Charlie Wood

Contributing Writer


Unexpected ‘Germline’ Plant Cells May Shield New Generations

To avoid passing on new mutations to offspring, plants may minimize the number of divisions by the stem cells that make flowers and seeds.

Art for "Bubble Experiment Finds Universal Laws"

Bubble Experiment Finds Universal Laws

Physicists have found examples of “universality” in a system of confined bubbles. The work could help researchers understand the strange behavior of singularities.

Abstractions blog

Physicists Peer Inside a Fireball of Quantum Matter

Experimenters in Germany have glimpsed the kind of strange, non-atomic matter thought to fill the cores of merging neutron stars.

Abstractions blog

Do Brains Operate at a Tipping Point? New Clues and Complications

New experimental results simultaneously advance and challenge the theory that the brain’s network of neurons balances on the knife-edge between two phases.

Art for "Dark Matter Gets a Reprieve in New Analysis"
Abstractions blog

Dark Matter Gets a Reprieve in New Analysis

A strange glow coming from the Milky Way’s center was thought to be due to ordinary pulsars. But a new look at a years-old study shows that dark matter might still be responsible.

Photo of Trichoplax adhaerens

World’s Simplest Animal Reveals Hidden Diversity

The first animal genus defined purely by genetic characters represents a new era for the sorting and naming of animals.

Belt trick illustration
Abstractions blog

The Strange Numbers That Birthed Modern Algebra

The 19th-century discovery of numbers called “quaternions” gave mathematicians a way to describe rotations in space, forever changing physics and math.

Art for "Black Hole Firewalls Could Be Too Tepid to Burn"
Abstractions blog

Black Hole Firewalls Could Be Too Tepid to Burn

String theorists elide a paradox about black holes by extinguishing the walls of fire feared to surround them.

Photo of Escherichia coli under a microscope
Abstractions blog

Swarming Bacteria Create an ‘Impossible’ Superfluid

Researchers explore a loophole that extracts useful energy from a fluid’s seemingly random motion. The secret? Sugar and asymmetry.

About the author

Charlie Wood is a journalist covering developments in the physical sciences both on and off the planet. His work has appeared in Scientific American, The Christian Science Monitor and LiveScience, among other publications. Previously, he taught physics and English in Mozambique and Japan, and he has a bachelor’s in physics from Brown University.