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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jan 14, 2020 at 23:10. 5 comments

Has Hubble Detected Rogue Clumps of Dark Matter?

Has Hubble Detected Rogue Clumps of Dark Matter?

Scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope have discovered evidence of small clumps of dark matter warping the light from distant quasars.

Regular matter seems to form only a small part of the universe—much more of the matter seems to be “dark” stuff that influences regular matter via gravity but can’t be detected directly. The most widely accepted theory to explain dark matter suggests that...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jan 08, 2020. 6 comments

Congress Renames New Telescope Facility After Vera Rubin, a Dark Matter Pioneer Snubbed by the Nobels

Congress Renames New Telescope Facility After Vera Rubin, a Dark Matter Pioneer Snubbed by the Nobels

Congress voted last month to rename the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope as the NSF Vera C. Rubin Observatory, commemorating an astronomer credited with advancing humanity’s understanding of dark matter.

The Rubin Observatory will be the most advanced survey of the night sky, recording the stars each night with a car-sized, 3.2-gigapixel digital camera. The survey will hopefully contribute to...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Dec 14, 2019. 6 comments

Dark Matter 'Strikes Back' in Galactic Mystery

Dark Matter 'Strikes Back' in Galactic Mystery

Dark matter could be responsible for the mysterious observation of gamma rays in the center of our galaxy, according to a new paper.

Astrophysicists have known for a decade that the center of the Milky Way is sending too many gamma rays our way. Mysterious stuff called dark matter was once considered the prime candidate for this excess, but subsequent data analysis implicated something more...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Nov 15, 2019. 3 comments

Astronauts Are On a Spacewalk Right Now to Repair a Crucial Dark Matter Experiment

Astronauts Are On a Spacewalk Right Now to Repair a Crucial Dark Matter Experiment

Astronauts Andrew Morgan of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency are outside of the International Space Station (ISS) as we speak. The duo are taking a space walk to fix a key dark matter experiment. You can watch (and rewatch) the progress here.

Spacewalks happen regularly (there was a historic one just last month), but Friday’s is the most complex servicing...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Nov 14, 2019. 14 comments

How the 2010s Changed Physics Forever

How the 2010s Changed Physics Forever
Decade's EndDecade's EndGizmodo, io9, and Earther look back at our passing decade and look ahead at what kind of future awaits us in the next ten years.Prev Next View All

This decade marked not just one but a series of turning points in the history of physics.

The 2010s were an incredible decade for new knowledge, but more importantly, this decade’s discoveries—and the resounding lack...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Nov 14, 2019. 16 comments

Could Antimatter Be the Portal Into the Dark Universe?

Could Antimatter Be the Portal Into the Dark Universe?

A new paper asks: What if antimatter is the portal into the dark universe?

Measurements of the universe reveal that most of its mass appears to be “dark matter,” invisible stuff that interacts with regular matter via the laws of gravity but hasn’t been directly detected, despite major efforts to find it . Scientists are hunting dark matter from various fronts. One team is looking for a popular...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Oct 23, 2019. 5 comments

The Future of Particle Physics Is Bright, Bleak, and Magical

The Future of Particle Physics Is Bright, Bleak, and Magical
Decade's EndDecade's EndGizmodo, io9, and Earther look back at our passing decade and look ahead at what kind of future awaits us in the next ten years.Prev Next View All

Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider triumphantly announced the discovery of the Higgs boson back in the summer of 2012. Nicknamed “the God particle,” it was the last new undiscovered particle predicted by the backbone...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Aug 21, 2019. 1 comments

A New Experiment Narrows Potential Properties of Dark Energy Particle

A New Experiment Narrows Potential Properties of Dark Energy Particle

An experiment in the United Kingdom has failed to find evidence of a particle meant to explain most of the universe’s mass. But the search isn’t over.

When cosmologists observe the way the universe expands, they find that present-day theories of matter can’t explain most of the universe’s energy. They call the unknown energy “dark energy,” and theorists have tried to explain it by proposing...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Aug 10, 2019. 3 comments

This Theory Could Breathe New Life Into the Hunt for Dark Matter

This Theory Could Breathe New Life Into the Hunt for Dark Matter

Physicists don’t know where most of the universe’s apparent mass has gone, and attempts to find it have so far failed. But a proposed particle born out of the universe’s chaotic first moments may provide a candidate and a reasonable way to look for it.

This proposal suggests that dark matter formed before the Big Bang, but in a jargon-y, physicist sense of the phrase—the hypothetical particle...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Aug 06, 2019. 11 comments

Physicists to Split $3 Million Breakthrough Prize for Supergravity

Physicists to Split $3 Million Breakthrough Prize for Supergravity

Physicists Sergio Ferrara, Dan Freedman, and Peter van Nieuwenhuizen will split a $3 million Breakthrough Prize for their theory of supergravity, which drives much of today’s physics research toward our understanding of the universe.

