Most physics applications of everyday life come from molecular, atomic or nuclear physics. There is still a lot to be understood in atomic physics eg. of single atom, molecule and photon utilisation. Read eg. of this method for making smaller chips and speeding things up by a silicon based optical modulator. Research will take us to even smaller objects - in eg. DNA nanotechology and quantum computing (includes outstanding Caltech course material and further links, news also here).
The study of liquids and solids at very low temperatures is an exiting area of active experimental and theoretical research. Interesting enough, one of the world's leading labs is just a few miles away from my home. Unfortunately, I have no competence to describe these matters. A compilation of research areas of this field is here, at MIT.
Condesed matter physics theories, eg. of superfluids and superconductors, have been used to describe phenomena of particle physics - and the universe. A good example is the
very beautifully written book "The Universe in a Helium Droplet" by G.E. Volovik of Helsinki University of
Tech and Landau Inst. for Theor. Physics, Moscow (Clarendon Press, 2003).
In the smallest distance physics research the fundamental particles are the quarks and leptons together with the carrier particles of the three forces: the electromagnetic, weak and strong interactions. The so called standard theory describes quite well this world. Perhaps the most fundamental problem is uniting the standard theory with general relativity, ie. gravitation.
The most favored theory is the about 30 year old string theory, where the basic constituents are one (or more!) dimensional. The mathematics provides also two, three, etc. dimensional objects (D-branes, from membrane) and "hidden" dimensions (six or seven of them!).
Read here of the standard theory and strings. Links to educational particle physics material, collected by the LBL people at Berkeley.
An excellent collection of articles from Einstein to String Theory is Scientific American, Sep 2004, Special Issue Beyond Einstein
At the largest scales of the universe a number of unexpected results have been observed recently, like the dark energy (meaning repulsive gravity!) and the accelerating expansion of the universe. The common opinion is that the physics of the smallest constituents and the universe at large has to be understood within the same theory.
Read more on two excellent NASA sites (GSFC) and (IPAC). Scientific American, February 2004 contains crystal clear articles called four keys to the cosmos.
An interesting fundamental question of physics is its very basic nature: reductionistic or emergent.
Each years Nobel prize winners are published on the Nobel web site. To some, this may be a uselful site to check whether they got the prize long ago or not, or for which work they received it ...
We other people find good background material on the works of the prize winners.
Some writings of my research in particle physics are available in the Library Archives of SLAC and CERN.
Are you interested in reading books and getting more information of the above matters, or in the physics behind computers? If you are then click here.
Is Einstein at your home? Yes! No, get him!
I'm sorry if any link above or elsewhere has become obsolete. I do check them from time to time. Please, let me know if you find a broken link. - Links to the New York Times science articles seem to point, after several weeks, to article abstracts only with the full articles being purchaseable.