Natalie Wolchover

Senior Writer

New data tracking the movements of millions of Milky Way stars have effectively ruled out the presence of a “dark disk” that could have offered important clues to the mystery of dark matter.
Abstractions blog

Deathblow Dealt to Dark Matter Disks

New data tracking the movements of millions of Milky Way stars have effectively ruled out the presence of a “dark disk” that could have offered important clues to the mystery of dark matter.

Astronomers are mystified by a strange star explosion in a distant galaxy that might be a relic from an earlier cosmological era.
astrophysics

‘Crazy’ Supernova Looks Like a New Kind of Star Death

Astronomers are mystified by a strange star explosion in a distant galaxy that might be a relic from an earlier cosmological era.

The Zoomable Universe, a new book by the astrobiologist Caleb Scharf, the illustrator Ron Miller and 5W Infographics, tours the universe’s 62 orders of magnitude.
Multimedia

From the Edge of the Universe to the Inside of a Proton

The Zoomable Universe, a new book by the astrobiologist Caleb Scharf, the illustrator Ron Miller and 5W Infographics, tours the universe’s 62 orders of magnitude.

Newly discovered “standard sirens” provide an independent, clean way to measure how fast the universe is expanding.
cosmology

Colliding Neutron Stars Could Settle the Biggest Debate in Cosmology

Newly discovered “standard sirens” provide an independent, clean way to measure how fast the universe is expanding.

Physicists theorize that a new “traversable” kind of wormhole could resolve a baffling paradox and rescue information that falls into black holes.
theoretical physics

Newfound Wormhole Allows Information to Escape Black Holes

Physicists theorize that a new “traversable” kind of wormhole could resolve a baffling paradox and rescue information that falls into black holes.

The American physicists Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish were honored for dreaming up and realizing the experiment that confirmed the existence of gravitational waves.
Abstractions blog

LIGO Architects Win Nobel Prize in Physics

The American physicists Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish were honored for dreaming up and realizing the experiment that confirmed the existence of gravitational waves.

A new idea is helping to explain the puzzling success of today’s artificial-intelligence algorithms — and might also explain how human brains learn.
Wired to Learn: The Next AI

New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning

A new idea is helping to explain the puzzling success of today’s artificial-intelligence algorithms — and might also explain how human brains learn.

Jason Morgan developed the theory of plate tectonics in 1967 while working among a critical mass of talented geophysicists at Princeton University.
Thinking Places

Jason Morgan Recalls Discovering Earth’s Tectonic Plates

Jason Morgan developed the theory of plate tectonics in 1967 while working among a critical mass of talented geophysicists at Princeton University.

The rise of new extremist groups has served as both an impetus and test-case for Neil Johnson’s models of terrorism and insurgency.
Q&A

A Physicist Who Models ISIS and the Alt-Right

The rise of new extremist groups has served as both an impetus and test-case for Neil Johnson’s models of terrorism and insurgency.

About the author

Natalie Wolchover is a senior writer at Quanta Magazine covering the physical sciences. Previously, she wrote for Popular ScienceLiveScience 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 was featured in The Best Writing on Mathematics 2015. She is the winner of the 2016 Excellence in Statistical Reporting Award, the 2016 Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award, and the American Institute of Physics’ 2017 Science Communication Award for Articles.