Test of Einstein’s Theory Shows the Sun Is Losing Mass

Mercury, the closest planet to the sun, has a history of helping us study gravity. Albert Einstein demonstrated that Newton’s laws of motion break down when dealing with very large masses. He created his theory of general relativity to account for this: gravity is a manifestation of the warping of space-time caused by massive bodies like the sun. Mercury’s orbit shows this warping most clearly—and, indeed, before Einstein’s work, scientists were long puzzled by its strangeness, even attributing it to gravitational effects from a made-up planet called Vulcan. Now, a team of researchers in the US are using new measurements of Mercury’s orbit to learn more about the sun—and more about Einstein’s theory itself. Read More >>

New Research Could Help Bring Secure Quantum Communication to Everyone

In September, the Chinese Academy of Sciences president Chunli Bai and President Anton Zeilinger of the Austria Academy of Sciences in Vienna made the first quantum-secured video call. But when will you get to take part in this? Will there ever be a secure quantum Slack at your workplace? Read More >>

Scientists Create Miniature Gamma Ray Bursts to Study Black Holes

Scientists are attempting to model some of the most powerful explosions in the universe by miniaturising them into lab experiments. Read More >>

Astronomers Detect Almond-Scented Molecule That Will Help Solve Interstellar Radiation Mystery

There’s an unidentified source of infrared throughout the universe. By looking at the specific wavelengths of the light, scientists think that it comes from carbon—but not just any carbon, a special kind where the atoms are arranged in multiple hexagonal rings. No one has been able to spot one of these multi-ring “polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons,” or PAHs in space—even though the infrared emissions imply that these PAHs should make up 10 per cent of the universe’s carbon. Now, scientists have found a new hint. Read More >>

Mysterious Intergalactic Radio Bursts Come From a Truly Strange Place

First detected in 2002, Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are quick, high-energy pulses originating from galaxies billions of light years away. Scientists still don’t know the true nature of these bursts or what’s causing them, but new observations of the only known repeating FRBs are providing details about the extreme environments in which these pulses are born. Read More >>

What the Hell is Going on With This Comet?

There’s already a strange story behind comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák, or just 41P: It took almost 100 years to identify and occasionally flares. And now, its spin is rapidly slowing down. Read More >>

Physicists Observe Completely Unexpected Effect in Collisions Between Gold and Protons

Even the people tasked with understanding the most fundamental pieces of our Universe run into surprises. And a surprise has popped up in the data of a decommissioned experiment at America’s largest atom smasher. Read More >>

Scientists Make Coldest Liquid Water Ever, and It’s Weirder Than They Imagined

You’re definitely familiar with water’s freezing point: 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius). But that’s not the coldest water could be. “Supercooled” water is water that exists below that point. Scientists in a few labs lab have now made the coldest water yet. Read More >>

Strangely, These Atoms Seem to Have Different Masses Depending on How They’re Measured

When it comes to understanding the universe, a crucial property of stuff, whatever that stuff might be, is its mass. The building blocks of our world, things like the elements or subatomic particles, have pretty consistent masses. One physics team continues to find a strange discrepancy in the masses of some basic particles you may have heard of. Read More >>

Two Experiments Show Fourth Spatial Dimension Effect

To the best of our knowledge, we humans can only experience this world in three spatial dimensions (plus one time dimension): up and down, left and right, and forward and backward. But in two physics labs, scientists have found a way to represent a fourth spatial dimension. Read More >>

All the Wild Shit We’re Going to Do in Space and Physics in 2018

It’s time to gaze into our crystal ball and see what the coming year has in store for science. From powerful new rockets and asteroid-sampling spacecraft to groundbreaking particle physics, there’s plenty to look forward to in 2018. Read More >>

Ultimate Theory of Particle Physics Holds Where Physicists Hoped It Wouldn’t

The smallest pieces of the universe are governed by a beautiful and mind-blowing set of rules: the “Standard Model.” The Standard Model explains the behaviour of all 17 discovered particles, and it continues to make predictions that have been proven accurate by the largest physics experiments in the world, including the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. But the model is incomplete. Read More >>

2017’s Best Space Explosions

Astronomers spend their days looking at the sky. Maybe some crazy complex new telescope is helping, or some form of AI is teasing the complexities out of vast piles of data. It’s still just the sky. The sky isn’t immutable, though. Some of the most interesting science happens when brief blips pass into and out of existence. These dots send their light in the form of radio waves, microwaves, visible light and gamma rays into measuring apparatuses and tell us something new about the universe. They might even send space itself rippling with gravitational waves. Read More >>

How To Stop Physics Students Dropping Out Of Uni: Let Them Race Lego Cars

Dr Maria Parappilly is an award winning Physics Educator and Research Section Head for STEM Education at Flinders University in Adelaide and the chair of Physics Education of the Australian Institute of Physics. Her pioneering teaching innovations have been recognised with state and national awards, and internationally with the only international D2L Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning. Read More >>

The August Eclipse Left A ‘Wake’ in the Earth’s Upper Atmosphere

A total solar eclipse by itself isn’t so unusual—the moon shades the Sun every 18 months, from the view of somewhere on Earth. But this year’s “Great American Eclipse” was special simply for how much inhabited land it covered, crossing the length of America from Oregon to South Carolina. And that led to some amazing new scientific observations. Read More >>