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physics

Art for "Planets Found to Be Larger Than the Disks They Come From"
astrophysics

Planets Found to Be Larger Than the Disks They Come From

The new finding is challenging established theories of how planets come to be.

Art for "Laser Physicists, Including Third Woman Ever, Win Physics Nobel"
Abstractions blog

Laser Physicists, Including Third Woman Ever, Win Physics Nobel

Three researchers shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for advances in laser physics. The winners include a woman for the first time in 55 years.

Art for "‘Quantum Atmospheres’ May Reveal Secrets of Matter"
quantum mechanics

‘Quantum Atmospheres’ May Reveal Secrets of Matter

A new theory proposes that the quantum properties of an object extend into an “atmosphere” that surrounds the material.

Art for "A Short History of the Missing Universe"
Abstractions blog

A Short History of the Missing Universe

Astronomers have known where the universe’s missing matter has been hiding for the past 20 years. So why did it take so long to find it?

Abstractions blog

A New Test for the Leading Big Bang Theory

Cosmologists have predicted the existence of an oscillating signal that could distinguish between cosmic inflation and alternative theories of the universe’s birth.

astrophysics

The Last of the Universe’s Ordinary Matter Has Been Found

For decades, astronomers weren’t able to find all of the atomic matter in the universe. A series of recent papers has revealed where it’s been hiding.

Belt trick illustration
Abstractions blog

The Strange Numbers That Birthed Modern Algebra

The 19th-century discovery of numbers called “quaternions” gave mathematicians a way to describe rotations in space, forever changing physics and math.

Illustration of a bunny hiding around a corner
algorithms

The New Science of Seeing Around Corners

Computer vision researchers have uncovered a world of visual signals hiding in our midst, including subtle motions that betray what’s being said and faint images of what’s around a corner.

Rosaly Lopes above one of the lava lakes at Ambrym, an exceptionally active volcano in the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.
Q&A

To Understand Volcanoes on Other Worlds, Stand On Our Own

Rosaly Lopes has visited dozens of active volcanoes on Earth and discovered even more elsewhere in the solar system. Her work is helping to establish whether volcanoes on distant moons could create conditions friendly to life.