Physicists Pin Down the Nuclear Reaction Just After the Big Bang

Physicists Pin Down the Nuclear Reaction Just After the Big Bang

Their measurement of the reaction rate, published on November 11 in Nature, nails down the most uncertain factor in a sequence of steps known as Big Bang nucleosynthesis that forged the universe’s first atomic nuclei.

A Solar-Powered Rocket Might Be Our Ticket to Interstellar Space

A Solar-Powered Rocket Might Be Our Ticket to Interstellar Space

“It’s really easy for someone to dismiss the idea and say, ‘On the back of an envelope, it looks great, but if you actually build it, you're never going to get those theoretical numbers,’” says Benkoski, a materials scientist at the Applied Physics Laboratory and the leader of the team working on a solar thermal propulsion system.

How Does a Sturgis-Sized Crowd Affect Covid? It's Complicated

How Does a Sturgis-Sized Crowd Affect Covid? It's Complicated

“Both policymakers and voters need to know that we still cannot answer most basic questions about this pandemic with the tools we have on hand,” says Douglass, who has been a vocal Twitter critic of the type of studies like the one published this week about Sturgis, and has coauthored a forthcoming paper on similar shortcomings in the rapidly ballooning Covid literature .

Gravity, Gizmos, and a Grand Theory of Interstellar Travel

Gravity, Gizmos, and a Grand Theory of Interstellar Travel

This might not sound like the secret to interstellar travel, but if that small lurch can be sustained, a spacecraft could theoretically produce thrust for as long as it had electric power.

What If the Big Bang Was Actually a Big Bounce?

What If the Big Bang Was Actually a Big Bounce?

In a brief moment of rapid expansion, that burst of energy inflated the cosmos like a balloon.They analyzed how a collapsing universe would change its own structure, and they ultimately discovered that contraction can beat inflation at its own game.

Why Are Plants Green? The Answer Might Work on Any Planet

Why Are Plants Green? The Answer Might Work on Any Planet

Nathaniel Gabor, a physicist at the University of California, Riverside, and his colleagues have developed a model for light collection in photosynthetic organisms that optimizes the reduction of “noise” over efficiency.

Astronomers Are Uncovering the Magnetic Soul of the Universe

Astronomers Are Uncovering the Magnetic Soul of the Universe

In a paper posted online in April and under review with Physical Review Letters, the cosmologists Karsten Jedamzik and Levon Pogosian argue that weak magnetic fields in the early universe would lead to the faster cosmic expansion rate seen today.

A Super Sensitive Dark-Matter Search Yields Strange Results

A Super Sensitive Dark-Matter Search Yields Strange Results

More mundanely, the signal could come from contamination inside the experiment.“Despite being excited about this excess, we should be very patient,” said Luca Grandi, a physicist at the University of Chicago and one of the leaders of the 163-person experiment, which is called XENON1T.

Black Hole Paradoxes Reveal a Link Between Energy and Entropy

Black Hole Paradoxes Reveal a Link Between Energy and Entropy

Thus, generations of physicists have looked to black holes for clues about the true, quantum origin of gravity, which must fully reveal itself in their hearts and match Einstein’s approximate picture everywhere else.

Space Photos of the Week: Happy Birthday, Hubble!

Space Photos of the Week: Happy Birthday, Hubble!

Photograph: NASA/ESA/STScIThis 29th anniversary photo showcases the Southern Crab Nebula, thousands of light years away.Photograph: NASA/ESA/STScIFor Hubble’s 28th anniversary, NASA released a new photo of the Lagoon Nebula.Photograph: NASA/ESA/STScIThese two space buddies are located 55 million light years away.

Why Do Matter Particles Come in Threes?

Why Do Matter Particles Come in Threes?

In the 1970s, when physicists first worked out the standard model of particle physics—the still reigning set of equations describing the known elementary particles and their interactions—they sought some deep principle that would explain why three generations of each type of matter particle exist.

Science Has a New Way to Gauge the Universe's Expansion Rate

Science Has a New Way to Gauge the Universe's Expansion Rate

A new line of evidence, first announced last summer, suggests that the cosmic expansion rate may fall much closer to the rate predicted by early-universe measurements and the standard theory of cosmology.

The Largest Scientific Structure Ever Powers Up in Africa

The Largest Scientific Structure Ever Powers Up in Africa

This dish antenna rises seven stories above an ancient seabed in the Karoo, a remote semidesert in South Africa.Combined, they'll form a single observatory called the Square Kilometre Array, the largest scientific structure on the planet, to gather 10.8 million square feet of radio waves.

Padmé Amidala, Queen of Empty Space

Padmé Amidala, Queen of Empty Space

In The Art of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, below the portrait of sharp-eyed Padmé with the bright red ribbon in her hair, a note by McCaig describes some queen who never was: “The moment Padmé realizes Anakin can't be saved, she should do the thing that she needs to do—out of love.

