science
IBM’s Latest Quantum Computer Does Record-Breaking Chemistry

As cool as they sound, quantum computers will probably not be best suited for designing websites or making pretty word processors. Instead, their quirky bits may one day be used to solve special algorithms, for artificial intelligence applications, or to model things that actually follow the wild rules of quantum physics. One day. Read More >>

space
New Observations by NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Are Shaking Up Theories About Jupiter’s Auroras

Jupiter features the largest and most powerful auroral display in the Solar System. As spectacular as they are, however, very little is known about these dancing displays of Southern and Northern lights. A recent survey by NASA’s Juno spacecraft is providing new evidence about Jupiter’s auroras—and it’s becoming increasingly clear they’re not at all like what we expected. Read More >>

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Scientists Propose a New Kind of Quantum Computer, But What Does That Mean?

There are weeks where it seems like every piece of physics news mentions quantum computing—but we are nowhere near a quantum iPhone. You probably remember that computers can consist of billions of nanometer-scale transistors etched into silicon. Those chips used to be enormous, room-sized setups where instead of transistors, there were tubes the size of light bulbs. Physicists in the quantum computing world are still trying to pick out the best vacuum tubes. Read More >>

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Astronomers Think They Discovered the Missing Link in Black Hole Evolution

Science fiction doesn’t exist to make movies about the stuff we know about—it explores the unknown physics, astronomy, biology and chemistry where real uncertainty about topics can lead to compelling, believable stories. That’s what makes black holes such a popular subject; light can’t escape them, maybe they’re portals across space and time, and they seem to break the rules. But who needs fiction when there are already incredibly strange mysteries in the real world? Read More >>

lasers
Biggest X-Ray Laser Gun on Earth Opens in September

Even if you haven’t seen any James Bond films, you’re probably aware that the space laser battle depicted in Moonraker ranks among the stupidest scenes in the franchise’s history. But there’s a new laser gun in town that’s actually good and opening up for business. It is not a weapon. Read More >>

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Scientists Finally Prove Strange Quantum Physics Idea Einstein Hated

The equations of physics are things that we humans created to understand the Universe, and it can be hard to disentangle them from the Universe’s innate properties. It turns out that one of the weirdest things scientists have come up with, what Albert Einstein derisively called “spooky action at a distance,” is more than just maths: It’s a fact of reality. Read More >>

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Physicists Use Lasers to Set Up First Underwater Quantum Communications Link

Quantum mechanics may force you to think some wild things about the way the Universe works, but it has some real applications. One of the theory’s main quirks allows for a special kind of quantum link, one that can send incredibly secure messages or transmit data for quantum computing. Tests of these links exist on Earth, in space, and now, underwater. Read More >>

space
Wild Theory Suggests Heavy Metals Came From Parasitic Black Holes

If you were to rank the wildest things in the universe, there are a few obvious contenders: gamma rays, fast radio bursts, and quasars, for example. But no list would be complete without black holes and the black hole’s less-dense cousins, the neutron star. These hyper-compressed things can do some mind-boggling warping to the shape of space itself. So, what happens if one were to eat the other? Read More >>

science
New Analysis at Nuclear Reactor Reignites Search for Mysterious ‘Sterile’ Neutrino

You’re probably aware that stuff is made from particles. But the second most abundant particle in the universe, the neutrino, refuses to be fully understood. This tiny and elusive speck only barely interacts with the other particles that make up us humans and our galaxy. Its mysteries continue to confound the public and get scientists talking, to this day. Read More >>

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Incredible Video Reveals that Rainbows Actually Go All the Way Around

It turns out the recognisable half-circle arch of a rainbow is a complete lie. When you’re standing on the ground looking up at a rainbow in the sky, the curvature of the Earth usually blocks its bottom half. But when viewed from a higher vantage point, like from a plane, or the top of a crane, rainbows are magically revealed to be a complete circle. Read More >>

science
Basic Assumptions of Physics Might Require the Future to Influence the Past

One of the most well-accepted physical theories makes no logical sense. Quantum mechanics, the theory that governs the smallest possible spaces, forces our human brains to accept some really wacky, uncomfortable realities. Maybe we live in a world where certain observations can force our universe to branch into multiple ones. Or maybe actions in the present influence things earlier in time. Read More >>

space
Controversial New Gravitational Waves Paper Shows Science Happening In Real Time

If you know science, you know it’s not perfect. Outside eyes review papers their peers wrote before those papers get published, results must be reproduced to establish truths, and even then, stuff can still contain mistakes. Read More >>

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The Hunt for Gravitational Waves Is Officially Headed to Space

It took around a hundred years between Albert Einstein crafting his theory of general relativity and the confirmation of one of its wildest predictions, gravitational waves. So naturally, folks have been especially skeptical about funding expensive projects to look harder for them. But now that experiments are actually finding gravitational waves, scientists are ready to take the next step: Space. Read More >>

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New Calculation Could Spell Trouble For a Popular Theory of the Universe’s Origin

The universe began. But what did it begin from? What did it begin into? We know it began by expanding rather quickly, and ended up with lots of big galaxies made from little particles. But what happened before then? What were the laws of physics like when it all started? Read More >>

science
I Ventured to the Most Radioactive Spot in Town With This Super High-Tech Radiation Camera

If I were in America, the TSA agent would have called in backup on the spot and I would have received a long questioning. I had just asked the airport security agent if I could leave my laptop open as it rolled through the x-ray scanner. I pointed to the black thumb drive-looking thing sticking out of my USB port. I told them all I wanted to do was test the radiation levels using the attachment, the MiniPix USB particle camera. Read More >>