Stephen D'Addario

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NASA's New Mega-Rocket for Deep Space Will Be Launch Ready by 2018

NASA new mega-rocket, a towering booster designed for deep space missions, will be ready for its first test flight no later than November 2018, space …

Space Exploration

Do We Live in a 2-D Hologram? Physicists Aim to Find Out

Physicists at Fermilab in Illinois have turned on a laser-based experiment that could reveal whether the three-dimensional world we perceive is merely a "Matrix"-style illusion generated by a cosmic two-dimensional hologram.<p>The Holometer experiment is the result of years of work by particle …

Physics

Can This Mineral Power The Planet?

It may soon be time to say "so long" to silicon solar panels.<p>Solar panels are cheaper than ever before, thanks to government subsidies and a flooded market. But they’re not yet affordable enough to eclipse traditional energy sources. Enter perovskites: crystalline minerals that may emerge as the …

Uranus: Why we should visit the most unloved planet

Uranus has always been left out when it comes to missions to our near neighbours. But now there are serious attempts to visit this toxic gas giant, writes Richard Hollingham.<p>The butt (snigger) of countless jokes, Uranus is almost certainly the most unloved planet in our solar system. It always …

Astronomy

Mystery solved: The sliding stones of Death Valley.

Oh how I love nature and science! The former sets up mysteries that baffle us, and then the latter equips us with tools with which to solve them.<p>Phil …

Efficient, useful blue-light LED draws Nobel Prize in physics

Baffled by Higgs bosons, quantum mechanics, and the accelerating expansion of the universe? This year's physics Nobel Prize is for something that's reassuringly understandable and useful: the blue LEDs used in everything from home lighting and headlights to TV screens and traffic signals.<p>Three …