science
Fascinating Experiment Suggests Some Humans Can Sense Earth’s Magnetic Field

The ability to sense the Earth’s magnetic field—a trait known as magnetoreception—is well documented among many animals, but researchers have struggled to show that humans are also capable of the feat. Until now. Read More >>

science
The Earth’s Magnetic Poles Are Not About to Flip, and Here’s Why

Despite recent panic surrounding the potential reversal of our planet’s magnetic poles, new evidence suggests it’s probably not the impending doom it sounds like. Read More >>

science
Scientists Model Rare Ball Lightning With Help From Tangled ‘Skyrmion’ Quasiparticle

There’s an eerie and incredibly rare phenomenon witnessed by few that has long puzzled scientists: ball lightning. These flashes, which typically appear in the evenings during thunderstorms and look like small, bright spheres, have gone mostly unexplained aside from some theories. But now, using some of the most mind-bending physics around, physicists think that they’ve recreated ball lightning, in miniature, in the lab, while at the same time observing a different physical phenomenon in its own right for the first time. Read More >>

science
Experimenters Observe Strange Magnetic Phenomenon First Predicted in the 1930s

Scientists have experimentally observed a physical concept that was first theorised in 1931 for the first time—one that could result in important applications in quantum computing and even the study of string theory. Maybe. Read More >>

health
Man Carrying Oxygen Tank Dies After Being Sucked Into MRI Machine

MRI machines use a powerful magnetic field to produce internal images of the human body. The magnetic fields are so powerful that hospitals take great care to ensure no iron-containing metals come near the machines while they are in use. In rare cases, however, mistakes happen. This past weekend, an Indian man visiting a sick relative had the misfortune of carrying a metal oxygen cylinder into a hospital room where an MRI scanner was active, sucking him in and ultimately causing his death. Read More >>

science
Quantum Mechanics Could Shake Up Our Understanding of Earth’s Magnetic Field

Earth’s magnetic field does way more than guide our compasses and cause occasional worry. It’s part of the reason there’s life at all on this planet—it protects us from harmful solar radiation that might otherwise blow our ozone layer away. Read More >>

science
Our Planet’s Magnetic Poles Aren’t Reversing Any Time Soon

Over the past couple of hundred years, the strength of the Earth’s geomagnetic field has been waning, leading scientists to wonder if our planet’s polarity is on the verge of flipping. A new study suggests this won’t happen in the near future and that the intensity of today’s field is uncharacteristically strong. Read More >>

science
These Cancer Cells Are Being Levitated Using Magnets

Magnetic levitation isn’t anything new: you’ve probably seen frogs made to float and maybe even trains hovering above their rails. But now scientists have gained enough subtle control over such forces that they can be used to levitate single cells, too. Read More >>

science
A Magnetic Field Detector 1,000 Times More Powerful Than Predecessors

Measuring magnetic fields with accuracy is important, whether it’s for geological exploration or medical imaging. Now, a team from MIT has developed a new laser-based magnetic field detector that’s 1,000 times more efficient than previous examples. Read More >>

science
Look How Much the Earth’s Magnetic Field is Changing

When the Earth's magnetic field switches, strange things happen. Now, the European Space Agency's Swarm satellite system has revealed exactly how our planets magnetism is changing. Read More >>

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This is the Milky Way’s Magnetic Fingerprint

The swirls, loops and arches in this image may look like a new artwork—but they are in fact the results of the first ever all-sky observations of polarised light emitted by interstellar dust in the Milky Way, and they represent the galaxy's magnetic fingerprint. Read More >>

science
What Will Happen When the Earth’s Magnetic Field Switches

The Earth's magnetic field protects life on Earth, shielding it from damaging radiation and moderating our climate. So the idea that it could completely flip around, or collapse altogether, should cause us to worry, right? Well, yes and no. Read More >>

science
Robins Can See Magnetic Fields (But Only in One Eye)

Despite its unassuming looks and gentle temperament, the humble red breasted robin (Erithacus rubecula) boasts a superhero-like ability. They can see magnetic fields, giving them an almost perfect sense of direction. Read More >>

North
science
Where the Hell Is the True North Pole?

The North Pole is just at the top of the Earth, right? Well, not really: there isn't really a 'top' of a sphere and, anyway, depending on how you measure things the pole can be in one of many different spots. So which one's right? Read More >>