The most basic physical laws you’ve learned—those drafted up by Isaac Newton in the 17th century—don’t work for everything. Once you try to applying them to really fast things moving nearly at the speed of light or things heavier than stars, they start to fall apart. That’s where Albert Einstein’s expanded theory of…
Without a Tardis, a journey to the center of the Earth might be your best option for traveling to the past. Because of the way gravity warps spacetime, physicists have now calculated that the Earth’s core is 2.5 years younger than its surface.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right? That, at least, is the motto the European Space Agency seems to have embraced with respect to two wayward satellites, which are being repurposed to provide the most accurate assessment yet of how gravity affects the passage of time.
Stephen Hawking makes headlines with every utterance, whether he is making bets with colleagues, attending movie premieres, expounding on A.I., or slyly suggesting women are the ultimate mystery. Now he’s inspired a lyrical sonnet ruminating on relativity, quantum mechanics and (of course) black holes.
Light speed is often spoken of as a cosmic speed limit … but not everything plays by these rules. In fact, space itself can expand faster than a photon could ever hope to travel.
Ender's Game star Asa Butterfield will also play the lead in the intriguing film Out of This World, where he'll play a kid who was raised in secret on Mars.
On Friday Digital Einstein went live, bringing with it a treasure trove of Einstein letters, correspondences, postcards, and notes detailing the life of one of the world's greatest thinkers. As The New York Times reports, these are The Dead Sea Scrolls of physics and you can read them today for free.
Time travel's been one of man's wildest fantasies for centuries. It's long been a popular trend in movies and fiction, inspiring everything from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol to H.G. Wells' The Time Machine to the Charlton Heston shrine that is The Planet of the Apes. And with the opening of Interstellar…
Time travel is possible—or at least a lot of serious physicists say so. It's probably not possible to pull it off in a souped-up Delorean, but there are wormholes, Tipler cylinders, and other Einstein-inspired theories for how it could work. Which raises the question: Why haven't we met any visitors from another…
Tachyons cause a lot of problems in movies with starships, but they also cause problems for people in real life. Specifically, they cause problems for students of relativity and string theorists. Learn about the ins and outs of tachyons, and why they need extra dimensions.
Einstein said that clocks that are moving through space at dramatically divergent speeds will measure time differently, and he used his famous "twin paradox" to illustrate the point. But there are easier ways to show that time dilation is real.
The universe, they say, isn't just stranger than we imagine. It's stranger than we can imagine. After three episodes focused on matters solar and mundane, from the evolution of life to the orbital dynamics of comets in our little flat circle of spacetime, episode four tackles the limits of cosmic reality far beyond…
Somebody's going to win a Nobel Prize. At least that's what the physics community is saying after the announcement on Monday that a Harvard team has found the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation right after the Big Bang. It's more proof that the Big Bang really was the beginning of it all.
Special relativity is best known for letting us know that, as a person's velocity increases, their perception of time slows down. It also creates an interesting little optical illusion that can make objects moving in a straight line appear to twist and turn.
Imagine taking the distance that light travels in an entire year. Now turn that distance into a cube, each side one light-year across. How much "stuff" would be in there? And how empty would it be? It all depends on where you put your massive cube.
It might seem like a simple question, but as this TED-Ed video beautifully illustrates, the task of measuring an object's speed as it's traveling through space is far more complicated than it looks — even if you're aboard the starship Enterprise.
You're sitting still, right? Wrong. When it comes to how fast you're moving right this instant, everything is relative.
At least, not as we've defined them. In a new paper, Hawking says that one of the defining features of black holes — the complete inability of even light to escape — may not hold true.
String theory a beautiful, elegant piece of science which claims to unify all the forces in the Universe by representing tiny point-like particles as one-dimensional vibrating strings. It's as clever as it is wacky but is—conveniently—untestable. Until, perhaps, now.
Physics is full of paradoxes, but one of the most famous is the contradiction between quantum mechanics and Einstein's theory of general relativity. At last, a new set of incredible experiments may reconcile the two systems.