Our digital lives rely on distributed computer systems, such as the internet, but understanding the order of events in such systems is not always straightforward. Leslie Lamport explains how special relativity helped him order events in computer science, enabling the development of distributed computing.
Traditionally, observers play no special role in physics. Like bird watchers in a perfect hide, we observe the outcome of experiments, or gaze at the stars through our telescopes, taking no part in the action. Modern physics, however, tells a different story ... find out more with these articles and videos.