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experimental physics

particle physics

Grand Unification Dream Kept at Bay

Physicists have failed to find disintegrating protons, throwing into limbo the beloved theory that the forces of nature were unified at the beginning of time.

Janet Conrad by Kayana Szymczak
Q&A

On a Hunt for a Ghost of a Particle

Janet Conrad has a plan to catch the sterile neutrino — an elusive particle, possibly glimpsed by a number of experiments, that would upend what we know about the subatomic world.

LHC Collision Events - Visualization
Abstractions blog

The Math That’s Too Difficult for Physics

How do physicists reconstruct what really happened in a particle collision? Through calculations that are so challenging that, in some cases, they simply can’t be done. Yet.

mathematical physics

Strange Numbers Found in Particle Collisions

An unexpected connection has emerged between the results of physics experiments and an important, seemingly unrelated set of numbers in pure mathematics.

Neutron-scattering image of a “spin ice” material created in 2009 that contains particles analogous to magnetic monopoles.
Abstractions blog

Can Analogies Reveal the Laws of Physics?

So-called “analogue experiments” are becoming increasingly common in physics, but do they teach or mislead?

Abstractions blog

New Measurement Deepens Proton Puzzle

A discrepancy in the measured size of the “deuteron” increases the chance that something is amiss in our understanding of atoms.

particle physics

What No New Particles Means for Physics

Physicists are confronting their “nightmare scenario.” What does the absence of new particles suggest about how nature works?

As neutrinos change “flavors” they may illuminate the differences between matter and antimatter.
particle physics

Neutrinos Hint of Matter-Antimatter Rift

A hint that neutrinos behave differently than antineutrinos suggests an answer to one the biggest questions in physics.

Q&A

An Explorer of Quantum Borderlands

Suchitra Sebastian’s searches for quantum anomalies have led to the potential discovery of a new building block of matter.