What's up in

black holes

Joe Polchinsky at the Kavli Institute
Thinking Places

Joe Polchinski’s Restless Pursuit of Quantum Gravity

The pot-stirring string theorist and quantum gravity theorist never sits still for long.

Andrea Ghez in Hawaii

Black-Hole Hunter Takes Aim at Einstein

The astrophysicist Andrea Ghez spent two decades proving that a supermassive black hole anchors the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Her new plan? Test what happens when things get too close.

LIGO Hanford and Livingston
gravitational waves

Strange Noise in Gravitational-Wave Data Sparks Debate

The team that discovered gravitational waves put their data online. Now an independent group of researchers claims that they’ve found what might be a serious problem.

Naked singularities
quantum gravity

Where Gravity Is Weak and Naked Singularities Are Verboten

Recent calculations tie together two conjectures about gravity, potentially revealing new truths about its elusive quantum nature.

Black hole merger
Abstractions blog

Latest Black Hole Collision Comes With a Twist

The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory’s third detection further compounds the mystery of why black holes collide.

Light from the first galaxies clears the universe.

Discoveries Fuel Fight Over Universe’s First Light

A series of observations at the very edge of the universe has reignited a debate over what lifted the primordial cosmic fog.

information theory

The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution

As physicists extend the 19th-century laws of thermodynamics to the quantum realm, they’re rewriting the relationships among energy, entropy and information.

animated gif of a fractal tunnel
theoretical physics

Physicists Uncover Geometric ‘Theory Space’

A decades-old method called the “bootstrap” is enabling new discoveries about the geometry underlying all quantum theories.

quantum gravity

What Sonic Black Holes Say About Real Ones

Can a fluid analogue of a black hole point physicists toward the theory of quantum gravity, or is it a red herring?