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cosmology

Q&A

The Astronomer Who’d Rather Build Space Cameras

Jim Gunn shaped the theory of the evolution of the cosmos before building cameras and spectrographs for major observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope.

Art for "The Physics Still Hiding in the Higgs Boson"
Abstractions blog

The Physics Still Hiding in the Higgs Boson

No new particles have been found at the Large Hadron Collider since the Higgs boson in 2012, but physicists say there’s much we can still learn from the Higgs itself.

Valeria Pettorino in the woods near CosmoStat
Q&A

An Italian Cosmologist Who Wanders in Dante’s Dark Wood

A scientist and programmer with a literary bent, Valeria Pettorino thinks multiple angles and diverse points of view are needed to unriddle the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Art for "A Short History of the Missing Universe"
Abstractions blog

A Short History of the Missing Universe

Astronomers have known where the universe’s missing matter has been hiding for the past 20 years. So why did it take so long to find it?

Abstractions blog

A New Test for the Leading Big Bang Theory

Cosmologists have predicted the existence of an oscillating signal that could distinguish between cosmic inflation and alternative theories of the universe’s birth.

astrophysics

The Last of the Universe’s Ordinary Matter Has Been Found

For decades, astronomers weren’t able to find all of the atomic matter in the universe. A series of recent papers has revealed where it’s been hiding.

Art for "Dark Energy May Be Incompatible With String Theory"
theoretical physics

Dark Energy May Be Incompatible With String Theory

A controversial new paper argues that universes with dark energy profiles like ours do not exist in the “landscape” of universes allowed by string theory.

Photo of the sun
Abstractions blog

What Is the Sun Made Of and When Will It Die?

If and when physicists are able to pin down the metal content of the sun, that number could upend much of what we thought we knew about the evolution and life span of stars.

Illustration of a galaxy simulation.
cosmology

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.