Marcus Woo

Contributing Writer

Abstractions blog

Mathematicians Calculate How Randomness Creeps In

November 12, 2019

Mathematicians have figured out exactly how many moves it takes to randomize a 15 puzzle.

Abstractions blog

How the Neutrino’s Tiny Mass Could Help Solve Big Mysteries

October 15, 2019

The KATRIN experiment is closing in on the mass of the neutrino, which could point to new laws of particle physics and shape theories of cosmology.

quantum physics

Quantum Machine Appears to Defy Universe’s Push for Disorder

March 20, 2019

One of the first quantum simulators has produced a puzzling phenomenon: a row of atoms that repeatedly pops back into place.

mathematical physics

A Child’s Puzzle Has Helped Unlock the Secrets of Magnetism

January 24, 2019

People have known about magnets since ancient times, but the physics of ferromagnetism remains a mystery. Now a familiar puzzle is getting physicists closer to the answer.

Art for "‘Quantum Atmospheres’ May Reveal Secrets of Matter"
quantum physics

‘Quantum Atmospheres’ May Reveal Secrets of Matter

September 25, 2018

A new theory proposes that the quantum properties of an object extend into an “atmosphere” that surrounds the material.

geophysics

The Hunt for Earth’s Deep Hidden Oceans

July 11, 2018

Water-bearing minerals reveal that Earth’s mantle could hold more water than all its oceans. Researchers now ask: Where did it all come from?

Michael Assis folding a large, beige sheet or Miura-ori
statistical physics

The Atomic Theory of Origami

October 31, 2017

By reimagining the kinks and folds of origami as atoms in a lattice, researchers are uncovering strange behavior hiding in simple structures.

About the author

Marcus Woo is a science journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His work has appeared in WIREDNew ScientistNational GeographicSmithsonian, NPRthe BBC, and other publications.