What's up in

physics

particle physics

In LHC’s Shadow, America’s Collider Awakens

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider fired up for its 15th run to take a deeper look at the building blocks of atoms.

theoretical physics

In Fake Universes, Evidence for String Theory

If string theorists can show that their framework is the only consistent theory of quantum gravity, does that make it true even without tangible evidence?

cosmology

Joint Dust Analysis Deflates Big Bang Signal

No definitive evidence for cosmic inflation is found, but support remains strong for the theory even as critics highlight its shortcomings as an explanation for how and why the universe began.

geometry

Scientists Conjure Curves From Flatness

Researchers have found a set of rules for imbuing flat surfaces with curvature, enabling them to form a virtually unlimited range of three-dimensional structures.

Computer Science

A Common Logic to Seeing Cats and Cosmos

New research suggests physicists, computers and brains employ the same procedure to tease out important features from among other irrelevant bits of data.

Reaching for the Multiverse
Infinity and Beyond: The Ultimate Test

Multiverse Collisions May Dot the Sky

Early in cosmic history, our universe may have bumped into another — a primordial clash that could have left traces in the Big Bang’s afterglow.

Infinity and Beyond: The Ultimate Test

In a Multiverse, What Are the Odds?

Testing the multiverse hypothesis requires measuring whether our universe is statistically typical among the infinite variety of universes. But infinity does a number on statistics.

astrophysics

Dwarf Galaxies Dim Hopes of Dark Matter

For five years physicists have been tantalized by possible evidence of dark matter in the Milky Way’s center. But new results from small satellite galaxies have complicated the story.

BICEP2 graphic.
cosmology

‘Big Bang Signal’ Could All Be Dust

Cosmic dust in the high latitudes of the Milky Way could account for the entire swirl pattern that had been presented as proof of a leading Big Bang theory, according to a new data analysis from the Planck satellite.