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Earth's Inner Radiation Belt Is Far Weaker Than We Thought, And It's Got NASA Very Excited

"Impossible" science just got within reach.<p>More than five decades ago, scientists discovered that our planet is surrounded by two doughnut-shaped …

Universe May Have Lost 'Unstable' Dark Matter

The early universe may have contained more dark matter than there is today, new research suggests. The findings could help scientists better …

Dark Matter

Strange Magnetic Stars Could Spawn Some of The Universe's Most Massive Black Holes

Like the ones that helped us detect gravitational waves.<p>Earlier this year, after 100 years of searching for them, an international team of …

Did ‘dark stars’ help form the Universe?

Our vast Universe may have been formed with help of dark matter particles we haven’t been able to observe. The hunt is on to prove they, and the “dark stars” they created, exist.<p>Think of everything we know that exists in the Universe – the huge cosmic furnaces like our Sun. The gas giants that …

Dark Matter

"Brightest Supernova Ever" Turns Out to Be a Star Ripped Apart by a Supermassive Black Hole

The event was originally classified as the largest supernova ever documented, but it turns out that it was something even more volatile.<p>Last year, light from an incredibly violent and luminous explosion in a galaxy some 3.8 billion light-years away finally reached us here on Earth. The event, named …

Has LIGO already discovered evidence for quantum gravity?

Merging black holes are some of the most extreme events in the Universe. Could a modified event horizon reveal quantum gravity?<p><i>“The bedrock nature of</i> …

Astronomers found evidence for a 'dark' gravitational force that might fix Einstein's most famous theory

Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicts so much about the universe at large, including the existence of gravitational lenses or …

Violent Space Collisions Might Have Created New Quasicrystal

Quasicrystals are, in some respect, ‘impossible.’ Yes, they exist, but their crystalline arrangement does not have a periodic arrangement meaning it …

Echoes in Gravitational Waves Hint at a Breakdown of Einstein's General Relativity

The physics discovery of 2016 just got more tantalising.<p>In February, astronomers made a monumental discovery. Almost 100 years after Albert Einstein …

A Brief Explanation of Black Hole Physics

Black holes, the Event Horizon, and what happens when you find yourself inside one.<p>What happens when you enter a black hole is the biggest bong-rip question of astrophysics. As you'd expect, the answer is complicated. Here, PBS's Space Time attempts to tackle this confusing topic in as accessible a …

Earth's day lengthens by two milliseconds a century, astronomers find

There may never be enough hours in the day to get everything done, but at least the forces of nature are conspiring to help out.<p>Astronomers who compiled nearly 3,000 years of celestial records have found that with every passing century, the day on Earth lengthens by two milliseconds as the planet’s …

Universe

Scientists Think the Speed of Light Has Slowed, and They're Trying to Prove It

A controversial theory that would overturn Einstein’s theory of general relativity could soon be tested.<p>In 1905, a 26-year-old Albert Einstein changed physics forever when he outlined his theory of special relativity. This theory outlined the relationship between space and time and is founded on …

We Just Got The First Real Evidence of a Strange Quantum Distortion in Empty Space

It's taken us 80 years to witness this.<p>For the first time, astronomers have observed a strange quantum phenomenon in action, where a neutron star is …

Fundamental Fellows

Einstein’s theory of general relativity and quantum theory are among the 20th century’s most significant advancements in the field of physics. And …

1 Number Will Soon Reveal If the Speed of Light Used to Be Faster

According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, the speed of light in a vacuum and gravity are the same. This is nice and orthogonal, but if the …

Scientists soon to test Albert Einstein's speed of light theory

<b>London</b>: A theory which predicts that the speed of light is variable, not constant as suggested by Albert Einstein, may soon be tested and could …

Physics

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3tags.org

Mysterious Signals From Deep Space Lead To Astronomical Controversy

Since long before humans mastered the art of space flight, we’ve gazed in awe at the stars and wondered: Are we the only intelligent life in the …

Is there another ‘you’ out there in a parallel Universe?

Even if the Universe grows to infinity, there might not be enough space to hold all the possibilities.<p><i>“We are actually living in a million parallel</i> …

What Every Layperson Should Know About String Theory

It’s one of the most brilliant, controversial and unproven ideas in all of physics: string theory. At the heart of string theory is the thread of an idea that’s run through physics for centuries, that at some fundamental level, all the different forces, particles, interactions and manifestations of …

Quantum Mechanics

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3tags.org

This space engine breaks a law of physics. But a NASA test says it works anyway.

NASA scientists have been daydreaming about a new kind of engine that could carry astronauts to Mars in 70 days without burning any fuel. Now, in a new paper published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Propulsion and Power, they say that it might really work.<p>The paper, written by scientists at NASA's …

Physics

Astronomers Have Discovered an Unexpected Object Orbiting Our Galaxy

Surprise!<p>Scientists have discovered a hidden dwarf galaxy orbiting our own Milky Way - and it could change our understanding of how dark matter holds …

Ask Ethan: What if gravity isn’t really fundamental?

Gravity is the oldest fundamental force ever discovered. Might it not be fundamental after all?<p><i>“The whole edifice of modern physics is built up on</i> …

Physicists have built the world's fastest quantum simulator

Atomic level inquiryThe world’s fastest quantum simulator models an interaction between a many-body system of more than 40 atoms within one billionth …

Quantum Mechanics

Scientists Discover the Roundest Object in the Universe

No, it's not your mom.<p>Kepler 11145123 isn’t the punchline to a “yo momma” joke — it’s a large, almost perfectly spherical star some 5,000 light-years …

New Theory of Gravity Does Away With Need for Dark Matter

<i>Erik Verlinde explains his new view of gravity</i><p>Let’s be honest. Dark matter’s a pain in the butt. Astronomers have gone to great lengths to explain …

Smithsonian.com | Smithsonian Magazine | Smithsonian

May 17, 2018 8:00AM<p>May 16, 2018<p>May 15, 2018