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physics

symmetry

The Simple Idea Behind Einstein’s Greatest Discoveries

Lurking behind Einstein’s theory of gravity and our modern understanding of particle physics is the deceptively simple idea of symmetry. But physicists are beginning to question whether focusing on symmetry is still as productive as it once was.

Abstractions blog

Philosophers Debate New ‘Sonic Black Hole’ Discovery

Opinions differ about what recent measurements of a sound-trapping fluid reveal about light-trapping black holes.

insights puzzle

When Magic Is Seen in Twisted Graphene, That’s a Moiré

What do moiré patterns seen in optics, art, photography and color printing have to do with superconducting layers of graphene?

quantum information theory

How to Turn a Quantum Computer Into the Ultimate Randomness Generator

Pure, verifiable randomness is hard to come by. Two proposals show how to make quantum computers into randomness factories.

Photo of a silver metal plate with chips mounted on its surface.
Abstractions blog

A New Law to Describe Quantum Computing’s Rise?

Neven’s law states that quantum computers are improving at a “doubly exponential” rate. If it holds, quantum supremacy is around the corner.

Abstractions blog

A Close Look at Newborn Planets Reveals Hints of Infant Moons

Astronomers have discovered a complex planetary system still swirling into existence.

Abstractions blog

Do Brains Operate at a Tipping Point? New Clues and Complications

New experimental results simultaneously advance and challenge the theory that the brain’s network of neurons balances on the knife-edge between two phases.

cosmology

Physicists Debate Hawking’s Idea That the Universe Had No Beginning

A recent challenge to Stephen Hawking’s biggest idea — about how the universe might have come from nothing — has cosmologists choosing sides.

Art for "Quantum Leaps, Long Assumed to Be Instantaneous, Take Time"
quantum physics

Quantum Leaps, Long Assumed to Be Instantaneous, Take Time

An experiment caught a quantum system in the middle of a jump — something the originators of quantum mechanics assumed was impossible.