Massimo Chericoni

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It’s elementary! Highlights from the all-new periodic table

Scientists have confirmed the discovery of four new elements. Here’s a primer on other exciting members of science’s most exclusive club. And boron<p>At last, the periodic table looks tidy. To nobody’s surprise, the discovery – and indeed creation – of a few atoms of elements number 113, 115, 117 and …

Chemistry

Neutrino 'flip' wins physics Nobel Prize

<b>The discovery that neutrinos switch between different "flavours" has won the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics.</b><p>Neutrinos are ubiquitous subatomic particles with almost no mass and which rarely interact with anything else, making them very difficult to study.<p>Takaaki Kajita and Arthur McDonald led two …

Physics

Advanced Ligo: Labs 'open their ears' to the cosmos

<b>The experiment that should finally detect ripples in the fabric of space-time is up and running.</b><p>Labs in the US states of Washington and Louisiana began "listening" on Friday for the gravitational waves that are predicted to flow through the Earth when violent events occur in space.<p>The Advanced Ligo …

LIGO

Enceladus ocean 'must be global'

<b>Scientists have determined that the sub-surface body of water on the Saturnian moon Enceladus must be far more extensive than first thought.</b><p>Using pictures from the Cassini probe, the researchers have detected and tracked a slight wobble in the moon.<p>After seven years of study, they have concluded …

Astronomy

Universe slowly dying as old stars fade faster than new ones are born

Analysis of starlight from more than 220,000 distant galaxies shows that the cosmos has lost half of its brightness in the past two billion years<p>Without applause or encore, the lights are going out across the universe, as old stars die faster than new ones are born to replace them.<p>Astronomers …

Universe

Attack on the pentagon results in discovery of new mathematical tile

Joy as mathematicians discover a new type of pentagon that can cover the plane leaving no gaps and with no overlaps. It becomes only the 15th type of pentagon known that can do this, and the first discovered in 30 years<p>In the world of mathematical tiling, news doesn’t come bigger than this.<p>In the …

Mathematics

Great robotic missions to explore space

<b>The world watched in awe as the New Horizons spacecraft sent back the first detailed pictures of Pluto. And this week, scientists published results from the Philae lander which touched down on a comet last year. Such missions not only add to our scientific knowledge, they cause cultural shifts that</b> …

Space

What does a pentaquark mean for you?

Almost - but not quite - buried on the icy plains of Pluto this week, the Large Hadron Collider revealed a completely new type of particle. What does that tell us?<p>Perhaps the first thing it tells us is that scientists at CERN are more focused on their results than on the attendant publicity, …

Physics

BBC Nature - Big Five mass extinction events

Although the Cretaceous-Tertiary (or K-T) extinction event is the most well-known because it wiped out the dinosaurs, a series of other mass extinction events has occurred throughout the history of the Earth, some even more devastating than K-T. Mass extinctions are periods in Earth's history when …

Paleontology

Alien star system buzzed the Sun

<b>An alien star passed through our Solar System just 70,000 years ago, astronomers have discovered.</b><p>No other star is known to have approached this close to us.<p>An international team of researchers says it came five times closer than our current nearest neighbour - Proxima Centauri.<p>The object, a red …

Astronomy

The Workings of an Ancient Nuclear Reactor

<i>Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the October 2005 issue of</i> Scientific American.<p>In May 1972 a worker at a nuclear fuel–processing …

Nuclear Energy

The Large Hadron Collider sets its sights on dark matter

There is no shortage of superlatives that can be applied to the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, though many are strange and unusual. For a start, the huge underground device, which batters beams of protons into each other at colossal energies, can fairly claim to be the coolest place on Earth. …

Physics

Quantum thinking: Cats to computers

Technology editor, BBC Newsnight<p>This interactive video is a new technology being trialled by the BBC Connected Studio innovation programme and is best viewed with the latest version of Flash. It does not currently work on iOS or Android mobile devices or tablets. You can find a non-interactive …

Quantum Computing

Homer's Last Theorem

Along with high school friends David Schiminovich and David Borden, he formed a teenage gang of computer programmers called the Glitchmasters, and …