Natalie Wolchover

Senior Writer

Physicists are closing the door on an intriguing loophole around the quantum phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.”
quantum mechanics

Experiment Reaffirms Quantum Weirdness

Physicists are closing the door on an intriguing loophole around the quantum phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.”

Life might have originated in droplets that behave surprisingly like living cells.
Abstractions blog

Droplets That ‘Come to Life’

Life might have originated in droplets that behave surprisingly like living cells.

Researchers have discovered that simple “chemically active” droplets grow to the size of cells and spontaneously divide, suggesting they might have evolved into the first living cells.
biophysics

Dividing Droplets Could Explain Life’s Origin

Researchers have discovered that simple “chemically active” droplets grow to the size of cells and spontaneously divide, suggesting they might have evolved into the first living cells.

Geochemical signals from deep inside Earth are beginning to shed light on the planet’s first 50 million years, a formative period long viewed as inaccessible to science.
geophysics

Explorers Find Passage to Earth’s Dark Age

Geochemical signals from deep inside Earth are beginning to shed light on the planet’s first 50 million years, a formative period long viewed as inaccessible to science.

Physicists have failed to find disintegrating protons, throwing into limbo the beloved theory that the forces of nature were unified at the beginning of time.
particle physics

Grand Unification Dream Kept at Bay

Physicists have failed to find disintegrating protons, throwing into limbo the beloved theory that the forces of nature were unified at the beginning of time.

The effort to unify quantum mechanics and general relativity means reconciling totally different notions of time.
Abstractions blog

Quantum Gravity’s Time Problem

The effort to unify quantum mechanics and general relativity means reconciling totally different notions of time.

A proposed theory of gravity does away with dark matter, even as new astrophysical findings challenge the need for galaxies full of the invisible mystery particles.
gravity

The Case Against Dark Matter

A proposed theory of gravity does away with dark matter, even as new astrophysical findings challenge the need for galaxies full of the invisible mystery particles.

So-called “analogue experiments” are becoming increasingly common in physics, but do they teach or mislead?
Abstractions blog

Can Analogies Reveal the Laws of Physics?

So-called “analogue experiments” are becoming increasingly common in physics, but do they teach or mislead?

Can a fluid analogue of a black hole point physicists toward the theory of quantum gravity, or is it a red herring?
quantum gravity

What Sonic Black Holes Say About Real Ones

Can a fluid analogue of a black hole point physicists toward the theory of quantum gravity, or is it a red herring?