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  • News

    Trying to get the down-low on gravity

    A subtle attraction between metallic strips could reveal the theorized but never detected particles that impart gravity.An experiment proposed in a Feb. 27 Physical Review Letters paper would explore whether fleeting waves of gravity in a vacuum perceptibly nudge two lead plates together. Detecting this attractive force,...
    03/02/2015 - 14:45 Quantum Physics, Cosmology
  • News in Brief

    Iron nanoparticles snatch uranium

    Using wee balls of iron, scientists can catch radioactive fuel — hook, line and sinker.In liquid, iron nanoparticles quickly lure and encase uranium, which researchers can then reel in with a simple magnet. The method, reported online February 17 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, could be used to sop up radioactive spills...
    02/27/2015 - 16:07 Chemistry
  • News

    Physicists double their teleportation power

    The bandwidth for quantum teleportation has doubled. A new technique transfers information about one particle so that another particle takes on two, rather than just one, of the original particle’s quantum properties.Chinese researchers accomplished the feat by nesting one quantum teleportation apparatus inside another. “It’s impressive,” says Wolfgang Tittel, a quantum physicist at the...
    02/25/2015 - 13:00 Quantum Physics
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    Enjoy scientific curios collected over decades

    View slideshowIn Renaissance Europe, scholars and collectors built curiosity cabinets and filled them with marvels of art and natural history. Catalogs of the contents of these privately held “wonder rooms” were sometimes published to share scientific knowledge, and larger collections formed the basis for museums. Fast-forward to 2013, when chemist...
    02/22/2015 - 08:00 Science & Society, History of Science, Physics
  • Reviews & Previews

    'This Idea Must Die' singles out scientific theories ready for retirement

    This Idea Must DieJohn Brockman, Ed.Harper Perennial, $15.99“Science advances by a series of funerals,” writes John Brockman, founder of the online discussion forum...
    02/21/2015 - 11:00 Science & Society, Physics, Biomedicine
  • Science Ticker

    Brute-force chemistry study retracted

    A notable 2011 chemistry study in which scientists reported a brawny method to break sturdy chemical structures has been retracted.In the retraction notice, published in the Feb. 20 Science, Science editor in chief Marcia McNutt writes that 50...
    02/19/2015 - 14:00 Chemistry, Science & Society
  • News

    Old chemistry gives jolt to modern batteries

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Some very old chemistry may provide a new trick for making better batteries.Scientists have developed a strategy that makes sulfur-based batteries much more efficient by exploiting chemical reactions discovered in the 1800s. The research, described February 14 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, brings scientists closer to...
    02/15/2015 - 17:13 Materials, Chemistry, Technology
  • News in Brief

    Quantum guessing game uses the future to predict the past

    Predictions are much easier to make with the benefit of hindsight. Scientists successfully predicted an important quantum property midway through an experiment by analyzing measurements taken before and after. The research, scheduled to appear in the Feb. 13 Physical Review Letters, demonstrates that...
    02/13/2015 - 16:48 Quantum Physics
  • Science Ticker

    On the biomechanics of popcorn

    With a combination of a high-speed camera, microwave popcorn and an oven, researchers have detailed the mechanisms behind the tiny explosions that turn hard, compact popcorn kernels into a favorite fluffy treat.At 180° Celsius (356° Fahrenheit), popcorn kernels pop regardless of size. As the kernels expand into...
    02/10/2015 - 19:05 Physics
  • News in Brief

    How a violin’s f-holes influence its sound

    How a violin’s f-holes are shaped can influence the instrument’s lowest notes.MIT scientists, along with a Boston-based violin maker, analyzed how air moves through a violin’s f-shaped holes and through the round, half-moon and C-shaped sound holes of violin ancestors from the 10th to 16th centuries. Air accelerates more quickly through the long, narrow f-shaped holes than through round holes,...
    02/10/2015 - 19:05 Physics