Joshua Sokol

Contributing Correspondent

Black holes of various sizes
black holes

Physicists Argue That Black Holes From the Big Bang Could Be the Dark Matter

September 23, 2020

It was an old idea of Stephen Hawking’s: Unseen “primordial” black holes might be the hidden dark matter. A new series of studies has shown how the theory can work.

Paleontologist Pincelli Hull
Q&A

A Rapid End Strikes the Dinosaur Extinction Debate

March 25, 2020

The paleontologist Pincelli Hull has nailed down the timing and speed of the extinction that killed off the dinosaurs — details that carry ominous warnings for today.

Spinning globe highlighting LLVSPs.
geophysics

Continents of the Underworld Come Into Focus

January 7, 2020

Giant blobs nestled deep in the Earth may influence everything from the structure of island chains to mass-extinction events.

Abstractions blog

A Close Look at Newborn Planets Reveals Hints of Infant Moons

June 11, 2019

Astronomers have discovered a complex planetary system still swirling into existence.

Animated line drawing of Margaret Hamilton, Ellen Fetter, and a Lorenz attractor
chaos theory

The Hidden Heroines of Chaos

May 20, 2019

Two women programmers played a pivotal role in the birth of chaos theory. Their previously untold story illustrates the changing status of computation in science.

Art for "Black, Hot Ice, Newly Seen in the Lab, May Be Nature's Commonest Form of Water"
chemistry

Black, Hot Ice May Be Nature’s Most Common Form of Water

May 8, 2019

A new experiment confirms the existence of “superionic ice,” a bizarre form of water that might comprise the bulk of giant icy planets throughout the universe.

Photo lede for "With a Second Repeating Radio Burst, Astronomers Close In on an Explanation"
astrophysics

With a Second Repeating Radio Burst, Astronomers Close In on an Explanation

February 28, 2019

Brief cosmic blips called fast radio bursts have puzzled astronomers since their discovery earlier this decade. Now researchers appear to be close to understanding what powers them.

planetary science

Asteroid Rate Jumped in Solar System’s Past

January 17, 2019

An analysis of lunar craters has found that we’ve been living in a relatively violent period in cosmic history.

geophysics

A Universal Law for the ‘Blood of the Earth’

November 28, 2018

Simple physical principles can be used to describe how rivers grow everywhere from Florida to Mars.

About the author

Joshua Sokol is a freelance science journalist in Boston. His work has appeared in New Scientist, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere. He has a bachelor’s degree in astronomy and in English literature from Swarthmore College, and a master’s degree in science writing from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In between, he worked as a data analyst for the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys.