Natalie Wolchover

Senior Writer/Editor

astrophysics

The Particle That Broke a Cosmic Speed Limit

Physicists are beginning to unravel the mysteries of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays, particles accelerated by the most powerful forces in the universe.

Q&A

Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer

Computer scientist Stuart Russell wants to ensure that our increasingly intelligent machines remain aligned with human values.

particle physics

‘Penguin’ Anomaly Hints at Missing Particles

A statistical anomaly in the signal from rare particle decays at the Large Hadron Collider offers hope that new discoveries might be around the corner.

astrophysics

Strange Stars Pulse to the Golden Mean

Nature has revealed peculiar mathematical objects that connect order and chaos.

particle physics

In LHC’s Shadow, America’s Collider Awakens

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider fired up for its 15th run to take a deeper look at the building blocks of atoms.

theoretical physics

In Fake Universes, Evidence for String Theory

If string theorists can show that their framework is the only consistent theory of quantum gravity, does that make it true even without tangible evidence?

cosmology

Joint Dust Analysis Deflates Big Bang Signal

No definitive evidence for cosmic inflation is found, but support remains strong for the theory even as critics highlight its shortcomings as an explanation for how and why the universe began.

geometry

Scientists Conjure Curves From Flatness

Researchers have found a set of rules for imbuing flat surfaces with curvature, enabling them to form a virtually unlimited range of three-dimensional structures.

Computer Science

A Common Logic to Seeing Cats and Cosmos

New research suggests physicists, computers and brains employ the same procedure to tease out important features from among other irrelevant bits of data.