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The End of Theoretical Physics As We Know It

August 27, 2018

Computer simulations and custom-built quantum analogues are changing what it means to search for the laws of nature.

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nuclear physics

Neutron Lifetime Puzzle Deepens, but No Dark Matter Seen

February 13, 2018

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.

astrophysics

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

October 30, 2017

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.

astrophysics

A New Blast May Have Forged Cosmic Gold

March 23, 2017

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?

June 14, 2016

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

June 7, 2016

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

March 6, 2015

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

August 27, 2014

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

Efimov trimers.
particle physics

Physicists Prove Surprising Rule of Threes

May 27, 2014

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.