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Galactic Beacons Get Snuffed Out in a Cosmic Eyeblink
Quasars powered by supermassive black holes have been unexpectedly vanishing. Scientists have started to figure out why.
How Holography Could Help Solve Quantum Gravity
In the latest campaign to reconcile Einstein’s theory of gravity with quantum mechanics, many physicists are studying how a higher dimensional space that includes gravity arises like a hologram from a lower dimensional particle theory.
Astronomers Creep Up to the Edge of the Milky Way’s Black Hole
Hot spots have been discovered orbiting just outside the supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s center. Their motions have given us the closest look at that violent environment.
The End of Theoretical Physics as We Know It
Computer simulations and custom-built quantum analogues are changing what it means to search for the laws of nature.
Black Hole Firewalls Could Be Too Tepid to Burn
String theorists elide a paradox about black holes by extinguishing the walls of fire feared to surround them.
Star-Swallowing Black Holes Reveal Secrets in Exotic Light Shows
Black holes occasionally reveal themselves when passing stars get ripped apart by their gravity. These tidal disruption events have created a new way for astronomers to map the hidden cosmos.
The Universe Is Not a Simulation, but We Can Now Simulate It
Computer simulations have become so accurate that cosmologists can now use them to study dark matter, supermassive black holes and other mysteries of the real evolving cosmos.
Mathematicians Disprove Conjecture Made to Save Black Holes
Mathematicians have disproved the strong cosmic censorship conjecture. Their work answers one of the most important questions in the study of general relativity and changes the way we think about space-time.
What Astronomers Are Learning From Gaia’s New Milky Way Map
A roundup of some of the most important discoveries gleaned so far from the Gaia space observatory’s new map of the galaxy.