How to terraform Mars, without nukes, on a budget
Terraforming Mars has been a dream for decades; here’s how we might get it started today.
For the first time, astronomers have detected a radio signal from the massive explosion of a dying white dwarf
Patience and persistence pays off in ways researchers never expected, allowing them to hear the dying whispers of a distant star.
Astronomers have directly detected a massive exoplanet. The method could transform the search for life beyond Earth.
There are many techniques to search for planets orbiting other stars. Perhaps the simplest of these is called direct imaging, but it's not easy.
NASA’s Habitable Worlds Observatory to finally answer the epic question: “Are we alone?”
The Nancy Roman Telescope is already being built with a goal no smaller than to find inhabited planets beyond Earth.
Why Earth is the only planet with plate tectonics
Here in our Solar System, of all the known planets, only Earth — not Mercury, not Venus, and not Mars — possesses plate tectonics.
Quantum entanglement just got a whole lot weirder
Normally seen with identical particles, entanglement has just been demonstrated between particles with opposite charges.
How Einstein tried to model the shape of the Universe
Two years after proposing his general theory of relativity, Einstein endeavored to find the shape of the Universe.
“Nothing” doesn’t exist. Instead, there is “quantum foam”
Even if you took an empty container devoid of all matter and cooled it to absolute zero, there is still "something" in the container.
ChatGPT answers physics questions like a confused C student
When asked about physics, ChatGPT gave a mixture of true, false, relevant, irrelevant, and contradictory answers — all with authority.
How Einstein challenged quantum mechanics and lost
Is quantum mechanics weird? Yes. Is it wrong? No. At least not in any way Albert Einstein could prove.
Brain experiment suggests that consciousness relies on quantum entanglement
Researchers possibly witnessed entanglement in the brain, indicating that some brain activity, like consciousness, operates on a quantum level.
How to prove Einstein’s relativity for under $100
Muons only live for 2.2 microseconds before decaying. Thanks to Einstein's relativity, they make it to the surface of the earth. Here's how to prove it.
The case for dark matter has strengthened
Though it makes up about 26% of the Universe, we cannot see dark matter. But we know it's there because we can see its effects.
What happens when an astrophysicist puts ChatGPT to the test?
Can an astrophysicist get ChatGPT to learn and assimilate new information and give correct answers where it gave confident but false ones?
Ring galaxies, the rarest in the Universe, finally explained
After decades of wondering how ring galaxies form, we've caught them in enough stages of evolution that we finally know where they come from.
Not just light: Everything is a wave, including you
In the 1920s, the wave-particle duality of light was extended to include all material objects, from electrons to you.
China’s new space station is open for business
On Nov. 29, 2022, the Shenzhou 15 mission launched from China’s Gobi Desert carrying three taikonauts – the Chinese word for astronauts.
“Galactic archeology” makes spectacular find: the Milky Way is over 13 billion years old
Scientists have pushed the Milky Way's early history back more than 2 billion years: to less than 800 million years after the Big Bang.
After 50 years, fusion power hits a major milestone
Researchers in California achieved net energy gain in a thermonuclear fusion experiment. But how great of a breakthrough is this, really?
Will physics prevent SpinLaunch from succeeding?
SpinLaunch has a working prototype successfully launching objects at 1,000 miles-per-hour, but will the laws of physics stand in the way?
Here’s what that fusion power breakthrough really means
This year, NIF reports that it has achieved "ignition" — that is, it has achieved slightly more fusion energy output than laser energy input.
Discovery finds the Earth’s core is constantly changing the length our day
The length of our day changes slightly over a six-year period. This recent discovery has perplexed scientists for about a decade.
What is the largest planet out of all the ones we know?
The "upper limit" to the size of our planets is exceeded in other stellar systems, but double Jupiter's radius seems to be the limit.
How Greek philosopher Democritus predicted the atom in 400 B.C.E.
The idea of atoms goes as far back as the ancient Greek philosopher Democritus in 400 B.C.E., who thought physics left no room for free will.
Einstein’s theory of general relativity passes another test, with implications for dark matter and dark energy
Scientists carried out an ultra-precise test of a core premise of Einstein’s modern theory of gravity. The theory stood up.
The technology we (or aliens) need for long-distance interstellar travel
Interstellar distances are vast, and extremely advanced technology will be required if we (or aliens) want to visit other star systems.
Quantum entanglement wins 2022’s Nobel Prize in physics
Three pioneers — John Clauser, Alain Aspect, and Anton Zeilinger — helped make quantum information systems a bona fide science.
Paradox-free time travel is “logically” possible, say physicists
An undergraduate and his supervisor ran the numbers and found paradox-free time travel to be mathematically consistent.
A neural network discovered Copernicus’ heliocentricity on its own
Scientists trained a neural network to predict the movements of Mars and the Sun, which placed the Sun at the center of our solar system.
1.7 billion years ago, Earth had a natural nuclear reactor
Seventeen natural sites possessing ancient nuclear reactions have now been found: evidence of Earth's first nuclear reactor.