The Breakthrough Prize is an annual award to recognize groundbreaking science, funded by Russian-Israeli billionaire Yuri Milner. Though Breakthrough Prizes are...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jul 18, 2019. 21 comments

Physicists Wonder: Why Has No One Been Killed by Dark Matter?

Physicists Wonder: Why Has No One Been Killed by Dark Matter?

The fact that no one has died from being struck by dark matter is enough proof to rule out certain ideas about the mysterious stuff, according to one new theory paper.

There’s a conundrum facing physicists: Most of the universe’s mass appears to be missing, based on observations of the universe’s structure, how galaxies move, and how they seem to warp distant light. Thousands of physicists are...

21 Comments

Tom McKay Tom McKay Apr 29, 2019.

Avengers: Endgame, Dark Matter, and a Fake Bear Not Named Ron: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

Avengers: Endgame, Dark Matter, and a Fake Bear Not Named Ron: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

It’s nearly May, and you know what that means: Game of Thrones will be ending, Divination Bot will soon return to haunt your sleep with machine-generated nightmares, and the weather will be much less depressing.

But before you brush off April 2019 like all the other months you’ve left behind in your rush to the grave, do check out Gizmodo’s best content of the past week. Our team of editors...

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Apr 27, 2019. 9 comments

How Physicists Measured the Rarest Event Ever Directly Observed

How Physicists Measured the Rarest Event Ever Directly Observed

This past week, scientists announced that they’d made an incredible physics observation using a vat of liquid xenon. It’s officially the rarest nuclear decay—and really, the rarest event of any kind—ever directly measured.

How rare? As I wrote in my previous article about the result, “The average amount of time it would take half of the xenon atoms in a sample to undergo this reaction is 1.8...

9 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Apr 25, 2019. 10 comments

Dark Matter Detector Makes Incredible Neutrino Observation

Dark Matter Detector Makes Incredible Neutrino Observation

A detector designed to hunt for dark matter has made a particle physics observation that will hopefully help physicists establish important truths about our Universe. No, it didn’t spot dark matter, but the new result proves that these ultra-sensitive detectors are valuable to scientists for multiple reasons.

Gravity-wise, the Universe behaves as if it contains way more matter than...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Feb 27, 2019. 7 comments

Physicists Propose Hunting for Signs of Dark Matter in Ancient Minerals

Physicists Propose Hunting for Signs of Dark Matter in Ancient Minerals

Physicists typically build large, complex experiments to hunt for dark matter particles coming from outer space, but what if clues to its existence have been hiding inside the Earth all along? One group of physicists proposes hunting for signs of it in ancient minerals, such as olivine or gypsum, that formed in the Earth’s mantle or in seawater.

Experiments suggest that five-sixths of the...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Dec 07, 2018. 11 comments

Where Is Dark Matter? Another Experiment Fails to Find a Signal

Where Is Dark Matter? Another Experiment Fails to Find a Signal

A dark matter experiment in South Korea may soon confirm or deny an outstanding piece of dark matter evidence.

Observations of the universe reveal that it consists mostly of stuff scientists don’t understand. Regular matter seems to make up less than 5 percent of the universe, dark energy around 68 percent, and the rest is dark matter, mysterious stuff that has only been detected by its...

11 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Nov 29, 2018. 13 comments

Scientists Build Atomic Clocks Accurate Enough to Measure Changes in Spacetime Itself

Scientists Build Atomic Clocks Accurate Enough to Measure Changes in Spacetime Itself

Physicists have created atomic clocks so precise that they can measure deformations in spacetime itself, according to new research.

We don’t all experience time passing equally—time passes more slowly closer to something massive’s gravitational pull, as famously theorized by Albert Einstein. And since gravity is typically interpreted as the way mass warps space itself, that means a...

13 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Nov 17, 2018. 13 comments

We Visited the World's Largest Digital Camera and Damn

We Visited the World's Largest Digital Camera and Damn

The devil’s in the details when you head inside a cleanroom. Everything you plan on bringing inside, from your phone to your camera tripod, needs to be wiped down with lint-free wipes. You need to put on a special bunny suit. If you put the gloves on wrong, you need to throw them away and get a new pair. You absolutely cannot touch your bare skin with those gloves—they could pick up oils, dead...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Nov 15, 2018. 7 comments

So What's Going on With That 'Hurricane of Dark Matter?'

So What's Going on With That 'Hurricane of Dark Matter?'

It’s the perfect science-fiction device: a hurricane of dark matter. Recent, real-life research has demonstrated that our Sun is currently engulfed in a so-called a stellar stream. Some publications have seized on this ominous-sounding idea, reporting that Earth is about to be walloped by a dark matter storm—but in fact, if it exists, we’re already inside the storm. The reality of the...

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