Matin Durrani - Science Journalist

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Students take a cosmic challenge

Getting young people interested in physics is vital, but there can be no better way of doing this than to give school students a real project with a real deadline. So well done to David Cussans, a particle physicist at the University of Bristol in the UK, who encouraged a group of local school pupils to build an instrument than can detect cosmic rays – and then challenged them to have their kit ready to fly aboard a hot-air balloon at the 2012 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. I helped make this film with my Physics World colleagues Louise Mayor and Fi Walker.

Seeking dark matter 1100m underground

Making this film with my Physics World colleagues Joe McEntee and Fi Walker in 2010 was a real hoot. We had to travel over a kilometre below ground into the Boulby mine in North Yorkshire to interview the UK's leading dark-matter experts, who are searching for these mysterious particles down there as the rock above shields the experiments from cosmic rays that would otherwise swamp the tiny signal. If joining the mining staff wasn't weird enough, we had spent the night before in a hotel in the coastal town of Whitby that was the centrepiece for a massive Goth convention.

ITER - A facility worth building

Chris Llewellyn Smith is a former chair of the council of ITER -- the international fusion experiment that is now being built in Cadarache in southern France. In this Physics World video, Llewellyn Smith explains to me why he believes that fusion power is such an important energy source for the future. The video was filmed at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in October 2010 and Llewellyn Smith is relentlessly upbeat, which I guess you need to be if you are to get a massive project like this off the ground.

Interview with CERN boss Rolf-Dieter Heuer

Filmed in September 2009, this set-piece interview took place in Heuer's office at CERN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The Large Hadron Collider had switched on almost a year before -- and I quizzed Heuer for Physics World as to why it had taken so long for CERN to sort out the magnet problems that had forced the machine to be shut down just days after first beam. Heuer was pleasantly open and up-front about the problems, but optimistic that they would be sorted out, which of course they were.

Interview with Martin Rees

Martin Rees has held a string of top academic jobs over the years, including Astronomer Royal, master of Trinity College Cambridge and president of the Royal Society. This Physics World video was filmed in February 2010 -- towards the end of Rees's stint in the Royal Society hot-seat -- and took place in his exclusive "presidential flat" in central London. Rees is a polished speaker and so a great person to interview, but he is the master of staying "on message".

Physics in Fiction

Interview with Peter Higgs

Top Ten Physics Books of 2012

Books on Quantum Physics

Top Ten Physics Books of 2011

Women in Science