Physics writer Emily Conover joined Science News in 2016. She has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago, where she studied the weird ways of neutrinos, tiny elementary particles that can zip straight through the Earth. She got her first taste of science writing as a AAAS Mass Media Fellow for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She has previously written for Science Magazine and the American Physical Society. She is a two-time winner of the D.C. Science Writers’ Association Newsbrief award.

All Stories by Emily Conover

  1. mallard ducklings swimming behind a mother duck
    Physics

    Here’s the physics of why ducklings swim in a row behind their mother

    By paddling in just the right spots, ducklings save energy by surfing their mom’s waves, and pass along the benefit to siblings down the line.

  2. illustration of a clocks floating across the sky at different heights showing different times
    Physics

    An atomic clock measured how general relativity warps time across a millimeter

    A record-breaking result reveals the precision achievable by atomic clocks, letting researchers detect slightly faster ticking over a tiny height change.

  3. visualization of ocean surface currents in the oceans around the Americas
    Physics

    Work on complex systems, including Earth’s climate, wins the physics Nobel Prize

    Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann pioneered work on computer simulations of Earth’s climate. Giorgio Parisi found hidden patterns in disordered complex materials.

  4. chip used to trap ytterbium ions
    Quantum Physics

    Scientists are one step closer to error-correcting quantum computers

    In a quantum computer made with trapped ions, multiple quantum bits were combined into one to detect mistakes.

  5. rows of microfliers
    Physics

    Whirling maple seeds inspired these tiny flying sensors

    Scientists envision that small objects modeled after maple tree whirligigs could be used to monitor the environment.

  6. illustration of quantum spin
    Quantum Physics

    One of nature’s key constants is much larger in a quantum material

    The fine-structure constant is 10 times its normal value in the material, giving a peek into what physics in an alternate universe could look like.

  7. bluish-green beam forming a spiral
    Physics

    New ‘vortex beams’ of atoms and molecules are the first of their kind

    Twisted beams of atoms and molecules join other types of corkscrew beams made of light or electrons.

  8. illustration of Earth and the sun, with Earth's magnetic field shown in blue, the solar wind shown in orange lines, and a bow shock as a red line where the two meet
    Physics

    Physicists caught protons ‘surfing’ on shock waves

    A laser experiment could help scientists understand how protons reach high energies traveling through the cosmos.

  9. laser blast in a nuclear fusion experiment
    Physics

    With a powerful laser blast, scientists near a nuclear fusion milestone

    A National Ignition Facility experiment spawned nuclear fusion reactions that released nearly as much energy as was used to ignite them.

  10. a row of windmills in Taiwan
    Physics

    Windbreaks, surprisingly, could help wind farms boost power output

    Wind farm performance could be improved by 10 percent by using low barriers to increase the wind speed directed at the turbines, simulations suggest.

  11. STAR experiment at Brookhaven National Laborator
    Physics

    Colliding photons were spotted making matter. But are the photons ‘real’?

    Smashups of particles of light creating electrons and positrons could demonstrate the physics of Einstein’s equation E=mc2.

  12. black and white image of swirls that represent subatomic particles
    Particle Physics

    How particle detectors capture matter’s hidden, beautiful reality

    Old and new detectors trace the whirling paths of subatomic particles.