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  • News in Brief

    Dark matter particles elude scientists in the biggest search of its kind

    The largest particle detector of its kind has failed to turn up any hints of dark matter, despite searching for about a year.

    Known as XENON1T, the experiment is designed to detect elusive dark matter particles, which are thought to make up most of the matter in the cosmos. Physicists don’t know what dark matter is. One of the most popular explanations is a particle called a WIMP, short...

    05/28/2018 - 05:00 Particle Physics
  • News

    The inside of a proton endures more pressure than anything else we’ve seen

    Pity the protons: Those little particles are under a lot of pressure. Protons’ innards are squeezed harder than any other substance we have measured, a new study finds.

    “It’s really the highest pressure we have ever seen,” says physicist Volker Burkert, a coauthor of the study, published in the May 17 Nature. Protons break the pressure record set by neutron stars, the incredibly dense...

    05/16/2018 - 13:18 Particle Physics
  • News in Brief

    The proton’s weak side is just as feeble as physicists thought

    Protons are no one-trick ponies. Although famous for their positive electric charge, the particles also carry an analogous, lesser-known charge, called the weak charge. Now, physicists have made the most precise measurement of the proton’s underdog attribute, members of the Q-weak experiment report in the May 10 Nature.

    The weak charge dictates how the proton responds to the weak nuclear...

    05/09/2018 - 13:00 Particle Physics
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers puzzled by particle physics and a papal decree

    Particle particulars

    Physicists are ramping up their search for neutrinoless double beta decay, which could help explain why there is more matter in the universe than antimatter, Emily Conover reported in “The quest to identify the nature of the neutrino’s alter ego is heating up” (SN: 3/17/18, p. 14).

    Reader F L Stiles wondered how this decay could explain a surplus of matter. “It...

    05/02/2018 - 07:00 Particle Physics, Genetics
  • News

    The search for mysterious dark matter underdogs steps up

    Scientists playing peekaboo with dark matter have entered a new stage of the game.

    For the first time, physicists are snooping on some of the likeliest hiding places for hypothetical subatomic particles called axions, which could make up dark matter. So far, no traces of the particles have been found, scientists with the Axion Dark Matter Experiment, ADMX, report April 9 in Physical...

    04/09/2018 - 11:00 Particle Physics, Cosmology
  • 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
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers muse about memory, magnetic monopoles and more

    Memory lane

    Inspired by flatworm memory experiments from the 1950s, researchers are on the hunt for the elusive engram — the physical mark that a memory leaves on the brain — Laura Sanders reported in “Somewhere in the brain is a storage device for memories” (SN: 2/3/18, p. 22).

    Readers flooded Science News with their thoughts and questions on the topic.

    Elizabeth Elliott...

    03/09/2018 - 10:20 Neuroscience, Animals, Particle Physics
  • News

    The quest to identify the nature of the neutrino’s alter ego is heating up

    Galaxies, stars, planets and life, all are formed from one essential substance: matter.

    But the abundance of matter is one of the biggest unsolved mysteries of physics. The Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago, spawned equal amounts of matter and its bizarro twin, antimatter. Matter and antimatter partners annihilate when they meet, so an even stephen universe would have ended up full of...

    02/26/2018 - 07:00 Particle Physics
  • News

    Universes with no weak force might still have stars and life

    Not all fundamental forces are created equal. An alternate universe that lacks the weak nuclear force — one of the four fundamental forces that govern all matter in our universe — could still form galaxies, stars, planets and perhaps life, according to calculations published online January 18 at arXiv.org.

    Scientists have long thought that our universe wouldn’t exist, or at least wouldn’...

    01/30/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Cosmology, Particle Physics
  • News

    Clumps of dark matter could be lurking undetected in our galaxy

    Clumps of dark matter may be sailing through the Milky Way and other galaxies.

    Typically thought to form featureless blobs surrounding entire galaxies, dark matter could also collapse into smaller clumps — similar to normal matter condensing into stars and planets — a new study proposes. Thousands of collapsed dark clumps could constitute 10 percent of the Milky Way’s dark matter,...

    01/26/2018 - 09:00 Particle Physics, Cosmology