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The XENON1T detector’s time projection chamber.
Abstractions blog

Dark Matter Experiment Finds Unexplained Signal

June 17, 2020

Researchers say there are three possible explanations for the anomalous data. One is mundane. Two would revolutionize physics.

Swirling video.
Abstractions blog

Axions Would Solve Another Major Problem in Physics

March 17, 2020

In a new paper, physicists argue that hypothetical particles called axions could explain why the universe isn’t empty.

An overhead shot of an engineer working on a metal tank with pipes and cables coming out of it.
Abstractions blog

Top Dark Matter Candidate Loses Ground to Tiniest Competitor

November 27, 2019

Physicists have long searched for hypothesized dark matter particles called WIMPs. Now, focus may be shifting to the axion — an ultra-lightweight particle whose existence would solve two mysteries at once.

Art for "‘Quantum Atmospheres’ May Reveal Secrets of Matter"
quantum physics

‘Quantum Atmospheres’ May Reveal Secrets of Matter

September 25, 2018

A new theory proposes that the quantum properties of an object extend into an “atmosphere” that surrounds the material.

Helen Quinn and Roberto Peccei at Stanford University
Thinking Places

Roberto Peccei and Helen Quinn, Driving Around Stanford in a Clunky Jeep

June 15, 2017

The two physicists who introduced Peccei-Quinn symmetry came up with their idea on and around Stanford University’s campus 40 years ago.

Pencils Down: Experiments in Education

A Wormhole Between Physics and Education

October 18, 2016

The theoretical particle physicist Helen Quinn has blazed a singular path from the early days of the Standard Model to the latest overhaul of science education in the United States.


Mining Black Hole Collisions for New Physics

July 21, 2016

The physicist Asimina Arvanitaki is thinking up ways to search gravitational wave data for evidence of dark matter particles orbiting black holes.

Quantized Columns

Time’s (Almost) Reversible Arrow

January 7, 2016

The irreversibility of time may be a clue as to what makes up the universe’s dark matter.


A New Theory to Explain the Higgs Mass

May 27, 2015

Three physicists have proposed a new solution to one of the deepest mysteries in particle physics: why the Higgs boson has such a tiny mass.