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Physics

astrophysics

Squishy or Solid? A Neutron Star’s Insides Open to Debate

The core of a neutron star is such an extreme environment that physicists can’t agree on what happens inside. But a new space-based experiment — and a few more colliding neutron stars — should reveal whether neutrons themselves break down.

Artist’s rendering of merging neutron stars.
cosmology

Colliding Neutron Stars Could Settle the Biggest Debate in Cosmology

Newly discovered “standard sirens” provide an independent, clean way to measure how fast the universe is expanding.

A wormhole split in two with swirls of blue on one side and swirls of pink on the other with a ringed planet in the background.
theoretical physics

Newfound Wormhole Allows Information to Escape Black Holes

Physicists theorize that a new “traversable” kind of wormhole could resolve a baffling paradox and rescue information that falls into black holes.

Neutron star dancers
astronomy

Neutron-Star Collision Shakes Space-Time and Lights Up the Sky

Astronomers have for the first time matched a gravitational-wave signal to a kilonova’s burst of light, observations that will “go down in the history of astronomy.”

Very Large Array, Socorro, NM
Abstractions blog

Ultra-Powerful Radio Bursts May Be Getting a Cosmic Boost

Repeating radio bursts are among the most mysterious phenomena in the universe. A new theory explores how some of their puzzling properties can be explained by galactic lenses made of plasma.

LIGO
Abstractions blog

LIGO Architects Win Nobel Prize in Physics

The American physicists Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish were honored for dreaming up and realizing the experiment that confirmed the existence of gravitational waves.

Particle trails
particle physics

How the Hidden Higgs Could Reveal Our Universe’s Dark Sector

The universe has not cooperated with physicists’ hopes. In desperation, many are looking for new ways to search for surprises at the Large Hadron Collider.

Emergent reductionism flower
Quantized Columns

To Solve the Biggest Mystery in Physics, Join Two Kinds of Law

Reductionism breaks the world into elementary building blocks. Emergence finds the simple laws that arise out of complexity. These two complementary ways of viewing the universe come together in modern theories of quantum gravity.

Quantum reconstruction
quantum mechanics

Quantum Theory Rebuilt From Simple Physical Principles

Physicists are trying to rewrite the axioms of quantum theory from scratch in an effort to understand what it all means. The problem? They’ve been almost too successful.