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Coffee might seem like a simple pleasure, but it’s taken centuries of scientific theory and experimentation to begin to understand the physical mysteries contained in a single cup – and scientists are still working out the details. A collaboration between the French filmmaker Charlotte Arene and the University of Paris-Sud’s Laboratory of Solid State Physics, Physics and Caffeine explores how the best models for understanding the physical world – from electromagnetism to special relativity to quantum mechanics – converge in every cup of coffee.
Values and beliefs
A Zen Buddhist priest voices the deep matters he usually ponders in silence
Why surgery and barbering were one occupation in the Middle Ages
Thinkers and theories
‘My art is oratory, Socrates.’ An ancient warning on the power and peril of rhetoric
Mind-bending speed is the only way to reach the stars – here are three ways to do it
Biography and memoir
As her world unravels, Pilar wonders at the ‘sacred geometry’ that gives it structure
Meaning and the good life
Why strive? Stephen Fry reads Nick Cave’s letter on the threat of computed creativity
Human rights and justice
‘I know that change is possible’ – a Deaf prison chaplain’s gospel of hope
Find the building blocks of nature within a single, humble snowflake
The overlooked polymath whose theatrical oeuvre made all of Rome a stage