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nuclear physics

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nuclear physics

Neutron Lifetime Puzzle Deepens, but No Dark Matter Seen

Two methods of measuring the neutron’s longevity give different answers, creating uncertainty in cosmological models. But no one has a clue what the problem is.


Squishy or Solid? A Neutron Star’s Insides Open to Debate

The core of a neutron star is such an extreme environment that physicists can’t agree on what happens inside. But a new space-based experiment — and a few more colliding neutron stars — should reveal whether neutrons themselves break down.


A New Blast May Have Forged Cosmic Gold

For decades, researchers believed that violent supernovas forged gold and other heavy elements. But many now argue for a different cosmic quarry.

Abstractions blog

Have Physicists Discovered a New Boson?

A group of little-known Hungarian physicists claim to have found a new fundamental particle. Now other researchers are raising questions about the team’s past work.

nuclear physics

Evidence of a ‘Fifth Force’ Faces Scrutiny

A lab in Hungary has reported an anomaly that could lead to a physics revolution. But even as excitement builds, closer scrutiny has unearthed a troubling backstory.

particle physics

In LHC’s Shadow, America’s Collider Awakens

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider fired up for its 15th run to take a deeper look at the building blocks of atoms.

particle physics

Quark Quartet Fuels Quantum Feud

Newly discovered particles are forcing physicists to extend their simple picture of subatomic interactions or replace it with a more nuanced understanding.

Efimov trimers.

Physicists Prove Surprising Rule of Threes

Three groups of experimentalists have independently observed a strange state of matter that forms from three particles of any type and at any scale, from practically infinitesimal to infinite.


A Primordial Nucleus Behind the Elements of Life

Using supercomputers and new mathematical techniques, physicists are working to reveal how the Hoyle state atomic nucleus gives rise to the light elements that enable life, and how it drives the evolution of stars.