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Apr 24, 2020. 4 comments

Astronomers Think They've Found a Whole Population of Rocks From Outside the Solar System

Astronomers Think They've Found a Whole Population of Rocks From Outside the Solar System

Astronomers think they’ve found an entire population of asteroids originating from outside our solar system, according to a new paper.

The objects at the center of this investigation aren’t new discoveries. Called the Centaurs, they’re mysterious asteroids that orbit in the neighborhood of Jupiter and beyond. These objects take highly inclined orbits relative to the plane of the rest of the...

4 Comments

Apr 23, 2020. 7 comments

The Trouble With Stephen Wolfram’s New 'Fundamental Theory of Physics'

The Trouble With Stephen Wolfram’s New 'Fundamental Theory of Physics'

Stephen Wolfram, computer scientist, physicist, and CEO of software company Wolfram Research (behind Wolfram Alpha and Mathematica) made headlines this week when he launched the Wolfram Physics Project. The blog post announcing the project explains that he and his collaborators claim to have “found a path to to the fundamental theory of physics,” that they’ve “built a paradigm and framework,”...

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Apr 21, 2020. 5 comments

Guy Uses Physics and Computer Simulations to Design a Never-Miss Basketball Hoop

Guy Uses Physics and Computer Simulations to Design a Never-Miss Basketball Hoop

Does it really take years of practice and dedication on the basketball court to compete with the talents of NBA players? Apparently not. All you need is some basic knowledge of physics, access to computer simulation software, and enough tools to build a curved backboard that directs every shot through the hoop.

It’s a creation that’s reminiscent of Mark Rober’s motion-tracking dart board that...

5 Comments

Apr 16, 2020. 14 comments

Where Did All the Antimatter Go? Scientists Are Closer to Finding Out

Where Did All the Antimatter Go? Scientists Are Closer to Finding Out

Particle physicists have released the results of a decade-long search, taking us a crucial step closer toward understanding where all of the universe’s antimatter has gone.

The universe’s matter can be divided into two classes—matter and antimatter—where each matter particle has an antimatter partner with the same mass and opposite electrical charge. But given the similarity between the two,...

14 Comments

Mar 11, 2020. 8 comments

A Typical Neutron Star Is Only 13.6 Miles Wide, According to New Ultra-Precise Measurement

A Typical Neutron Star Is Only 13.6 Miles Wide, According to New Ultra-Precise Measurement

A typical neutron star measures 22 kilometers (13.6 miles) wide, according to new research. It’s the most accurate measurement yet of these highly compact, super-dense objects.

If black holes are the most extreme phenomena in the universe, then neutron stars have to be a close second (unless quark stars exist, which has yet to be confirmed). Formed in the wake of a supernova explosion (when a...

8 Comments

Mar 03, 2020. 11 comments

What You Need to Know About Honeywell's New Quantum Computer

What You Need to Know About Honeywell's New Quantum Computer

Business conglomerate and defense contractor Honeywell announced today that it will bring what it claims is the most powerful quantum computer yet to market in the next three months.

Though quantum computers are still closer to science experiments than useful computing devices, most of the major computing companies are in the midst of developing machines of their own or offering access to...

11 Comments

Feb 06, 2020. 11 comments

Scientists Figured Out the Perfect Recipe For Making Gigantic Soap Bubbles

Scientists Figured Out the Perfect Recipe For Making Gigantic Soap Bubbles

Now that most of the

world’s major problems have been resolved, science is turning its attention to the less pressing issues plaguing humanity, including how to mix up the perfect soapy solution for making gigantic bubbles that don’t immediately pop.

Scientists have actually been interested in bubbles dating back to the 1800s, and why shouldn’t they be? It seems completely illogical that a...

11 Comments

Jan 28, 2020. 6 comments

Why Are There So Few Black Physicists? A New Report Describes What Needs to Change

Why Are There So Few Black Physicists? A New Report Describes What Needs to Change

A task force organized by the American Institute of Physics, a not-for-profit organization made up of other American physics societies, has released the results of a study into why African American students are persistently underrepresented in receiving undergraduate degrees in physics and astronomy.

The National Task Force to Elevate African American representation in Undergraduate Physics &...

6 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jan 18, 2020. 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...

14 Comments

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...

5 Comments

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...

5 Comments

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...

6 Comments

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...

5 Comments

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...

14 Comments

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...

6 Comments

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...

5 Comments

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...

8 Comments

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...

7 Comments

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 mission...

3 Comments

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.

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 thereof—have changed the way...

14 Comments

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