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What Is a Particle?
It has been thought of as many things: a pointlike object, an excitation of a field, a speck of pure math that has cut into reality. But never has physicists’ conception of a particle changed more than it is changing now.
The Cosmologist Who Dreams in the Universe’s Dark Threads
Cora Dvorkin discovered new possibilities for what dark matter could be. Now she’s devising unorthodox ways to identify it.
The Most Famous Paradox in Physics Nears Its End
In a landmark series of calculations, physicists have proved that black holes can shed information.
A New Map of All the Particles and Forces
We’ve created a new way to explore the fundamental constituents of the universe.
The Hidden Structure of the Universe
Our new series of articles explores the search for fundamental structure at the edge of science.
Alchemy Arrives in a Burst of Light
Researchers have shown how to effectively transform one material into another using a finely shaped laser pulse.
Physicists Argue That Black Holes From the Big Bang Could Be the Dark Matter
It was an old idea of Stephen Hawking’s: Unseen “primordial” black holes might be the hidden dark matter. A new series of studies has shown how the theory can work.
How Mathematical ‘Hocus-Pocus’ Saved Particle Physics
Renormalization has become perhaps the single most important advance in theoretical physics in 50 years.
The Mathematical Structure of Particle Collisions Comes Into View
Physicists have identified an algebraic structure underlying the messy mathematics of particle collisions. Some hope it will lead to a more elegant theory of the natural world.