physics

The Photography At CERN Is Helping Solve The Mysteries Of The Universe

Everyone’s favourite mega-machine, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, is meant to help humans some of the most basic questions about the nature of our world. How it goes about this is — in a word — complex. But part of it involves a bit of good old-fashioned (kind of) photography.


How We Can Use Light To See Inside The Human Body

Human flesh is opaque. As any good dictionary will tell you, that means it has the quality of “not transmitting light; being impenetrable to sight.” Well, forget that: scientists now can use light to see inside objects that were traditionally off-limits to the human eye — including our bodies.


How Nanoscale Optics Create Nature's Most Dazzling Colours

What do a butterfly’s shimmering wings, a fish’s opalescent scales, and a peacock’s brilliant feathers have in common? Yes, their colours are beautifully iridescent. But they are also produced by the physical interaction of light with sophisticated nanoscale architecture that we are only just beginning to understand.


What Will The Future Of Molecular Manufacturing Really Be Like?

Molecular machines are nano-scale assemblers that construct themselves and their surroundings into ever more complex structures. Sometimes dubbed “nanotech” in the media, these devices are promising — but also widely misunderstood. Here’s what separates the science fact from science fiction.


The Story Of The First Photo On The Web

CERN is pimping some images of its newly renovated Large Hadron Collider today. It’s an exciting upgrade for particle physics, but it also reminds me of the very first time CERN pimped some images on the web. In fact, CERN scientists pimped the very first image on the web nearly a quarter century ago.


The Original Black Hole For Interstellar Was Too Confusing

One of the many reasons why Interstellar was such a wonderful movie was that it used genuine scientific equations to show what happens in the vicinity of a black hole. But, just like the actors in front of the camera, it seems the black hole also got a little make up to make it more presentable for the big screen.


Quantum Entanglement Can Now Be Performed On A Chip

The lure of quantum entangled computing is strong, as it can provide a means of impenetrable encryption — but the hardware has always been too bulky to make it practical. Now, though, researchers have shrunk the technology down to less than the width of a human hair, small enough to squeeze onto a chip.


It's Official: That Much-Hyped Big Bang Discovery Was Literally All Dust

There will be no Nobel prizes after all. Last March, scientists announced they had discovered our first direct evidence of the Big Bang, but that evidence has been slowly crumbling away. The results of a joint analysis released today make it official: It was all just cosmic dust.


An Odd Hypothesis About Bubbles Could Finally Lead To Nuclear Fusion

Nuclear fusion is the dream of energy scientists the world over, because it promises limitless, clean electricity. Most efforts to kickstart the process use high-intensity lasers, insane magnetic field and super-hot hydrogen plasmas. But there may be a more humble alternative. It’s called sonofusion, and it involves bubbles.


Watch This Reflected Laser Pulse's Entire Flight Path At 20 Billion FPS

The technology available to image light as it moves through space continues to advance. Recently, we saw a new high-speed camera capture a small pulse reflected from a mirror; now, it’s possible to image the entire flight path of a laser as it bounces around a laboratory.


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