Galaxies have supermassive black holes at their centers—our Milky Way, for example, has its own 4-million-solar-mass one, Sagittarius A*. Some astronomers have previously thought that there’s a simple relationship between the galaxy’s size, the black hole’s mass, and how much light the black hole spits out while it…
Asteroid mining is about more than just heading up into space and bringing back a rock full of platinum—you actually need to land something on just the right asteroid.
Your data may be safe from a quantum attack... for now. When quantum computers develop the ability to crack present-day encryption mechanisms, will you be ready?
There’s another quantum computer to keep track of in this Wild West era of quantum computing research we’re in. And it uses some parts you might already be familiar with.
On August 3, 2016, seven kilometers above Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, a research plane captured something mysterious: an atmospheric aerosol particle enriched with the kind of uranium used in nuclear fuel and bombs.
Zoom in close on the center of the picture above, and you can spot something you perhaps never thought you’d be able to see: a single atom. Here is a close-up if, you’re having trouble:
With a new, “portable” atomic clock, scientists are measuring not what time it is but changes to time itself.
It appears that the Universe is full of dark matter—around six times more of it than there is regular matter. It has obvious visible effects, like the way it bends light from distant galaxies. Despite dedicated searches, no signs of a dark matter particle explaining these effects have turned up.
Scientists have experimentally observed a physical concept that was first theorized in 1931 for the first time—one that could result in important applications in quantum computing and even the study of string theory. Maybe.
At the bottom right-hand corner of the periodic table sits a fantasy world. Until recently, these elusive elements’ names were just fancy translations of their numbers. They’re enormous and can only be produced in the lab. They only stick around for a few seconds at most before radioactively decaying into smaller…
Here is an ice cube you do not want to put in your Diet Coke: A solid lattice of oxygen atoms with protons whizzing around inside of it. This ice is not normal on Earth, but might be elsewhere. And scientists have created it in a lab.
Gravitational waves may be the most exciting thing in astronomy right now, but there are only so many things in space that scientists can study with Earth-based gravitational wave detectors. An incredible new test has demonstrated that space-based detectors could become a reality, which could open our ears to entirely…
Scientists have uncovered some preliminary evidence for a nuclear physics effect first predicted back in the 1970s. The physics universe you’re about to enter into in order to understand it is especially mind-bending.
Scientists thought the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies were unique: They’ve got rings of smaller dwarf galaxies orbiting in what seems to be a synchronized fashion. But when a team of scientists recently looked at another galaxy, they realized it also seemed to shepherd a flock of dwarfs in a strange, synchronized…
Perhaps we’re not alone but instead reside in a multiverse stocked with all sorts of fantastical realms. These other universes are somewhat—but not exactly—like our own. Maybe gravity acts differently, or particles come in different shapes and sizes. Could life still exist in any of these bubbles?
By combining the power of four telescopes, an international team of astronomers has captured the most detailed image yet of a distant star—an observation that’s meshing well with pre-existing theories about the physical characteristics of giant stars.
Based on physicists’ measurements, most of the mass in the universe is actually taken up by dark matter. Whatever this stuff is, we can see its effects on the behavior of distant galaxies, though no experiment has detected it here on Earth. Doing so probably requires knowing how fast it moves.
In some industries, sex sells. In the science journalism industry, however, potentially killer asteroids sell even more. Due to a quirk of how NASA refers to the many asteroids it tracks, countless headlines like these fill Google News every month: “Massive and Potentially Dangerous Asteroid Will Approach Earth…
You probably know that atoms contain neutrons. But there’s a strange, long-standing discrepancy plaguing one of the neutron’s most basic measurements—something that a pair of scientists think might have to do with dark matter, the mysterious substance that supposedly accounts more than five times the amount of mass in…