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  • Crab Nebula
  • diamond
  • pentaquark illustration
Your search has returned 342 articles:
  • News

    The highest-energy photons ever seen hail from the Crab Nebula

    Physicists have spotted the highest-energy light ever seen. It emanated from the roiling remains left behind when a star exploded.

    This light made its way to Earth from the Crab Nebula, a remnant of a stellar explosion, or supernova, about 6,500 light-years away in the Milky Way. The Tibet AS-gamma experiment caught multiple particles of light — or photons — from the nebula with energies...

    06/24/2019 - 07:00 Astronomy, Particle Physics
  • News in Brief

    Diamond detectors could aid the search for dark matter

    A new idea for detecting dark matter really sparkles.

    Diamonds could be used to search for the mysterious substance, a team of scientists suggests. Detectors containing the crystals could spot potential dark matter particles with relatively low masses, the researchers report in the June 15 Physical Review D.

    Dark matter is an unidentified substance that scientists think must exist...

    06/17/2019 - 08:00 Particle Physics, Technology
  • News in Brief

    Physicists have finally figured out how pentaquarks are built

    To make a quark quintet, combine a trio and a duo.

    Exotic subatomic particles called pentaquarks contain five smaller particles called quarks and antiquarks. But those particles aren’t a simple clump of five constituents rattling around. Instead, the pentaquarks are molecule-like agglomerations of a pair of smaller particles, each of which consists of either three quarks or a quark and...

    06/07/2019 - 06:00 Particle Physics
  • News

    An experiment hints at quantum entanglement inside protons

    Protons are complicated. The subatomic particles are themselves composed of smaller particles called quarks and gluons. Now, data from the Large Hadron Collider hint that protons’ constituents don’t behave independently. Instead, they are tethered by quantum links known as entanglement, three physicists report in a paper published April 26 at arXiv.org.

    Quantum entanglement has...

    05/17/2019 - 11:18 Quantum Physics, Particle Physics
  • News

    This is the slowest radioactive decay ever spotted

    For the first time, researchers have directly observed an exotic type of radioactive decay called two-neutrino double electron capture.

    The decay, seen in xenon-124 atoms, happens so sparingly that it would take 18 sextillion years (18 followed by 21 zeros) for a sample of xenon-124 to shrink by half, making the decay extremely difficult to detect. The long-anticipated observation of two...

    04/24/2019 - 13:00 Particle Physics, Physics, Chemistry
  • News in Brief

    How a proton gets its spin is surprisingly complicated

    Like a quantum version of a whirling top, protons have angular momentum, known as spin. But the source of the subatomic particles’ spin has confounded physicists. Now scientists have confirmed that some of that spin comes from a frothing sea of particles known as quarks and their antimatter partners, antiquarks, found inside the proton. 

    Surprisingly, a less common type of antiquark...

    03/25/2019 - 07:00 Particle Physics, Quantum Physics
  • News

    Muons reveal the whopping voltages inside a thunderstorm

    An invisible drizzle of subatomic particles has shown that thunderstorms may store up much higher electric voltages than we thought.

    Using muons, heavier relatives of electrons that constantly rain down on Earth’s surface, scientists probed the insides of a storm in southern India in December 2014. The cloud’s electric potential — the amount of work necessary to move an electric charge...

    02/15/2019 - 07:00 Earth, Particle Physics
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers ask about electrons’ roundness, a science board game and more

    Beer today, gone tomorrow

    Rising temperatures and more frequent droughts could cut barley crop yields worldwide by the end of the century, leading to beer shortages and high prices, Jennifer Leman reported in “Add beer to the list of foods threatened by climate change” (SN: 11/10/18, p. 5).

    Online reader Jean Beaulieu was hopeful that scientists will figure out an easy way to grow...

    01/08/2019 - 07:00 Particle Physics, Climate, Robotics
  • Year in Review

    These 2018 findings could be big news — if they turn out to be true

    Here’s our short list of discoveries reported in 2018 that could shake up science, if they hold up.

    Not so standard

    Dangling from a helium balloon high above Antarctica, the ANITA detector spied two odd signals that hint at the existence of new subatomic particles. Such extremely energetic particles, if they exist, could upend the standard model, the theory that describes the elementary...

    12/21/2018 - 11:00 Astronomy, Paleontology, Particle Physics