This year’s Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics was awarded to the team behind NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, or WMAP, a space telescope that launched in 2001 to map the cosmic microwave background—the earliest, oldest light we can detect from the universe’s infancy. The WMAP team will split the $3 million award, with its leaders receiving the largest shares. One of those leaders, WMAP’s chief theorist David Spergel, sat down to speak with Scientific American about WMAP’s science and its legacy.
Don’t settle for limp, soggy turkey skin—use science when you roast your bird to get that perfect, crackling bite.
An isolated group of orangutans in Sumatra is the first new great ape species described since the 1920s, and could be the most critically endangered.
Astrophysicists searching for gravitational waves have finally learned what happens when you crash two neutron stars together--and it's very, very shiny.
When an African wild dog is ready to stop lazing about, it votes to go hunting by sneezing.
Poison ivy or a new perfume making you break out and itch? Your skin normally works as if in harmony to protect you from infection, but sometimes the tune your killer T cells are playing is bad news for your skin cells. Produced with support from SC Johnson.
This fixed wing drone copies a bird to land on vertical surfaces and lift off again.
America is preparing for a sea-to-shining-sea solar eclipse. Here’s how you can watch the spectacular display, and maybe even snap a photo to commemorate the event, without burning your retinas or damaging your camera’s optics.
A tough but flexible bot unfurls like a plant using a pressurized plastic tube to inch through rugged environments.
These eight-week-old Mexican gray wolf puppies got a clean bill of health at their first vet checkup this week.
New photos were just released from Juno’s most recent flyover of the enormous storm raging on Jupiter.
When the Oroville Dam spillway cracked and failed after a wet California winter, a team of scientists created a one fiftieth–scale model of the damaged concrete and eroded hillside to help guide the reconstruction.
California grunions know how to make the most of a beach vacation. When the tides are right, these silvery fish flop up onto the sand and go in search of a mate.
Do you suffer from allergies? Follow the dendritic cell and the entire Scientific American Allergy Orchestra to discover how allergens from pollen to pet dander can change the body's tune.
Ladybird beetle wings fold themselves into a tidy package after flight, and now scientists understand how it works.
After learning how the waterway transports a billion tons of sediment into the sea each year, scientists built a tool that may help predict the inundations that impact some 80 million people.
See how a giant Larvacean’s intricate mucus house, constructed for filter feeding, contributes to oceanic carbon cycling.
Thousands congregated in the nation's capital and other cities in the U.S. and around the world to support scientific research and protest Trump administration–proposed budget cuts. Scientific American spoke with researchers, students and fact-loving activists at the New York City and D.C. marches.
These plastic objects are designed to shape-shift when they warm up.
This badger built itself a “refrigerator” in the desert to stash its food windfall.