Our sense of the universe as an orderly expanse where events happen in absolute locations is an illusion
Einstein's assertion that God does not play dice with the universe has been misinterpreted
High-resolution images of the icy worlds reveal towering mountains, yawning canyons and perhaps hints of a subsurface ocean
Though the dwarf planet is now behind it, the spacecraft’s science returns are only just beginning
Physicists can't seem to find the time—literally. Can philosophers help?
Could time end? Yes. And no. Recent work in physics suggests a resolution to the paradox
Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, one of the creators of loop quantum gravity, and his collaborator Hal Haggard have just come out with a new paper on black holes.
Physicists Think They Can Solve the Mysteries of Quantum Mechanics, Cosmology, and Black Holes in One Go [Guest Post]
It’s lucky that debates over the meaning of quantum mechanics are so entertaining, because they seem to go on forever. The sundry proposed interpretations make the same experimental predictions, so many people fret that there’ll never be a way to decide among them.
In 1954 the renowned physicist Enrico Fermi did a simple but depressing calculation about future particle accelerators. To create particles with an energy of 3 teraelectron-volts, he estimated, you’d have to build a ring 8,000 kilometers in radius at a cost of $170 billion.
Last year I got talking to theoretical physicist Aron Wall about the thermodynamics of quantum gravity. Now that's a deceptively beautiful phrase: in four words, you get three of the deepest areas in modern science.
In our February issue, Scientific American had an article on the phenomenon of liquid-rope coiling--the way that viscous fluids curl as they fall onto a surface, forming what looks like a miniature basket.
Gravitational Waves Reveal the Universe before the Big Bang: An Interview with Physicist Gabriele Veneziano
It’s not usually put like this, but the discovery of primordial gravitational waves two weeks ago has given us our first direct glimpse of a period before the big bang.
The first sighting of the light spectacle on another planet reveals properties of the mysterious Venusian clouds
Last night I had the pleasure of going to Amanda Gefters book party, celebrating the release of Trespassing on Einsteins Lawn. I first got to know Gefter a decade ago when she audaciously contacted Sci Am to pitch her first-ever science story, and I followed her later career at New Scientist with admiration.
Two weeks ago, I blogged about David Bohm’s interpretation of quantum mechanics. Like Einstein and Louis de Broglie before him, Bohm argued that quantum randomness is not intrinsic to nature, but reflects our ignorance of a deeper level of reality.
A couple of weeks ago, I was writing up a description of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, and I thought I’d compare the warping of spacetime to the motion of Earth’s tectonic plates.
One night in 1952, Richard Feynman and David Bohm went bar-hopping in Belo Horizonte. Louisa Gilder reconstructs the night in her brilliant book on the history of quantum mechanics, The Age of Entanglement.
Does Some Deeper Level of Physics Underlie Quantum Mechanics? An Interview with Nobelist Gerard ’t Hooft
VIENNA—Over the past several days, I attended a fascinating conference that explored an old idea of Einstein’s, one that was largely dismissed for decades: that quantum mechanics is not the root level of reality, but merely a hazy glimpse of something even deeper.
The Large Hadron Collider has only just begun its explorations, so it might seem a little premature to begin thinking about what new particle projects might come next.
Last year, novelist Sergio De La Pava compared the American criminal justice system to the strange physics concept of naked singularities. That inspired me to ask the author of Sci Am’s article on the concept, theoretical physicist Pankaj Joshi of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai (right in photo), for an update.