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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jan 14, 2020. 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 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 Jan 12, 2019. 16 comments

Our Sun Could One Day Turn Into a Crystal Ball

Our Sun Could One Day Turn Into a Crystal Ball

At the end of its life, our Sun could end up as a crystal—and physicists now have observational evidence to back up that theory.

Scientists have predicted that as white dwarfs cool, they can crystallize in a phase transition somewhat like water freezing into ice. New research from scientists in the UK, U.S., and Canada provides evidence of this transition in a survey of nearby white dwarfs....

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Oct 30, 2018. 6 comments

Astronomers Propose Huge New Telescope System to Understand the Most Energetic Particles Ever Detected

Astronomers Propose Huge New Telescope System to Understand the Most Energetic Particles Ever Detected

Astronomers have proposed a truly enormous telescope consisting of 200,000 radio receivers around the world, which added together would cover an area the size of Nebraska. They hope to spot incredibly energetic but difficult to detect neutrinos coming from distant astrophysical sources.

The Giant Radio Array for Neutrino Detection, or GRAND, would hunt for these elusive particles with a...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jul 13, 2018. 7 comments

Cosmic Ray Mystery Finally Cracked Thanks to Supermassive Black Hole Beaming Energy Straight at Earth

Cosmic Ray Mystery Finally Cracked Thanks to Supermassive Black Hole Beaming Energy Straight at Earth

Every so often, protons and even entire atomic nuclei strike the Earth with extremely high energies—much higher than what scientists can produce in their most powerful physics experiments. Since the discovery of “cosmic rays” a hundred years ago, no one knew for sure where the most energetic of these particles came from—until now.

On Thursday, scientists from institutions across the globe...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jul 13, 2018.

See the South Pole Message That Alerted Astronomers to the Cosmic-Ray-Spewing Blazar

See the South Pole Message That Alerted Astronomers to the Cosmic-Ray-Spewing Blazar

Today, scientists made a huge announcement: Telescopes around the world recorded a source of mysterious, ultra-high-energy cosmic rays, the highest-energy particles that hit the Earth. It all started with a text message.

The recent discovery has, at least partially, solved a hundred-year-mystery—the identity of a space object that could possibly send particles with energies a billion times...

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jun 20, 2018. 7 comments

Scientists Propose a New Kind of Matter Inside the Densest Stars

Scientists Propose a New Kind of Matter Inside the Densest Stars

You might have a pretty rigid understanding of the way stuff should look, at the most basic level. It should have a nucleus that is orbited by electrons. The nucleus should have protons and neutrons, inside each of which reside three quarks.

But experiment and theory have demonstrated a quirky nature to the most basic form of matter. Time and again, the largest colliders seem to have created...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum May 31, 2018. 7 comments

New Results Cast Doubt on Strange Dark Matter Signal

New Results Cast Doubt on Strange Dark Matter Signal

The search for dark matter—the stuff that seems to make up most of the mass in the Universe, but which is invisible to us—is loaded with new ideas, tantalizing hints, and incredibly advanced experiments. Unfortunately, none of science’s best efforts have yielded any definitive proof of dark matter’s identity.

One recent dark-matter-hunting experiment in Italy, called DAMA/LIBRA, recently...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Nov 25, 2017. 11 comments

Mysterious New Results Can't Explain Why So Much Antimatter Hits Earth

Mysterious New Results Can't Explain Why So Much Antimatter Hits Earth

New observations of nearby pulsars—lighthouse-like neutron stars beaming energy—seem to have deepened a mystery that’s been bugging scientists for around a decade. The Earth is being hit with too much antimatter from outer space, and no one is sure why.

Super high-energy radiation from outer space bombards this planet daily. These “cosmic rays” can have energies as high as the particles made...

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