Natalie Wolchover

Senior Writer

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.

Infinity and Beyond: The Ultimate Test

In a Multiverse, What Are the Odds?

Testing the multiverse hypothesis requires measuring whether our universe is statistically typical among the infinite variety of universes. But infinity does a number on statistics.

astrophysics

Dwarf Galaxies Dim Hopes of Dark Matter

For five years physicists have been tantalized by possible evidence of dark matter in the Milky Way’s center. But new results from small satellite galaxies have complicated the story.

statistical physics

At the Far Ends of a New Universal Law

A potent theory has emerged explaining a mysterious statistical law that arises throughout physics and mathematics.

BICEP2 graphic.
cosmology

‘Big Bang Signal’ Could All Be Dust

Cosmic dust in the high latitudes of the Milky Way could account for the entire swirl pattern that had been presented as proof of a leading Big Bang theory, according to a new data analysis from the Planck satellite.

Blanco telescope.
Q&A

Finding Dark Energy in the Details

The astrophysicist Joshua Frieman seeks to pinpoint the mysterious substance driving the accelerating expansion of the universe.

particle physics

Quark Quartet Fuels Quantum Feud

Newly discovered particles are forcing physicists to extend their simple picture of subatomic interactions or replace it with a more nuanced understanding.