Natalie Wolchover

Senior Writer/Editor

statistical physics

At the Far Ends of a New Universal Law

October 15, 2014

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

September 21, 2014

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

September 18, 2014

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

particle physics

Quark Quartet Fuels Quantum Feud

August 27, 2014

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

theoretical physics

At Multiverse Impasse, a New Theory of Scale

August 18, 2014

Physicists have begun to explore the idea that mass and length may not be fundamental properties of nature. The hypothesis could help to avoid the conclusion that our world is just a weird bubble in an endlessly foaming multiverse.

2014 Fields Medal and Nevanlinna Prize

In Noisy Equations, One Who Heard Music

August 12, 2014

Martin Hairer was named a 2014 Fields medalist for an epic masterpiece in stochastic analysis that colleagues say “created a whole world.”

Boucing droplet
quantum physics

Fluid Tests Hint at Concrete Quantum Reality

June 24, 2014

Surprising oil drop experiments suggest that the quantum world may not be as strange as advertised.

Physics

In a Grain, a Glimpse of the Cosmos

June 13, 2014

When scientists traced a museum rock back to its origins, they uncovered mysteries about the early solar system.

Efimov trimers.
particle physics

Physicists Prove Surprising Rule of Threes

May 27, 2014

Three groups of experimentalists have independently observed a strange state of matter that forms from three particles of any type and at any scale, from practically infinitesimal to infinite.