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. computer simulation of jets from the black hole in galaxy M87

    A stunning simulation re-creates how M87’s black hole launches plasma jets

    Two jets, thousands of light-years long, are re-created in a computer simulation, which suggests that M87’s black hole must be spinning rapidly.

  2. illustration of two cars neutron stars colliding

    Neutron star collisions probably make more gold than other cosmic smashups

    Smashups of two neutron stars produce more heavy elements than when a black hole swallows a neutron star, calculations suggest.

  3. image of two galaxies, with an inset showing a bright spot

    A rush to watch a supernova exposed its last gasp before exploding

    By studying the final years of stars, scientists hope to find clues to help them recognize when other stars are about to blow.

  4. a metallic walkway in the MicroBooNE detector under construction
    Particle Physics

    Doubt cast on theorized ‘sterile’ particles leaves a neutrino mystery unsolved

    MicroBooNE weakens the case for sterile neutrinos, but the mystery that shrouded earlier neutrino experiments remains.

  5. mallard ducklings swimming behind a mother duck

    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.

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

    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.

  7. visualization of ocean surface currents in the oceans around the Americas

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. rows of microfliers

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.