space
How NASA Will Unlock the Secrets of Quantum Mechanics Aboard the ISS

An Antares rocket launched from Virginia before sunrise this morning and is on its way to the International Space Station. Its 7,400 pounds of cargo include an experiment that will chill atoms to just about absolute zero—colder than the vacuum of space itself. Read More >>

science
Toshiba Has a Plan to Extend Quantum Security to Record-Breaking Distances

Toshiba has devised a feasible new way to use the laws of quantum mechanics to send secure messages using present-day technology. Now it just has to build it. Read More >>

science
Spooky Experiments Bring Quantum Weirdness to Nearly Macroscopic Scales

Experimenters around the world are trying to harness perhaps the most perplexing property in physics: quantum entanglement, which Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.” A few teams of scientists have succeeded in bringing this eerie behaviour, which normally only exists between pairs of particles, to much bigger systems. Read More >>

biology
Scientists Identify Protein That Could Let Birds See Magnetic Fields

To help them navigate long distances across the globe, birds are thought to have proteins in their eyes that could perhaps let them literally see the Earth’s magnetic field, a bit like a natural heads-up display. Two teams of scientists now think they’ve identified the light-sensitive protein key to this process, which relies on an innate attribute of electrons called “spin,” one of the most quantum mechanical properties there is. Read More >>

technology
How Will Microsoft’s Wild Electron-Splitting ‘Topological’ Quantum Computer Actually Work?

Microsoft recently announced a quantum-computing advancement: a measurement that looks like an electron split in half in a piece of wire. It will be of central importance if the company hopes to create a working quantum computer. Read More >>

science
New Room-Temperature Maser Uses Weird Diamond to Succeed Where Others Failed

Scientists have used the same technology that brought us time crystals to create a room-temperature maser—a microwave laser—that overcomes many of masers’ past problems. Read More >>

stephen hawking
What You Need to Know About Stephen Hawking’s Final Physics Paper

Less than two weeks before his death on March 14, beloved cosmologist Stephen Hawking put the final touches on a research paper about the origin and nature of the Universe. Some media outlets have been pouring praise onto the paper, saying it could be the most important thing he ever did. On closer inspection, however, the new study isn’t likely to shatter our conceptions of the cosmos—at least not yet. Read More >>

space
Fundamental Equation of Quantum Physics Also Describes Rings and Disks in Space

Physicists’ main goal is to be able to predict what will happen in the future based on patterns they’ve already observed, whether in massive systems of stars or tiny groups of atoms. Predicting changes over time usually requires developing new mathematical equations. But a researcher at California Institute of Technology recently discovered that a well-known formula, Schrödinger’s equation, governs two vastly different things: particles smaller than an atom and the disks of matter that fill the universe. Read More >>

science
New Silicon Chip-Based Quantum Computer Passes Major Test 

There’s another quantum computer to keep track of in this Wild West era of quantum computing research we’re in. And it uses some parts you might already be familiar with. Read More >>

technology
What the Hell Is a Quantum Computer and How Excited Should I Be?

They will never sit on your desk, and they will most certainly never fit in your pocket. Today, they’re fragile, and need to be kept at temperatures close to absolute zero. Quantum computers aren’t much like the desktop PCs we’re all so familiar with—they’re whole new kind of machine, capable of calculations so complex, it’s like upgrading from black-and-white to a full colour spectrum. Read More >>

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 >>

science
Pushing Particles Forwards Might Make Them Go Backwards Because Quantum Physics Is Bonkers

You are very lucky that you ended up about the size that you are today, somewhere between one and ten feet tall and weighing somewhere between one and one thousand pounds. This is a very good size. Not to body shame, but if you were, say, a quadrillion times shorter and weighed a nonillion times less (that’s one followed by 30 zeros), that would be very inconvenient for you. Everything would be very inconvenient for you. Read More >>

science
Scientists Just Observed an Effect of Gravity on Tiny Particles For the First Time

Bad news: humans will probably never explore the area around a black hole, at least while you’re alive. That’s mostly because most black holes are too far away, and even if we could travel to them, it’s unlikely we’d survive their gravitational pull. That means that if we want to study the wacky effects extreme gravity might have, we’ve gotta get creative—which is exactly what an international team of physicists have just done. Read More >>

science
Scientists ‘Teleport’ a Particle Hundreds of Miles–But What Does That Mean?

Humanity is advancing rapidly towards a place where the news sounds an awful lot like science fiction. In fact, yesterday, Chinese scientists reported that they “teleported” a photon over hundreds of miles using a “quantum satellite.” But this isn’t Star Trek. It’s the real world. 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 >>