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Physics, a Helpful Experiment and Service of Physical Review Journals

November 20, 2009 (HP25).  Last year, the APS journals took the initiative to highlight exceptional papers from the Physical Review journals.  We find this initiative to be most useful and decided to include superconductivity-related papers highlighted by Physics in our list of literature “Resources” (see the right column of the ESNF home page).  Below we cite the (slightly edited) introductory note about Physics:

“Physicists are drowning in a flood of research papers in their own fields and coping with an even larger deluge in other areas of physics. The Physical Review journals alone published over 18,000 papers last year. How can an active researcher stay informed about the most important developments in physics?

Physics highlights exceptional papers from the Physical Review journals.  To accomplish this, Physics features expert commentaries written by active researchers who are asked to explain the results to physicists in other subfields. These commissioned articles are edited for clarity and readability across fields and are accompanied by explanatory illustrations.

Each week, editors from each of the Physical Review journals choose papers that merit this treatment, aided by referee comments and internal discussion. They select commentary authors from around the world who are known for their expertise and communication skills and devote much effort to editing these commentaries for broad accessibility.

Physics features three kinds of articles: Viewpoints are essays of approximately 1000–1500 words that focus on a single Physical Review paper or PRL letter and put this work into broader context. Trends are concise review articles (3000–4000 words in length) that survey a particular area and look for interesting developments in that field. Synopses (200 words) are staff-written distillations of interesting and important papers each week. In addition, Physics intends to publish selected Letters to the Editor to allow readers a chance to comment on the commentaries and summaries.

Physics provides a much-needed guide to the best in physics; its Editors welcome your comments (


The link to Physics we now include in our “Resources” list leads to papers in superconductivity selected by editorsof Physical Review journals.  Sometime, this selection is a bit restrictive.   Therefore, we recommend to interested readers to directly subscribe to the Physics “e-mail alerts” service:

For example, of the last three weekly issues of Physics we would like to highlight also the following: