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A still from an animated illustration of electrons dispersing through a cuprate sample.
condensed matter physics

Universal Quantum Phenomenon Found in Strange Metals

Experiments suggest that exotic superconducting materials share a “strange metal” state characterized by a quantum speed limit that somehow acts as a fundamental organizing principle.

Art for "How Holography Could Help Solve Quantum Gravity"

How Holography Could Help Solve Quantum Gravity

In the latest campaign to reconcile Einstein’s theory of gravity with quantum mechanics, many physicists are studying how a higher dimensional space that includes gravity arises like a hologram from a lower dimensional particle theory.

Valeria Pettorino in the woods near CosmoStat

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.

Ewine van Dishoeck at Noordwijk beach in the Netherlands.
Thinking Places

Ewine van Dishoeck, the Netherlander Who Traced Water’s Origin

The astrochemist and winner of the 2018 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics has wondered about the cosmic origin of water while enjoying Noordwijk beach near her hometown of Leiden.


Astronomers Creep Up to the Edge of the Milky Way’s Black Hole

Hot spots have been discovered orbiting just outside the supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s center. Their motions have given us the closest look at that violent environment.

Quantized Academy

The (Imaginary) Numbers at the Edge of Reality

Odd enough to potentially model the strangeness of the physical world, complex numbers with “imaginary” components are rooted in the familiar.

Photo of Mario Jurić

Prepping for a Flood of Heavenly Bodies

Mario Jurić is leading the push to get astronomy ready for the torrents of data that are about to flow.

Art for "Why the Many-Worlds Interpretation Has Many Problems"
quantum mechanics

Why the Many-Worlds Interpretation Has Many Problems

The idea that the universe splits into multiple realities with every measurement has become an increasingly popular proposed solution to the mysteries of quantum mechanics. But this “many-worlds interpretation” is incoherent, Philip Ball argues in this adapted excerpt from his new book Beyond Weird.

Art for "Famous Experiment Dooms Alternative to Quantum Weirdness"
quantum physics

Famous Experiment Dooms Alternative to Quantum Weirdness

Oil droplets guided by “pilot waves” have failed to reproduce the results of the quantum double-slit experiment, crushing a century-old dream that there exists a single, concrete reality.