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The Experimental Cosmologist Hunting for the First Sunrise
To catch even a whiff of the universe’s earliest epochs — an age of darkness, and one of new light — Cynthia Chiang builds her own equipment. Then she deploys it at the ends of the Earth.
Does Nothingness Exist?
Even empty space bubbles with energy, according to quantum mechanics — and that fact affects almost every facet of physical reality. The theoretical physicist Isabel Garcia Garcia explains to Steven Strogatz why it’s so important in modern physics to understand what a true vacuum is.
How (Nearly) Nothing Might Solve Cosmology’s Biggest Questions
By measuring the universe’s emptiest spaces, scientists can study how matter clumps together and how fast it flies apart.
An Enormous Gravity ‘Hum’ Moves Through the Universe
Astronomers have found a background din of exceptionally long-wavelength gravitational waves pervading the cosmos.
Are There Reasons to Believe in a Multiverse?
Several areas of physics suggest reasons to think that unobservable universes with different natural laws could lie beyond ours. The theoretical physicist David Kaplan talks with Steven Strogatz about the mysteries that a multiverse would solve.
Shadows in the Big Bang Afterglow Reveal Invisible Cosmic Structures
Cosmologists are using secondary signatures from the cosmic microwave background to map the universe’s hidden matter.
Standard Model of Cosmology Survives a Telescope’s Findings
Reports that the James Webb Space Telescope killed the reigning cosmological model turn out to have been exaggerated. But astronomers still have much to learn from distant galaxies glimpsed by Webb.