Natalie Wolchover

Senior Writer

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.

The pot-stirring string theorist and quantum gravity theorist never sits still for long.
Thinking Places

Joe Polchinski’s Restless Pursuit of Quantum Gravity

The pot-stirring string theorist and quantum gravity theorist never sits still for long.

The first major results from the Dark Energy Survey signal the start of a new era of cosmology.
cosmology

Scientists Unveil New Inventory of Universe’s Dark Contents

The first major results from the Dark Energy Survey signal the start of a new era of cosmology.

Take chemistry, add energy, get life. The first tests of Jeremy England’s provocative origin-of-life hypothesis are in, and they appear to show how order can arise from nothing.
origins of life

First Support for a Physics Theory of Life

Take chemistry, add energy, get life. The first tests of Jeremy England’s provocative origin-of-life hypothesis are in, and they appear to show how order can arise from nothing.