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E.g., 03/23/2018
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  • umbrella liverwort
  • Stephen Hawking
Your search has returned 878 articles:
  • Introducing

    STEVE the aurora makes its debut in mauve

    Meet STEVE, a newfound type of aurora that drapes the sky with a mauve ribbon and bedazzling green bling.

    This feature of the northern lights, recently photographed and named by citizen scientists in Canada, now has a scientific explanation. The streak of color, which appears to the south of the main aurora, may be a visible version of a typically invisible process involving drifting...

    03/15/2018 - 13:15 Physics
  • News in Brief

    Liverwort reproductive organ inspires pipette design

    The sex organs of primitive plants are inspiring precise pipettes.

    Liverworts are a group of ground-hugging plants with male and female reproductive structures shaped like tiny palm trees. The female structures nab sperm-packed water droplets by surrounding them with their fronds, like an immobilized claw in an arcade machine.

    Scientists have coopted that design to create a plastic...

    03/15/2018 - 07:00 Plants, Physics
  • News in Brief

    Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking dies at 76

    Physicist Stephen Hawking, a black hole whisperer who divined secrets of the universe’s most inscrutable objects, died March 14 at age 76. In addition to his scientific research, Hawking, a professor at the University of Cambridge, was known for his popular science books, including the best-selling A Brief History of Time, which captivated readers with lucid explanations of the universe’s...

    03/14/2018 - 10:06 Cosmology, Physics
  • 50 years ago, pulsars burst onto the scene

    The strangest signals reaching Earth

    The search for neutron stars has intensified because of a relatively small area, low in the northern midnight sky, from which the strangest radio signals yet received on Earth are being detected. If the signals come from a star, the source broadcasting the radio waves is very likely the first neutron star ever detected. — Science News, March 16,...

    03/08/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Physics
  • News

    Knotted structures called skyrmions seem to mimic ball lightning

    The physics behind a weird electrical phenomenon — glowing orbs of lightning — may be mimicked by something even stranger. A magnetic structure proposed for the natural oddity known as ball lightning makes an appearance in a newfound variety of a knotlike entity called a skyrmion, a team of scientists reports.

    Typically observed during thunderstorms, ball lightning is poorly understood....

    03/02/2018 - 14:00 Physics
  • News

    New technique shows how 2-D thin films take the heat

    High-energy particle beams can reveal how 2-D thin sheets behave when the heat is cranked up.

    Researchers have devised a way to track how these materials, such as the supermaterial graphene, expand or contract as temperatures rise (SN: 10/3/15, p. 7). This technique, described in the Feb. 2 Physical Review Letters, showed that 2-D semiconductors arranged in single-atom-thick sheets...

    02/13/2018 - 11:26 Materials, Physics, Technology
  • News

    5 ways the heaviest element on the periodic table is really bizarre

    The first 117 elements on the periodic table were relatively normal. Then along came element 118.

    Oganesson, named for Russian physicist Yuri Oganessian (SN: 1/21/17, p. 16), is the heaviest element currently on the periodic table, weighing in with a huge atomic mass of about 300. Only a few atoms of the synthetic element have ever been created, each of which survived for less than a...

    02/12/2018 - 09:00 Physics, Chemistry
  • 50 years on, nuclear fusion still hasn’t delivered clean energy

    Power within 30 years

    Controlled thermonuclear fusion is moving so well that full-scale development could begin within five years, says Dr. David J. Rose....It might take 20 to 30 years beyond that before fusion could move into the power grid, though, he predicts. — Science News, February 17, 1968


    Governments and private-sector start-ups are still trying to wrangle...

    02/08/2018 - 07:00 Physics, Technology, Science & Society
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers ask about supernovas, dark energy and more

    Dying light

    Supernova iPTF14hls has erupted continually since its discovery in 2014, fluctuating in brightness at least five times. It may have had two other outbursts in the past, Lisa Grossman reported in “This star cheated death, exploding again and again” (SN: 12/9/17, p. 8).

    Reddit user Bobgushmore wondered if the exploding star might actually be a supernova impostor similar to...

    02/07/2018 - 15:30 Astronomy, Physics, Science & Society
  • Feature

    Skyrmions open a door to next-level data storage

    Like sailors and spelunkers, physicists know the power of a sturdy knot.

    Some physicists have tied their hopes for a new generation of data storage to minuscule knotlike structures called skyrmions, which can form in magnetic materials. Incredibly tiny and tough to undo, magnetic skyrmions could help feed humankind’s hunger for ever-smaller electronics.

    On traditional hard drives,...

    02/07/2018 - 15:03 Materials, Physics