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atomic physics

Concentric rings of light seen through crosshairs of a Fabry-Pérot interferometer.
Abstractions blog

Physicists Nail Down the ‘Magic Number’ That Shapes the Universe

December 2, 2020

A team in Paris has made the most precise measurement yet of the fine-structure constant, killing hopes for a new force of nature.

Illustration for "Ultra-Accurate Clocks Lead Search for New Laws of Physics"
experimental physics

Ultra-Accurate Clocks Lead Search for New Laws of Physics

April 16, 2018

Atomic clocks are letting physicists tighten the lasso around elusive phenomena such as dark matter.

Inside this chamber, silica spheres probe for hidden extra dimensions, distortions of gravity, and dark-matter particles. | Peter DaSilva for Quanta Magazine
experimental physics

Tiny Tests Seek the Universe’s Big Mysteries

May 3, 2016

The search for exotic new physical phenomena is being led by huge experiments like the Large Hadron Collider. But at the other end of the spectrum lie tabletop experiments — small-scale probes of hidden dimensions, dark matter and dark energy.