What's up in

physics

Animated line drawing of Margaret Hamilton, Ellen Fetter, and a Lorenz attractor
chaos theory

The Hidden Heroines of Chaos

The story of the birth of chaos theory has left out two programming pioneers.

Art for "As Planet Discoveries Pile Up, a Gap Appears in the Pattern"
Abstractions blog

As Planet Discoveries Pile Up, a Gap Appears in the Pattern

Astronomers are puzzling over a paucity of planets in the galaxy measuring between 1.5 and two times Earth’s size.

Art for "What Are Feynman Diagrams?"
In Theory

How Feynman Diagrams Revolutionized Physics

In the late 1940s, Richard Feynman invented a visual tool for simplifying particle calculations that forever changed theoretical physics.

Art for "Black, Hot Ice, Newly Seen in the Lab, May Be Nature's Commonest Form of Water"
chemistry

Black, Hot Ice May Be Nature’s Most Common Form of Water

A new experiment confirms the existence of “superionic ice,” a bizarre form of water that might comprise the bulk of giant icy planets throughout the universe.

Art for "Universal Pattern Explains Why Materials Conduct"
mathematical physics

Universal Pattern Explains Why Materials Conduct

Mathematicians have found that materials conduct electricity when electrons follow a universal mathematical pattern.

Art for "The Sun Is Stranger Than Astrophysicists Imagined"
astrophysics

The Sun Is Stranger Than Astrophysicists Imagined

The sun radiates far more high-frequency light than expected, raising questions about unknown features of the sun’s magnetic field and the possibility of even more exotic physics.

Art for "With a Simple Twist, a ‘Magic’ Material Has Quietly Become the Biggest Thing in Physics"
quantum physics

With a Simple Twist, a ‘Magic’ Material Is Now the Big Thing in Physics

The stunning emergence of a new type of superconductivity with the mere twist of a carbon sheet has left physicists giddy, and its discoverer nearly overwhelmed.

Art for "Dark Matter Gets a Reprieve in New Analysis"
Abstractions blog

Dark Matter Gets a Reprieve in New Analysis

A strange glow coming from the Milky Way’s center was thought to be due to ordinary pulsars. But a new look at a years-old study shows that dark matter might still be responsible.

Q&A

The Astronomer Who’d Rather Build Space Cameras

Jim Gunn shaped the theory of the evolution of the cosmos before building cameras and spectrographs for major observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope.