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  • News

    Naked singularity might evade cosmic censor

    Certain stealthy spacetime curiosities might be less hidden than thought, potentially exposing themselves to observers in some curved universes.

    These oddities, known as singularities, are points in space where the standard laws of physics break down. Found at the centers of black holes, singularities are generally expected to be hidden from view, shielding the universe from their...

    05/15/2017 - 09:00 Physics
  • News in Brief

    New printer creates color by shaping nanostructures

    Carving nanostructures with a laser creates long-lasting colors.

    Researchers developed the new printing technique as an alternative to ink-based printing, in which colors fade with time. Aside from eternally vibrant art, the technique could lead to new types of color displays or improve security labels, the scientists report in the May 5 Science Advances.

    Anders Kristensen of...

    05/05/2017 - 14:00 Technology, Physics
  • News in Brief

    Gamma-ray evidence for dark matter weakens

    A potential sign of dark matter is looking less convincing in the wake of a new analysis.

    High-energy blips of radiation known as gamma rays seem to be streaming from the center of the Milky Way in excess. Some scientists have proposed that dark matter could be the cause of that overabundance. Particles of dark matter — an invisible and unidentified substance that makes up the bulk of...

    04/24/2017 - 09:00 Physics, Astronomy
  • Feature

    There’s still a lot we don’t know about the proton

    Nuclear physicist Evangeline Downie hadn’t planned to study one of the thorniest puzzles of the proton.

    But when opportunity knocked, Downie couldn’t say no. “It’s the proton,” she exclaims. The mysteries that still swirl around this jewel of the subatomic realm were too tantalizing to resist. The plentiful particles make up much of the visible matter in the universe. “We’re made of them...

    04/18/2017 - 08:00 Physics, Particle Physics, Quantum Physics
  • Television

    The drama of Albert Einstein’s life unfolds in the new series Genius

    View trailer

    Albert Einstein was a master of physics, but his talent in personal relationships was decidedly underdeveloped. A new 10-episode series, Genius, airing on the National Geographic Channel, focuses on the facets of Einstein’s life where he was anything but a virtuoso.

    Genius is a dramatization, not a documentary. The series reveals the human side of the famously brainy...

    04/16/2017 - 08:00 Physics, History of Science
  • News

    Physics trips up efforts to keep shoelaces tied

    View the video

    Blame physics — not kindergarten-level clumsiness — for perpetually untied shoelaces. The combined forces from legs swinging and feet pounding the pavement create a perfect lace-loosening storm, scientists report April 12 in Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

    Mechanical engineer Oliver O'Reilly of the University of California, Berkeley was familiar with the...

    04/11/2017 - 19:05 Physics
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers question mental health research

    New normal

    People who stay mentally healthy throughout life are exceptions to the rule, a small study suggests. Only 17 percent of study participants experienced no bouts of anxiety, depression or other mental ailments from late childhood to middle age, Bruce Bower reported in “Lasting mental health may be unusual” (SN: 3/4/17, p. 7).

    Reader Lou Floyd found the article disturbing and the...

    04/05/2017 - 10:39 Mental Health, Animals, Physics
  • Science Ticker

    Event Horizon Telescope to try to capture images of elusive black hole edge

    The Milky Way’s black hole may finally get its close-up.

    Beginning on April 5, scientists with the Event Horizon Telescope will attempt to zoom in on a never-before-imaged realm: a black hole’s event horizon. That’s the boundary at which gravity’s pull becomes so strong that nothing can escape.

    In the telescope’s cross hairs are two supermassive black holes, one at the center of...

    04/05/2017 - 05:00 Astronomy, Physics
  • News in Brief

    Single-atom magnets store bits of data

    NEW ORLEANS — ­The tiniest electronic gadgets have nothing on a new data-storage device. Each bit is encoded using the magnetic field of a single atom — making for extremely compact data storage, although researchers have stored only two bits of data so far.

    “If you can make your bit smaller, you can store more information,” physicist Fabian Natterer of the École Polytechnique Fédérale...

    03/20/2017 - 16:25 Physics, Technology, Condensed Matter
  • Reviews & Previews

    To understand rivers, let physics be your guide

    Where the River FlowsSean W. FlemingPrinceton Univ.$26.95

    Spend an hour wandering along a river and you may wonder why the water rushing by chose this particular path over any other. While many nature writers might offer philosophical musings on the subject, Where the River Flows author Sean Fleming has physics on his side.

    Physics isn’t the lens through which most people think...

    03/19/2017 - 08:00 Physics, Earth