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  • Reviews & Previews

    Why the Nobel Prize might need a makeover

    Losing the Nobel PrizeBrian KeatingW.W. Norton & Co., $27.95

    Dust may seem insignificant, but in science, it can cost you a Nobel Prize.

    That’s what happened to Brian Keating, a major contributor to the BICEP2 team that claimed in 2014 to have found the first definitive evidence of cosmic inflation (SN: 4/5/14, p. 6), a period of extremely rapid expansion just after the...

    04/02/2018 - 09:00 Cosmology, History of Science, Astronomy
  • News

    Dark matter is MIA in this strange galaxy

    MISSING: Dark matter.

    Mass: About 60 billion suns’ worth.

    Location: The galaxy NGC1052–DF2, about 65 million light-years from Earth.

    An unusual galaxy is surprisingly lacking in dark matter, scientists report March 28 in Nature.

    In typical galaxies, normal matter is swamped by dark matter, an unidentified invisible substance that makes up most of the matter in the...

    03/28/2018 - 13:00 Astronomy, Particle Physics, Cosmology
  • 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
  • News

    Here’s when the universe’s first stars may have been born

    For the first time, scientists may have detected hints of the universe’s primordial sunrise, when the first twinkles of starlight appeared in the cosmos.  

    Stars began illuminating the heavens by about 180 million years after the universe was born, researchers report in the March 1 Nature. This “cosmic dawn” left its mark on the hydrogen gas that surrounded the stars (SN: 6/8/02, p. 362...

    02/28/2018 - 13:00 Cosmology, Astronomy
  • Context

    Remembering Joe Polchinski, the modest physicist who conceived a multiverse

    Modesty is not a quality often found in abundance in physicists. Maybe that’s because Joe Polchinski had all of it.

    Substantial ego is arguably a necessary qualification for anyone attempting to wrest nature’s deepest secrets from their mathematical lairs. And in many cases, ego seems proportional to the magnitude of a physicist’s accomplishments. But if you divided Polchinski’s...

    02/27/2018 - 15:01 Cosmology, History of Science
  • News

    The way dwarf galaxies move puts a new spin on galaxy formation

    Small galaxies are playing a game of ring around the rosie. Dwarf galaxies have been caught following each other around the distant galaxy Centaurus A in a coordinated loop, rather than zipping around randomly as theory predicts they should.

    The discovery could spell trouble for standard theories of cosmology, including the role of enigmatic dark matter in galaxy formation, astronomers...

    02/05/2018 - 18:00 Cosmology