Physics

  1. illustration of gravitational waves forming around two black holes spiraling around one another
    Physics

    A bounty of potential gravitational wave events hints at exciting possibilities

    Of about 1,200 possible events, most are probably false alarms, but some could be ripples in spacetime that are especially hard to spot.

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  2. simulation of a black hole's magnetic field
    Physics

    Black holes born with magnetic fields quickly shed them

    New computer simulations show one way that black holes might discard their magnetic fields.

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  3. Steven Weinberg sitting in front of a chalkboard covered in equations
    Physics

    With Steven Weinberg’s death, physics loses a titan

    The Nobel laureate advanced the theory of particles and forces, and wrote insightfully for a wider public.

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  4. microscope image of a thread of ice
    Materials Science

    These weird, thin ice crystals are springy and bendy

    Specially grown fibers of frozen water bend into curves and spring back when released.

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  5. electron-capture supernova, shown as white dot, in space
    Astronomy

    Scientists spotted an electron-capture supernova for the first time

    A flare that appeared in the sky in 2018 was an electron-capture supernova, a blast that can occur in stars too small to go off the usual way.

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  6. illustration of a spacecraft carrying NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock orbiting above Earth
    Physics

    An atomic clock that could revolutionize space travel just passed its first test

    The most precise clock ever sent to space successfully operated in Earth’s orbit for over a year.

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  7. illustration of a newfound white dwarf star
    Astronomy

    This moon-sized white dwarf is the smallest ever found

    A newfound white dwarf is the smallest and perhaps the most massive known, and spins around once every seven minutes.

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  8. illustration of a black hole merging with a neutron star
    Physics

    Gravitational waves reveal the first known mergers of a black hole and neutron star

    For the first time, LIGO and Virgo have detected long-anticipated gravitational waves from a black hole merging with a neutron star.

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  9. European robin on a branch
    Animals

    A proposed ‘quantum compass’ for songbirds just got more plausible

    Quantum physics could be behind birds’ magnetic sense of direction, new measurements indicate.

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  10. illustration of the milky way galaxy
    Physics

    Dark matter may slow the rotation of the Milky Way’s central bar of stars

    A method akin to studying a tree’s rings revealed the history of a slowdown of the rotating bar of stars at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy.

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  11. image of J. Ernest Wilkins Jr.
    Physics

    Mathematician J. Ernest Wilkins Jr. was a Manhattan Project standout despite racism

    Black scientist J. Ernest Wilkins Jr. made nuclear physics calculations that helped build an atomic bomb.

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  12. scientists working on a LIGO mirror
    Quantum Physics

    Physicists used LIGO’s mirrors to approach a quantum limit

    Using LIGO’s laser beams to reduce jiggling rather than detect gravitational waves, scientists have gotten closer to the realm of quantum mechanics.

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