What's up in
Neutron Lifetime Puzzle Deepens, but No Dark Matter Seen
Two methods of measuring the neutron’s longevity give different answers, creating uncertainty in cosmological models. But no one has a clue what the problem is.
Quantum Algorithms Struggle Against Old Foe: Clever Computers
The quest for “quantum supremacy” – unambiguous proof that a quantum computer does something faster than an ordinary computer – has paradoxically led to a boom in quasi-quantum classical algorithms.
Job One for Quantum Computers: Boost Artificial Intelligence
The fusion of quantum computing and machine learning has become a booming research area. Can it possibly live up to its high expectations?
Fossil Discoveries Challenge Ideas About Earth’s Start
A series of fossil finds suggests that life on Earth started earlier than anyone thought, calling into question a widely held theory of the solar system’s beginnings.
Astronomers Trace Radio Burst to Extreme Cosmic Neighborhood
A mysterious object that repeatedly bursts with ultra-powerful radio waves must live in an extreme environment — something like the one around a supermassive black hole.
Why an Old Theory of Everything Is Gaining New Life
For decades, physicists have struggled to create a quantum theory of gravity. Now an approach that dates to the 1970s is attracting newfound attention.
Physicists Aim to Classify All Possible Phases of Matter
A complete classification could lead to a wealth of new materials and technologies. But some exotic phases continue to resist understanding.
Why Is M-Theory the Leading Candidate for Theory of Everything?
The mother of all string theories passes a litmus test that, so far, no other candidate theory of quantum gravity has been able to match.