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  • general relativity
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  • News in Brief

    Einstein’s general relativity reigns supreme, even on a galactic scale

    Chalk up another win for Einstein’s seemingly invincible theory of gravity. A new study shows that the theory of general relativity holds true even over vast distances.

    General relativity prevailed within a region spanning a galactic distance of about 6,500 light-years, scientists report in the June 22 Science. Previously, researchers have precisely tested the theory by studying its...

    06/21/2018 - 14:00 Physics, Astronomy
  • News

    To combat an expanding universe, aliens could hoard stars

    Survivalists prep for disaster by stocking up on emergency food rations. Aliens, on the other hand, might hoard stars.

    To offset a future cosmic energy shortage caused by the accelerating expansion of the universe, a super-advanced civilization could pluck stars from other galaxies and bring them home, theoretical astrophysicist Dan Hooper proposes June 13 at arXiv.org.

    It’s a far-...

    06/19/2018 - 14:50 Physics, Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    The Large Hadron Collider is getting an upgrade

    Smashing together a billion protons a second wasn’t enough for the Large Hadron Collider.

    The particle accelerator, located at CERN in Geneva, is getting spiffed up to allow it to carry out collisions at an even faster rate. On June 15, scientists announced the start of construction for an LHC upgrade called the High-Luminosity LHC.

    The upgrade will boost the collision rate by at...

    06/15/2018 - 14:01 Physics
  • In 1968, scientists thought they were close to detecting gravity waves

    Gravity waves evidence

    The long search for gravitational waves … may be in the final lap…. Rotating binary stars or, perhaps, other galaxies like the Milky Way but far beyond it, or the center of the Milky Way itself, are likely sources for gravitational radiation. — Science News, June 22, 1968.

    Update

    Although Joseph Weber, a physicist at the University of Maryland, announced...

    06/15/2018 - 12:00 Astronomy, Physics
  • News in Brief

    This heavy element has a football-shaped atomic nucleus

    A heavy element’s nucleus is all bent out of shape.

    Nobelium — element number 102 on the periodic table — has an atomic nucleus that is deformed into the shape of an American football, scientists report in the June 8 Physical Review Letters. The element is the heaviest yet to have its nucleus sized up.

    By probing individual nobelium atoms with a laser, the team gauged the oblong...

    06/12/2018 - 12:03 Physics
  • Feature

    In her short life, mathematician Emmy Noether changed the face of physics

    On a warm summer evening, a visitor to 1920s Göttingen, Germany, might have heard the hubbub of a party from an apartment on Friedländer Way. A glimpse through the window would reveal a gathering of scholars. The wine would be flowing and the air buzzing with conversations centered on mathematical problems of the day. The eavesdropper might eventually pick up a woman’s laugh cutting through...

    06/12/2018 - 10:00 Physics
  • Editor's Note

    So what do you know about Emmy Noether?

    Emmy Noether may be the most influential mathematician you’ve never heard of.

    In 1918, she solved a puzzle in Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. To do that, she created a mathematical theorem that changed forever how scientists study the universe, one that remains a guiding star for theoretical physics.

    Not only was she a scientific pioneer, Noether was by all...

    06/12/2018 - 07:15 History of Science, Science & Society, Physics
  • News

    The sun shrinks a teensy bit when it’s feeling active

    How big is the sun? Well, that depends on when you’re measuring.

    The sun slightly shrinks and expands as it goes through a solar cycle, a roughly 11-year period of high and low magnetic activity, a new study finds. When the sun is the most active, its radius decreases by 1 or 2 kilometers, two researchers report in a paper accepted in the Astrophysical Journal. Given that the sun’s full...

    06/11/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Physics
  • News in Brief

    A neutron star crash may have spawned a black hole

    The first observed smashup of two stellar remnants known as neutron stars probably forged the least massive black hole yet discovered, researchers report in the June 1 Astrophysical Journal Letters.

    This cosmic collision, observed in August 2017, took the astronomical community by storm and offered insights into the origins of precious metals and the mysterious dark energy that fuels the...

    06/01/2018 - 13:52 Astronomy, Physics
  • News

    Here’s why scientists are questioning whether ‘sonic attacks’ are real

    An account of another alleged “sonic attack” has surfaced, this time from a U.S. government employee in China. The employee reported “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure,” according to a U.S. Embassy health alert. The episode mirrors reports from American diplomats in Cuba in late 2016, and fuels the debate among scientists about what, if anything, is actually...

    06/01/2018 - 07:00 Neuroscience, Physics, Science & Society