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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jan 18, 2020 at 01:30. 14 comments

'Remarkable' Mathematical Proof Describes How to Solve Seemingly Impossible Computing Problem

'Remarkable' Mathematical Proof Describes How to Solve Seemingly Impossible Computing Problem

You enter a cave. At the end of a dark corridor, you encounter a pair of sealed chambers. Inside each chamber is an all-knowing wizard. The prophecy says that with these oracles’ help, you can learn the answers to unanswerable problems. But there’s a catch: The oracles don’t always tell the truth. And though they cannot communicate with each other, their seemingly random responses to your...

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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 Jan 11, 2020. 5 comments

A Major New Particle Collider Is Coming to New York

A Major New Particle Collider Is Coming to New York

The U.S. Department of Energy has decided on the final location of a major upcoming American particle collider: Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island in New York.

The Electron Ion Collider (EIC) is a proposed particle accelerator that will slam electrons into the nuclei of heavy atoms, with the goal of better understanding nuclear structure and the force that holds atoms together. Two...

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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 27, 2019. 5 comments

Scientists Link Silicon Qubits Over (Relatively) Huge Distances

Scientists Link Silicon Qubits Over (Relatively) Huge Distances

Scientists have linked two silicon quantum bits with photons over a relatively large distance. The new advance could end up being a watershed moment for a lesser-known quantum computing processor architecture, bringing silicon quantum computer a step closer to reality.

Quantum computers represent a nascent computing technology that could one day perform certain calculations like modeling the...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Dec 26, 2019. 14 comments

Why Did Scientists Cool LEGOs to Nearly Absolute Zero?

Why Did Scientists Cool LEGOs to Nearly Absolute Zero?

Scientists cooled LEGOs to nearly absolute zero—and hope to one day incorporate a LEGO-style material into a quantum computer.

Objects that transfer heat slowly form useful components in technologies that operate at very cold temperatures—technologies like quantum computers . Other industrial plastics also transfer heat slowly, but can be expensive at large quantities. The researchers...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Dec 03, 2019. 6 comments

Amazon Officially Enters the Quantum Computing Race

Amazon Officially Enters the Quantum Computing Race

At its AWS re:Invent 2019 conference on Monday, Amazon announced the launch of a quantum cloud computing platform.

Now that quantum computers are real and can perform computations (albeit not well), companies are introducing platforms upon which scientists and others interested in the technology can experiment. Amazon’s system, named Braket, will provide access to three well-known quantum...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Nov 26, 2019. 5 comments

CERN's Oldest Particle Accelerator Is Still Running 60 Years Later

CERN's Oldest Particle Accelerator Is Still Running 60 Years Later

The oldest particle accelerator at CERN, home to the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, is celebrating its 60th birthday. It’s still running.

The Proton Synchrotron (PS) accelerated its first protons on November 24, 1959. It was the world’s highest-energy accelerator when it first began running. Though it’s since lost the title, today it supplies protons or heavy ions to a number of...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Nov 26, 2019. 8 comments

Let's Pump the Brakes on the So-Called 'No-Brainer Nobel Prize'

Let's Pump the Brakes on the So-Called 'No-Brainer Nobel Prize'

Researchers in Hungary have published the exciting new claim that they’ve discovered a new subatomic particle, but it’s nowhere near time to start talking about Nobel Prizes, as CNN (and now everyone who syndicates them) has done.

Since 2015, the team at the Institute of Nuclear Research (Atomki) and the University of Debrecen claims to have spotted a mysterious correlation between pairs of...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Nov 23, 2019. 7 comments

Google Scientists Are Using Quantum Computers to Study Wormholes

Google Scientists Are Using Quantum Computers to Study Wormholes

Google researchers are figuring out how to study some of the weirdest theorized physics phenomena, like wormholes that link pairs of black holes, using experiments in a lab.

One central question driving theoretical physics today is how to use the same theory to explain both gravity and the rules that atoms follow, called quantum mechanics. The two haven’t played nicely yet, since gravity is an...

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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 Oct 29, 2019. 6 comments

How to Make a Black Hole in a Science Lab

How to Make a Black Hole in a Science Lab
Fake WeekFake WeekThis week, Gizmodo explores fakes, copies, simulations, and what is really “real” anyway.Prev Next View All

Nearly 50 years ago—before Interstellar, A Brief History of Time, and certainly the Event Horizon Telescope —postdoctoral researcher William Unruh was attempting to explain black holes to a crowd at an Oxford University colloquium. There were no reference points with...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Oct 24, 2019. 16 comments

First Look at 'Sycamore,' Google's Quantum Computer

First Look at 'Sycamore,' Google's Quantum Computer

Between the mountainous and coastal vistas of Goleta, California, sits an unassuming office on the side of a building next to the freeway. It could belong to any Southern California company; workers sit in gray cubicles beneath fluorescent lights, and there’s a rack to hold employees’ bikes and surfboards. But at those desks are physicists and computer scientists developing a computer like...

16 Comments

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...

5 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Oct 23, 2019. 19 comments

Google Confirms Achieving Quantum Supremacy

Google Confirms Achieving Quantum Supremacy

This morning, Google scientists confirmed in a blog post that their quantum computer had needed just 200 seconds to solve a problem that they claim would take the world’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years to complete.

The team first ran the algorithm last spring using a 54-qubit processor called “Sycamore.” While the achievement is called quantum supremacy, it doesn’t mean that quantum...

19 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Oct 10, 2019. 4 comments

Physicists Create Lab System That Looks Like Theorized Dark Matter Particle

Physicists Create Lab System That Looks Like Theorized Dark Matter Particle

Scientists have discovered a phenomenon that looks a whole lot like a dark matter particle in a laboratory system, according to new research.

Axions are a yet-to-be-observed fundamental particle that are predicted to exist by physics theory. They’re a potential explanation as to what’s causing the mysterious cosmic anomalies attributed to dark matter. But physicists have recently realized...

4 Comments

Andy Howell Andy Howell Sep 24, 2019. 18 comments

What Ad Astra Gets Wrong About Space Travel, Astronomy, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

What Ad Astra Gets Wrong About Space Travel, Astronomy, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

As an astrophysicist and a film critic, I’ve been waiting my whole life for a big-budget adventure film that spans the whole solar system. There are some stunning sequences in Ad Astra, and many of the details about astronaut life and space travel are spot-on. But some of the themes and ideas that drive the plot are based on astronomical misconceptions.

Ad Astra touts itself as having help from...

18 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Sep 18, 2019. 17 comments

A Huge Experiment Has 'Weighed' the Tiny Neutrino, a Particle That Passes Right Through Matter

A Huge Experiment Has 'Weighed' the Tiny Neutrino, a Particle That Passes Right Through Matter

An experiment nearly two decades in the making has finally unveiled its measurements of the mass of the universe’s most abundant matter particle: the neutrino.

The neutrino could be the weirdest subatomic particle; though abundant, it requires some of the most sensitive detectors to observe. Scientists have been working for decades to figure out whether neutrinos have mass and if so, what...

17 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Sep 07, 2019. 11 comments

Why xkcd Creator Randall Munroe Wrote the World's Most Extreme 'How To' Book

Why xkcd Creator Randall Munroe Wrote the World's Most Extreme 'How To' Book

While waiting for your flight to board, you look at your phone and realize its battery is at 1 percent. You look around but can’t find a power outlet. There might be practical solutions to this problem. Or, you could follow Randall Munroe’s instructions and attach a paddle wheel to an escalator in order to power a generator that can then charge your phone.

The most impractical solutions to...

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