Disney+ Changes 'Star Wars' Canon Once Again

Disney+ Changes 'Star Wars' Canon Once Again

As the person behind a Twitter account called Star Wars Visual Comparison, Stewart is a kind of unofficial keeper of apocrypha, of the sometimes subtle, sometimes extraordinary changes wrought by their makers upon three Star Wars movies: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Return of the Jedi.

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 Physics Nobel Goes to the Big Bang and Exoplanets

The Physics Nobel Goes to the Big Bang and Exoplanets

This year’s award goes to a Canadian physicist, James Peebles, whose theoretical work underpins the current understanding of the universe’s beginnings, and to two Swiss astronomers, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, who discovered the first planet orbiting a Sun-like star .

Trump Still Doesn't Believe Russia Hacked the 2016 Election

Trump Still Doesn't Believe Russia Hacked the 2016 Election

Nearly three years since US intelligence agencies collectively stated that the Kremlin had hacked the Democratic National Committee, President Donald Trump still takes every opportunity to publicly downplay and dismiss the facts about Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Space Photos of the Week: Hubbub Over Hubble

Space Photos of the Week: Hubbub Over Hubble

We are entering low earth orbit this week and spending time with the Hubble Space Telescope.The veil nebula is a supernova remnant of a star that died a mere 8,000 years ago and was more than 20 times the mass of our Sun. When stars like this go supernova, they give off a massive shockwave pulse that pushes material out at astronomical speeds.

Spider-Man Swings Back to Sony—Unraveling the Universe

Spider-Man Swings Back to Sony—Unraveling the Universe

After months of negotiations between Sony Pictures and Disney, it appears that Spider-Man will no longer be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.Sony first got the rights to Spider-Man in 1999, the year before the success of X-Men revived Hollywood’s appetite for superhero movies.#Spider-Man #Marvel #Sony.

Disney+ Brandishes Its Weapon: An Infinity Gauntlet of Brands

Disney+ Brandishes Its Weapon: An Infinity Gauntlet of Brands

An apt analogy for Disney+ might be the Infinity Gauntlet, the jeweled glove that propelled the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Fractal Patterns Offer Clues to the Universe's Origin

Fractal Patterns Offer Clues to the Universe's Origin

“If you start far from equilibrium, like in the early universe, how does the arrow of time emerge, starting from first principles?” said Jürgen Berges, a theoretical physicist at Heidelberg University in Germany who has studied this problem for more than a decade.

How White Nationalists Have Co-Opted Fan Fiction

How White Nationalists Have Co-Opted Fan Fiction

Though white nationalist fantasies are loosely based on real events, modern elaborations are often authored by people with no actual connection to the original place or people, and their fairy tales can be self-propagating.

The Story Universe of Magic: The Gathering Is Expanding

The Story Universe of Magic: The Gathering Is Expanding

Two years ago a novelist and as-yet-unproduced screenwriter named Nic Kelman went to work for Wizards of the Coast, the company that makes the popular collectible card game Magic: The Gathering .

Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Isn't Cinematic

Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Isn't Cinematic

That means that, in addition to huge highly anticipated movies like Eternals and a new Thor flick—now with the great subtitle Love and Thunder —the next phase of the MCU will have WandaVision , an original series where Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprise their roles as Scarlet Witch and Vision, and Loki , about, well, Loki.

Marvel's Games Are Starting to Feel a Lot Like Its Movies

Marvel's Games Are Starting to Feel a Lot Like Its Movies

Now that focus is finally paying off in the world of games: Last year's Spider-Man was the first Marvel game in memory that felt like a spiritual sibling of the MCU.

Where Do Supermassive Black Holes Come From?

Where Do Supermassive Black Holes Come From?

This speed limit can theoretically be exceeded if the matter is collapsing fast enough; the Basu and Das model suggests black holes were accreting matter at three times the Eddington rate for as long as the chain reaction was happening.

Moondust Could Cloud Our Lunar Ambitions

Moondust Could Cloud Our Lunar Ambitions

If NASA hoped to keep its moon-based instruments working on future Apollo missions, O'Brien concluded, it would need to study the matter of dust-spraying thoroughly.

A Bizarre Form of Water May Exist All Over the Universe

A Bizarre Form of Water May Exist All Over the Universe

Paradoxically—but just as physicists squinting at screens in an adjacent room had expected—the atoms froze solid, forming crystalline ice.“You hear the shot,” said Marius Millot of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, and “right away you see that something interesting was happening.” Millot co-led the experiment with Federica Coppari, also of Lawrence Livermore.

James Cameron Doesn't Seem to Mind Taunts From Avengers Fans

James Cameron Doesn't Seem to Mind Taunts From Avengers Fans

James Cameron congratulated the Avengers: Endgame team for breaking his Titanic box-office record. Star Wars and Avatar Will Be Swapping December Release Dates for a While. Of course, there may be a reason for James Cameron's graciousness to the Marvel team: They're new coworkers.