December 8, 2023

The oldest language in the world – Spectrum Science 11/2023

For nearly 14 years now, one of my most important and simultaneously interesting tasks as managing editor has been to critically proofread all the articles in each issue after they have been fully edited by my editorial colleagues and look for ways to improve them. them further. This also gives me a good overview of the contents of the issue in question and usually allows me to quickly discover the topics I want to write my editorial about. Even during long periods of absence, it always happened that I reviewed at least some of the contributions myself; But I now find myself in the unusual position of having to write an introduction to this subject immediately after my annual leave, about which I know practically nothing in detail. Fortunately, there is actually a lot of text here that was completed during my absence under the competent care of my deputy, Mike Zeitz.

At first glance, this makes my task of writing this editorial a little more difficult (although you may notice that I am already trying to get around the problem more or less elegantly), but on the other hand, this rare ignorance allows me to take a different view. Exactly for the present issue – an unconvincing first impression. As I leaf through the articles, I notice again how incredibly broad the scope of our topics is: starting with our overarching main topic on ancient and very rare languages ​​(from page 12), a colorful bouquet unfolds that shows the dominance of vines in the rainforest (p. 40), and chemical fatteners in enclosures. Plastic (p. 50), exotic extreme stars (p. 58), plus an unusual version of the famous double-slit experiment (p. 68). In this, the two slits are separated in time rather than space – which not only creates amazing light effects, but also paves the way for a new class of so-called metamaterials.

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The recent article about further development of heat pumps is particularly interesting to me personally, as I plan to buy one myself, but was hesitant due to the old building dating back to the 1950s. There’s clearly still some potential for improvement in this 200-year-old technology, as the article beginning on page 74 demonstrates. So maybe nothing will stand in the way of installing it in my home soon.

I wish you an exciting read
Hartwig Hanser

Hartwig Hanser