Natalie Wolchover

Senior Writer/Editor

Abstractions blog

Why Black Hole Interiors Grow (Almost) Forever

The renowned physicist Leonard Susskind has identified a possible quantum origin for the ever-growing volume of black holes.

A still from an animated illustration of electrons dispersing through a cuprate sample.
condensed matter physics

Universal Quantum Phenomenon Found in Strange Metals

Experiments suggest that exotic superconducting materials share a “strange metal” state characterized by a quantum speed limit that somehow acts as a fundamental organizing principle.

Ewine van Dishoeck at Noordwijk beach in the Netherlands.
Thinking Places

Ewine van Dishoeck, the Netherlander Who Traced Water’s Origin

The astrochemist and winner of the 2018 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics has wondered about the cosmic origin of water while enjoying Noordwijk beach near her hometown of Leiden.

Art for "Famous Experiment Dooms Alternative to Quantum Weirdness"
quantum physics

Famous Experiment Dooms Alternative to Quantum Weirdness

Oil droplets guided by “pilot waves” have failed to reproduce the results of the quantum double-slit experiment, crushing a century-old dream that there exists a single, concrete reality.

Art for "Laser Physicists, Including Third Woman Ever, Win Physics Nobel"
Abstractions blog

Laser Physicists, Including Third Woman Ever, Win Physics Nobel

Three researchers shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for advances in laser physics. The winners include a woman for the first time in 55 years.

Abstractions blog

A New Test for the Leading Big Bang Theory

Cosmologists have predicted the existence of an oscillating signal that could distinguish between cosmic inflation and alternative theories of the universe’s birth.

Illustration of a bunny hiding around a corner

The New Science of Seeing Around Corners

Computer vision researchers have uncovered a world of visual signals hiding in our midst, including subtle motions that betray what’s being said and faint images of what’s around a corner.

Art for "Dark Energy May Be Incompatible With String Theory"
theoretical physics

Dark Energy May Be Incompatible With String Theory

A controversial new paper argues that universes with dark energy profiles like ours do not exist in the “landscape” of universes allowed by string theory.

Photo of Cohl Furey
fundamental physics

The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature

New findings are fueling an old suspicion that fundamental particles and forces spring from strange eight-part numbers called “octonions.”