This logarithmic view of the Universe will blow your mind
From here to the limits of what we can see, here's a breathtaking illustrated logarithmic view of the Universe.
What are wormholes? An astrophysicist explains
A wormhole is like a tunnel between two distant points in our universe that cuts the travel time from one point to the other.
The true meaning of Einstein’s most famous equation: E=mc²
Although most people can name Einstein's most famous equation, E = mc², very few people can explain what it means.
There are more galaxies in the Universe than even Carl Sagan ever imagined
There are between 6 and 20 trillion galaxies out there. Carl Sagan's "billions and billions" was far too low of a guess.
The Universe is flat. Here’s what that teaches us.
When we measure it, we find that our Universe really is flat. Here's what we can learn from that, and why it matters so much.
A new nova disappeared faster than ever, and an even bigger cosmic catastrophe is coming
Today, the fastest-ever nova to fall off has been discovered, and even faster ones may be out there. What comes next?
NASA-funded scientist says “MEGA drive” could enable interstellar travel
The mega drive might provide enough thrust for a spacecraft to travel near the speed of light using only electricity, says one physicist.
Black hole mergers obey the laws of thermodynamics
An analysis of the gravitational wave data from black hole mergers show that the event horizon area, and entropy, always increases.
Why Einstein is a “peerless genius” and Hawking is an “ordinary genius”
Why some people are considered geniuses while other equally impressive people are not seems largely arbitrary.
Scientists see “rarest event ever recorded” in search for dark matter
Researchers observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
Australian scientists put the quantum world on a microchip
A first-of-its-kind quantum simulator could lead to the creation of never-before-seen materials powered by quantum phenomena.
Nuclear isomers were discovered 100 years ago
Protons and neutrons in an atom’s nucleus can be arranged in different configurations, creating nuclear isomers.
Lasers could cut lifespan of nuclear waste from “a million years to 30 minutes,” says Nobel laureate
If no solution is found, we're already stuck with some 22,000 cubic meters of long-lasting hazardous waste.
After 350 years, astronomers still can’t explain the solar system’s strangest moon
Saturn's Iapetus, discovered way back in 1671, has three bizarre features that science still can't fully explain.
Einstein was right. Flying clocks around the world in opposite directions proved it.
By flying planes both with and against Earth's rotation, and returning them all to the same starting point, we tested Einstein's theory.
How the Kessler Syndrome can end all space exploration and destroy modern life
The sheer amount of stuff already floating in space makes the domino effect of explosions a likely possibility.
Search reveals eight new sources of black hole echoes
The researchers' findings will help scientists trace a black hole’s evolution as it feeds on stellar material.
Scientists blow up their lab after creating strongest magnet ever
Scientists knew that it would probably explode, but they did not expect to reach such a record magnetic field.
The Large Hadron Collider is back online
The world's biggest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), is back online after a three-year hiatus.
Gravitational waves could be “pushing” the Moon
A new study suggests we use the orbit of the Moon to find gravitational waves we can’t currently detect in other ways.
Nuclear fusion hit a milestone thanks to better reactor walls
A team of scientists have shattered the record for the amount of energy produced during a controlled, sustained fusion reaction.
In a hole in Earth’s magnetic field, neuroscientists are peering into the human brain
By using quantum physics to measure magnetic fields, researchers are pushing closer to measuring the brain in ways we couldn't before.
Nuclear fusion: how excited should we be?
We know that fusion works – it is the process that powers the Sun, providing heat and light to the Earth. But can we do it ourselves?
Record-breaking supernova manages to “X-ray” the entire Universe
“When I saw the data, I didn’t believe the analysis...This is the brightest Cow supernova seen to date."
We now know the big bang theory is (probably) not how the universe began
Scientists used to think the universe began from a singularity. Nearly 100 years later, we're not so sure.
Scientists observed what Einstein predicted a century ago
Physicists claim to have generated matter from pure light particles for the first time — a spectacular display of Einstein's most famous equation.
Light from behind supermassive black hole detected for first time
The first direct observation of light from behind a supermassive black hole confirms a prediction in Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
NASA’s new balloon-borne telescope is ready for liftoff
NASA’s new balloon-borne telescope could let astronomers study distant objects with the latest tech at a fraction of the cost of Hubble.
Muon particle’s “wobble” appears to break the laws of physics
The muon, a fundamental particle nicknamed the “fat electron,” has physicists questioning the standard model of particle physics.
Quantum teleportation demo sets new accuracy record
A quantum teleportation breakthrough at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory puts us one step closer to a super-fast, super-secure quantum internet.
Physicists are starting to harness the power of deepfakes
Generative adversarial networks are the scary AI producing deepfakes. But they have other uses too, and physicists are starting to harness their power.
New atomic clock is the most precise ever created
MIT researchers have created a new kind of atomic clock that exploits quantum entanglement to keep time more precisely.