The Secret to Blowing Massive Soap Bubbles

The Secret to Blowing Massive Soap Bubbles

That's what's happening, physics-wise, when we blow bubbles through a ring at then end of a little plastic wand: the jet forms at our lips and is wider than the soapy film suspended within the ring.

How the Extreme Art of Dropping Stuff Could Upend Physics

How the Extreme Art of Dropping Stuff Could Upend Physics

“Once you go to space, you can throw your object, and it will be in free fall for a long time,” says physicist Aurélien Hees of the Paris Observatory, a member of the team.

The Science Behind Why No Two Snowflakes Are Alike

The Science Behind Why No Two Snowflakes Are Alike

Ensconced in the elements, Libbrecht scans his board with an archaeologist’s patience, looking for perfect snowflakes and other snow crystals.Now, Libbrecht’s work on snow has crystallized in a new model that attempts to explain why snowflakes and other snow crystals form the way they do.

Revolt! Scientists Say They're Sick of Quantum Computing's Hype

Revolt! Scientists Say They're Sick of Quantum Computing's Hype

While Bermejo-Vega thinks Google’s demonstration does provide scientific value of the technology’s viability, she emphasizes their success was “narrow.” In addition, all quantum computers, including Google’s, perform inconsistently because they are prone to errors that researchers don’t know how to correct.

What Makes an Element? The Frankenstein of Sodium Holds Clues

What Makes an Element? The Frankenstein of Sodium Holds Clues

Publishing this Monday in Physical Review Letters, the Riken physicists and their team confirmed that the limit for a fluorine nucleus is 22 neutrons, and a neon nucleus can contain up to 24.

NASA Is Getting Serious About an Interstellar Mission

NASA Is Getting Serious About an Interstellar Mission

Indeed, the group says that if their mission is selected by NASA it could fly as soon as 2030.“This is humanity’s first explicit step into interstellar space,” says Pontus Brandt, a physicist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory who is working on the interstellar probe study.

How Lasers Work, According to the World's Top Expert

How Lasers Work, According to the World's Top Expert

Strickland’s explanation at the expert level made total sense, but she also explained it to a child—you know, just in case.“A laser is a way to get light to be a single color, going in a single direction, with all the waves peaking at the same time so the intensity can get very high,” Strickland says.

Physicists Get Close to Knowing the Mass of the Neutrino

Physicists Get Close to Knowing the Mass of the Neutrino

Its measured mass would also serve as a check on cosmologists’ theories for how the universe evolved.“Depending on what the mass of the neutrino turns out to be, it may lead to very exciting times in cosmology,” said Diana Parno, a physicist at Carnegie Mellon University and a member of the KATRIN team.

The Style Maven Astrophysicists of Silicon Valley

The Style Maven Astrophysicists of Silicon Valley

And while machine learning now constitutes its own field of study, because scientists from fields like astrophysicists have been working with those kinds of models for years, they’re natural hires on data science teams.“We were already in Big Data before Big Data became a thing,” says Sudeep Das, an astrophysicist who now works at Netflix.

The Math of How Crickets, Starlings and Neurons Sync Up

The Math of How Crickets, Starlings and Neurons Sync Up

Yoshiki Kuramoto, a professor of physics at Kyoto University, developed the famous Kuramoto model of synchronization in the 1970s and co-discovered the chimera state in 2001, again revolutionizing the understanding of sync.

Astronomers Think They Can Explain Mysterious Cosmic Bursts

Astronomers Think They Can Explain Mysterious Cosmic Bursts

“In just very general terms, this makes a ton of sense,” said James Cordes , an astrophysicist at Cornell University, adding that while further details still need to be worked out, “I would say it’s a good horse to bet on.” What the astronomers really like, though, is that Metzger’s theory generates very specific predictions for what future FRBs should look like, predictions that will soon be put to make-or-break tests.

Inside the High-Stakes Race to Make Quantum Computers Work

Inside the High-Stakes Race to Make Quantum Computers Work

Federico Carminati, a physicist at CERN, admits that today’s quantum computers wouldn't give researchers anything more than classical machines, but, undeterred, he’s started tinkering with IBM’s prototype quantum device via the cloud while waiting for the technology to mature.

Why a Grape Turns Into a Fireball in a Microwave

Why a Grape Turns Into a Fireball in a Microwave

A common misconception is that the microwave acts on the grape from the outside in, like frozen meat defrosting, says physicist Pablo Bianucci of Concordia University, who worked on grape simulations included in a paper that appears today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .

A Child’s Puzzle Helped Uncover How Magnets Really Work

A Child’s Puzzle Helped Uncover How Magnets Really Work

Just swap the labels on the tiles from numbers to up or down spins, and the puzzle becomes equivalent to a Nagaoka ferromagnet, with a hole that moves through a lattice of electrons.

A Floating Glass Bead Could Help Physicists Probe the Unknown

A Floating Glass Bead Could Help Physicists Probe the Unknown

One goal for such precise sensors is to create high-resolution images of individual proteins and other molecules, says physicist Adrian Bachtold, a colleague of Ricci’s who is not involved in this work.

The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature

The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature

The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature Cohl Furey, a mathematical physicist at the University of Cambridge, is finding links between the Standard Model of particle physics and the octonions, numbers whose multiplication rules are encoded in a triangular diagram called the Fano plane.

Quantum Computing Needs You to Help Solve Its Core Mystery

Quantum Computing Needs You to Help Solve Its Core Mystery

Last month Xanadu released PennyLane, a software package meant to make it easier to run machine learning algorithms on a quantum computer.Software packages like Xanadu’s and Google’s are compatible with multiple quantum computing architectures.

'Global cataclysm': 200 scientists and artists sign letter warning of looming disaster

'Global cataclysm': 200 scientists and artists sign letter warning of looming disaster

It added: "We therefore consider that any political action which would not make the fight against this cataclysm its concrete priority… would no longer be credible.