Quasicrystals are unusual materials in which the atoms are arranged in regular patterns that nonetheless never repeat themselves. Most are man-made in the lab; only one case of naturally occurring quasicrystals has been found thus far. And now physicists believe they’ve figured out how that happened.
The very definition of a crystal relies on the notion of symmetry: the atoms line up in highly ordered, repeating honeycomb patterns, and that symmetry should be evident whichever way you look at it. Now physicists have stumbled upon a new type of crystal inspired by the orbits of satellites.
While most of us will ring in the new year with family and friends, science doesn’t take a holiday. And neither do the scientists responsible for big ongoing experiments. One of the more famous historical examples of this is the case of physicist Chien-Shiung Wu—often referred to as “Madame Wu”—who gave up vacationing…
Halloween is fast approaching, which means many Americans will partake in the annual mutilate-a-squash ritual this weekend. But let’s face it: toothy grins and pointy eyes are passé. If you really want your gourd to stand out this year, we recommend spicing things up with a healthy dose of physics.
The staff of symmetry has created a fun set of physics-themed Valentines to share with the people you love. And because ours is a universe that contains both matter and antimatter, they've created a complementary set of anti-Valentines, for the people you love to hate.
Gulfstream has new jets, the G500 and G600. They can fly at almost supersonic speed and come with lots of new cool stuff, like a new cabin that is supposed to make you feel like you are not flying or this new glass cockpit called Symmetry—which looks out of some sci-fi movie.
Our bodies may be (nearly) symmetrical on the outside, but our insides are a different story. Your heart, your stomach and spleen are all on the left side of your body, your liver on the right. But in one in 20,000 people, the sidedness of the organs is reversed.
Photographer Donna Dotan was shooting downwards out of a Manhattan apartment window when she noticed the beautiful symmetrical reflection. It inspired her to create this amazing series in which New York looks like an entirely different place—sometimes a starship, others the endless canyons of an alien megalopolis.
Whether it's Richie Tennenbaum's face or the Fantastic Mr. Fox's tree home, Wes Anderson is obsessed with symmetry. Don't believe it? Just watch this supercut. That's some very, very impressive attention to detail. [FastCo]
Beauty is in symmetry. Symmetry is beautiful. Or something like that. But what if that's not true? Photographer Alex John Beck played around with the idea of facial symmetry by creating perfectly symmetrical composite images of people's faces in his photography series Both Sides Of. You'll see two faces in the…
This is "Symmetry," a clever seven-minute short by filmmaker Yann Pineill. As its title suggests, the first and second halves of the film are mirror images of one another – a creative decision that must have required considerable planning to be pulled off as seamlessly as it is here.
The day is finally here! My new book, The Universe in the Rearview Mirror, is being released today! Many of the topics in the book were prompted by all of the great questions from the io9 community, and I wanted to thank you again by offering you this free excerpt.
Good news, everyone! On July 11, Dutton will be releasing my new book, The Universe in the Rearview Mirror: How Hidden Symmetries Shape Reality. But do you need to wait that long? Maybe not!
Perfect symmetry. It's how we define beauty, but photography tends to shy away from it. Here are 19 pieces of proof that symmetry really is beautiful.
You have much to learn, dear reader. Settle in — it's arts and crafts time. Let math-craft-wunderkind Vi Hart expand your mind with this captivating tutorial on snowflakes, starflakes, and swirlflakes.
There are a lot of things you take for granted when you have a head. One of those is the direction that you walk in. But what if you had no head? Surprisingly, no scientist had ever thought to investigate that. Until now.
Physics is defined by its symmetries, from thermodynamics laws like the conservation of mass and energy, to the principle that the universe is basically the same all over. Symmetry can also suggest some truly bizarre ideas. One of those ideas is time crystals.
The longest math proof in the world has just been completed. It began in the 1970s and was worked on by 100 mathematicians. Take a look at the math equivalent of endurance running.
Apple's obsessive compulsive, super-spartan, Kubrick-meets-Superman's-Fortress-of-Solitude industrial design goes way beyond phones and tablets. ifoAppleStore points out the meticulous, somewhat-insanely clever efforts Apple takes to make their stores visually enticing. Human brains like symmetry! So human brains like…