Imaginary Numbers May Be Essential for Describing Reality
A new thought experiment indicates that quantum mechanics doesn’t work without strange numbers that turn negative when squared.
Physicists Study How Universes Might Bubble Up and Collide
Since they can’t prod actual universes as they inflate and bump into each other in the hypothetical multiverse, physicists are studying digital and physical analogs of the process.
Galaxy-Size Bubbles Discovered Towering Over the Milky Way
For decades, astronomers debated whether a particular smudge was close-by and small, or distant and huge. A new X-ray map supports the massive option.
The Search for Dark Matter Is Dramatically Expanding
Physicists plan to leave no stone unturned, checking whether dark matter tickles different types of detectors, nudges starlight, warms planetary cores or even lodges in rocks.
Room-Temperature Superconductivity Claim Falls Apart [Update]
In 2020, researchers reported that they had created a room-temperature superconductor. That paper has now been retracted.
How Mathematical ‘Hocus-Pocus’ Saved Particle Physics
Renormalization has become perhaps the single most important advance in theoretical physics in 50 years.
A New Cosmic Tension: The Universe Might Be Too Thin
Cosmologists have concluded that the universe doesn’t appear to clump as much as it should. Could both of cosmology’s big puzzles share a single fix?
The Mathematical Structure of Particle Collisions Comes Into View
Physicists have identified an algebraic structure underlying the messy mathematics of particle collisions. Some hope it will lead to a more elegant theory of the natural world.