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physics

cosmology

Lopsided Map Offers Clues to Big Bang

Theoretical cosmologists are piecing together a cosmic origin story from a surprising anomaly in the recently released Planck satellite image.

theoretical physics

Is Nature Unnatural?

Decades of confounding experiments have physicists considering a startling possibility: The universe might not make sense.

Q&A

Waiting for the Revolution

An interview with the Nobel Prize-winner David J. Gross on the confusing state of theoretical physics.

Physics

Perpetual Motion Test Could Amend Theory of Time

A radical theory predicting the existence of “time crystals” — perpetual motion objects that break the symmetry of time — is being put to the test.

Physics

Solid or Liquid? Physicists Redefine States of Matter

Glass and other strange materials have long confounded textbook definitions of what it means to be solid. Now, two groups of physicists propose a new solution to the riddle.

cosmology

Peering Into the Early Universe

Three “extremely large telescopes” poised to begin observations within a decade could help answer some of the universe’s oldest and best-kept secrets.

Physics

Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire

If a new hypothesis about black hole firewalls proves correct, at least one of three cherished notions in theoretical physics must be wrong.

astrophysics

A Primordial Nucleus Behind the Elements of Life

Using supercomputers and new mathematical techniques, physicists are working to reveal how the Hoyle state atomic nucleus gives rise to the light elements that enable life, and how it drives the evolution of stars.

LHC tunnel
supersymmetry

As Supersymmetry Fails Tests, Physicists Seek New Ideas

As the elegant theory of supersymmetry continues to fail experimental tests, physicists debate whether to change course and what the future holds for particle physics.