Natalie Wolchover

Senior Writer/Editor

A sphere swirling with many small orbs around it.
particle physics

‘Last Hope’ Experiment Finds Evidence for Unknown Particles

April 7, 2021

Today’s long-anticipated announcement by Fermilab’s Muon g-2 team appears to solidify a tantalizing conflict between nature and theory. But a separate calculation, published at the same time, has clouded the picture.

An illustration of an airplane with its contrails coming out in front of it.
quantum gravity

Quantum Mischief Rewrites the Laws of Cause and Effect

March 11, 2021

Spurred on by quantum experiments that scramble the ordering of causes and their effects, some physicists are figuring out how to abandon causality altogether.

A video in which a proton seems to be composed of three particles, but on zooming in, it turns out to be a swirling miasma.
quantum physics

Decades-Long Quest Reveals Details of the Proton’s Inner Antimatter

February 24, 2021

Twenty years ago, physicists set out to investigate a mysterious asymmetry in the proton’s interior. Their results, published today, show how antimatter helps stabilize every atom’s core.

Matthew Genge in a yellow shirt and gray jacket seated at a microscope.
Q&A

What Dust From Space Tells Us About Ourselves

February 4, 2021

Micrometeorites constantly fall on every corner of Earth. Matthew Genge is using these shards of interplanetary space to understand Earth and its place in the solar system.

Abstractions blog

Astronomers Get Their Wish, and a Cosmic Crisis Gets Worse

December 17, 2020

We don’t know why the universe appears to be expanding faster than it should. New ultra-precise distance measurements have only intensified the problem.

Concentric rings of light seen through crosshairs of a Fabry-Pérot interferometer.
Abstractions blog

Physicists Nail Down the ‘Magic Number’ That Shapes the Universe

December 2, 2020

A team in Paris has made the most precise measurement yet of the fine-structure constant, killing hopes for a new force of nature.

Illustration of a particle
Hidden Structure

What Is a Particle?

November 12, 2020

It has been thought of as many things: a pointlike object, an excitation of a field, a speck of pure math that has cut into reality. But never has physicists’ conception of a particle changed more than it is changing now.

Hidden Structure

A New Map of All the Particles and Forces

October 22, 2020

We’ve created a new way to explore the fundamental constituents of the universe.

Particle going through a barrier
quantum physics

Quantum Tunnels Show How Particles Can Break the Speed of Light

October 20, 2020

Recent experiments show that particles should be able to go faster than light when they quantum mechanically “tunnel” through walls.

About the author

Natalie Wolchover is a senior writer and editor at Quanta Magazine covering the physical sciences. She also has bylines in Nature, NewYorker.com, Popular Science and other publications. She has a bachelor’s in physics from Tufts University, studied graduate-level physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-authored several academic papers in nonlinear optics. Her writing has been featured in The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best Writing on Mathematics and has won several awards, including the 2016 Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award and the American Institute of Physics’ 2017 Science Communication Award for Articles.