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. 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.

  2. bluish-green beam forming a spiral

    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.

  3. 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

    Physicists caught protons ‘surfing’ on shock waves

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

  4. laser blast in a nuclear fusion experiment

    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.

  5. a row of windmills in Taiwan

    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.

  6. STAR experiment at Brookhaven National Laborator

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. illustration of gravitational waves forming around two black holes spiraling around one another

    A bounty of potential gravitational wave events hints at exciting possibilities

    Of about 1,200 possible events, most are probably false alarms, but some could be ripples in spacetime that are especially hard to spot.

  9. simulation of a black hole's magnetic field

    Black holes born with magnetic fields quickly shed them

    New computer simulations show one way that black holes might discard their magnetic fields.

  10. microscope image of a thread of ice
    Materials Science

    These weird, thin ice crystals are springy and bendy

    Specially grown fibers of frozen water bend into curves and spring back when released.

  11. electron-capture supernova, shown as white dot, in space

    Scientists spotted an electron-capture supernova for the first time

    A flare that appeared in the sky in 2018 was an electron-capture supernova, a blast that can occur in stars too small to go off the usual way.

  12. illustration of a newfound white dwarf star

    This moon-sized white dwarf is the smallest ever found

    A newfound white dwarf is the smallest and perhaps the most massive known, and spins around once every seven minutes.