Natalie Wolchover

Senior Writer

Q&A

From Einstein’s Theory to Gravity’s Chirp

The path from a revolutionary set of equations to the detection of gravitational waves was strewn with obstacles and controversy, explains the physicist Daniel Kennefick — and the struggle continues.

astrophysics

Gravitational Waves Discovered at Long Last

Ripples in space-time have been detected a century after Einstein predicted them, launching a new era in astronomy.

astrobiology

Scientists Debate Signatures of Alien Life

Searching for signs of life on faraway planets, astrobiologists must decide which telltale biosignature gases to target.

Physics

A Fight for the Soul of Science

If a theory can’t be tested, is it still science?

complex systems

Nature’s Critical Warning System

Scientists are homing in on a warning signal that arises in complex systems like ecological food webs, the brain and the Earth’s climate. Could it help prevent future catastrophes?

Mathematics

Theorists Draw Closer to Perfect Coloring

A theorem for coloring a large class of “perfect” mathematical networks could ease the way for a long-sought general coloring proof.

Physics

Visions of Future Physics

Nima Arkani-Hamed is championing a campaign to build the world’s largest particle collider, even as he pursues a new vision of the laws of nature.

cryptography

A Tricky Path to Quantum-Safe Encryption

In the drive to safeguard data from future quantum computers, cryptographers have stumbled upon a thin red line between security and efficiency.

Multimedia

Theories of Everything, Mapped

Explore the deepest mysteries at the frontier of fundamental physics, and the most promising ideas put forth to solve them.