Davide Castelvecchi

All Stories by Davide Castelvecchi

  1. Space

    Half-life (more or less)

    It’s nuclear physics 101: Radioactivity proceeds at its own pace. Each type of radioactive isotope, be it plutonium-238 or carbon-14, changes into another isotope or element at a specific, universal, immutable rate. This much has been known for more than a century, since Ernest Rutherford defined the notion of half-life—the time it takes for half […]

  2. Physics

    Magic tape

    Physicists discover an unexpected source of X-rays.

  3. Physics

    Clean coal for cars has a dirty side

    Getting liquid fuels from coal would likely increase carbon emissions, and certainly not reduce them.

  4. Math

    Numbers don’t add up for U.S. girls

    Culture may turn potentially high achievers away from math, new study suggests.

  5. Physics

    An attractive source for spintronics

    Discovery may lead to battery that generates magnetic currents

  6. Space

    No naked black holes

    In a simulated merger, astrophysicists tried to push the boundaries of two black holes into shedding their event horizons. But the resulting black hole was still shrouded by its event horizon, through which even light can’t escape.

  7. Physics

    Diamonds engage at the nano scale

    Manipulating the quantum properties of diamond impurities makes diamond into a kind of microscope that could, for example, reveal the inner working of cells.

  8. Space

    Galaxies on the move

    Scientists discover "dark flow" -- the unexplained streaming of galactic clusters across the universe.

  9. Physics

    Photons caught in the act

    Physicists manipulated a microwave pulse and could essentially watch it transition from a quantum state into the realm of classical physics.

  10. Chemistry

    A better fate for plastic bottles

    Using microbes to convert PET into a high-value plastic could encourage more recycling.

  11. Life

    Fastest spores in the West (or anywhere)

    SEE THE VIDEO: Researchers film a fungus catapulting its spores with an acceleration greater than what astronauts feel.

  12. Life

    This bite won’t hurt a bit

    A team dissects the physics of a mosquito bite, working to find a way to design gentler needles.