Rebecca Boyle

Cora Dvorkin in front of a starry backdrop.
Hidden Structure

The Cosmologist Who Dreams in the Universe’s Dark Threads

November 5, 2020

Cora Dvorkin discovered new possibilities for what dark matter could be. Now she’s devising unorthodox ways to identify it.

Six looping videos of different types of snowflakes and snow crystals growing.
crystals

Toward a Grand Unified Theory of Snowflakes

December 19, 2019

Snow crystals come in two main types. The “pope” of snowflake physics has a new theory that explains why.

planetary science

Wandering Space Rocks Help Solve Mysteries of Planet Formation

July 16, 2019

After an interstellar asteroid shot past the sun, scientists realized that there’s probably a lot of itinerant rocks out there.

Art for "As Planet Discoveries Pile Up, a Gap Appears in the Pattern"
Abstractions blog

As Planet Discoveries Pile Up, a Gap Appears in the Pattern

May 16, 2019

Astronomers are puzzling over a paucity of planets in the galaxy measuring between 1.5 and two times Earth’s size.

Art for "Galaxy Simulations Offer a New Solution to the Fermi Paradox "
Abstractions blog

Galaxy Simulations Offer a New Solution to the Fermi Paradox

March 7, 2019

Astronomers claim in a new paper that star motions should make it easy for civilizations to spread across the galaxy, but still we might find ourselves alone.

Art for "How Nearby Stellar Explosions Could Have Killed Off Large Animals"
Abstractions blog

How Nearby Stellar Explosions Could Have Killed Off Large Animals

January 15, 2019

Subatomic particles called muons are thought to have streamed through the atmosphere and irradiated megafauna like the monster shark megalodon.

Art for "Why the Best Place to Find Dark Matter May Be in a Rock"
dark matter

Why the Best Place to Find Dark Matter May Be in a Rock

January 7, 2019

Dark matter may occasionally interact with minerals in the earth, leaving telltale tracks that physicists hope to decipher.

Q&A

The Woman Who Gets Called When a Piece of Mars Falls From the Sky

December 18, 2018

Planetary geologist Meenakshi Wadhwa uses Martian meteorites to trace the history of our solar system.

Art for "Planets Found to Be Larger Than the Disks They Come From"
astrophysics

Planets Found to Be Larger Than the Disks They Come From

October 4, 2018

The new finding is challenging established theories of how planets come to be.

About the author

Rebecca Boyle is a science journalist based in St. Louis. She is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a contributor at FiveThirtyEight, and her work frequently appears in New Scientist, Popular Science, NBC, and several other publications for adults and kids.