Daily Archives: March 22, 2013

By Clive Cookson

The release on Thursday of a stunning map of the oldest light in the universe will almost certainly be the event of the year for cosmologists.

The European Space Agency’s “cosmic microwave background” image, compiled from Planck satellite observations, will remind people that there are two complementary ways of gathering evidence to help scientists understand the universe at the most fundamental level.

One is to create extreme conditions – ultra-small versions of the Big Bang that created the universe 13.8bn years ago – on Earth, by smashing together subatomic particles at almost the speed of light. That’s how physicists used the Large Hadron Collider at Cern last year to discover the Higgs bosonRead more

The Chinese currency, Renminbi, being counted out by an employee at a branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC). (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)


Today brought yet another headline about the apparently relentless rise of the Chinese economy. The OECD predicts that China will be the world’s largest economy (in PPP terms) by 2016. Not long, now.

Yet there are still many China bears – both inside the country and outside it. Those who suggest that there is something rotten in the state of China point to many things, from the environment to corruption. One of the most popular bearish arguments is the extent of capital flight from the country. If everything is so good in China – say the bears – how come so many rich Chinese are eager to get their money out of the country? Perhaps they know something we don’t? Read more

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