below are accompanied by expert discussion and analysis (including comments from the papers’ authors) written by one of four veteran scientist-journalists and longtime ScienceWatch.com contributors.


November/December 2008

Extraordinary X-Ray Observatory Excites Astronomers
by Simon Mitton

Suzaku, the Japanese X-ray observatory launched in 2005, is producing highly cited papers and providing an international team of astronomers with abundant data on gamma-ray bursts, solar flares, supernovae, and other celestial phenomena. The mission is also providing answers regarding the nature of spacetime near black holes, the composition of dark energy, and the workings of cosmic accelerators.
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September/October 2008

With Applications Looming, Is Graphene the New Silicon?
by Simon Mitton

Graphene, a new form of carbon first produced experimentally in 2004, is currently the subject of extensive investigation, as its properties of conduction and heat resistance promise many applications in electronics. In particular, graphene holds promise as an alternative to silicon in semiconductors. Current Hot Papers in physics examine the properties of various forms of graphene.
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July/August 2008

VIM and Vigorous Help in Solving Nonlinear Equations
by Simon Mitton

Two recent Hot Papers in physics discuss, respectively, the variable iteration method (VIM) for solving nonlinear equations, and the selective control of electromagnetic fields, with the latter paper offering a hypothetical scenario in which electromagnetic fields are manipulated to produce practical invisibility.
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May/June 2008

High-Energy Astrophysicists Endure Frequent Outbursts
by Simon Mitton

Recent astrophysical research, particularly the from the Swift X-ray telescope, continues to extend knowledge of gamma-ray bursts, which are usually caused collapsing stars and which send bursts of energy throughout the surrounding interstellar medium.
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March/April 2008

Standard Cosmological Model Survives New WMAP Scrutiny
by Simon Mitton

The 2007 three-year report from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) mission, in addtion to being the most-cited non-review paper published in 2007, is currently the most-cited paper in physics, based on its September-October 2007 citation tally. WMAP audits the cosmic microwave background in the universe, providing data that supports and enhances the current standard model in cosmology.
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January/February 2008

Coherent Spinsters Achieve Control in Quantum Dot
by Simon Mitton

A team of physicists has succeeded in using purely electrical means to control quantum spins in quantum dots, in research that could one day find application in computers and solid-state devices.
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