Physics

CERN is Planning to Build a Much, Much Larger Particle Collider. – here’s what it could discover

CERN is Planning to Build a Much, Much Larger Particle Collider. – here’s what it could discover

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN is the most powerful particle accelerator in the world. During its ten years of operations it has led to remarkable discoveries, including the long sought-after Higgs boson. On January 15, an international team of physicists unveiled the concept design for a new particle accelerator that would dwarf the LHC.

Time travel is possible – but only if you have an object with infinite mass

 Time travel is possible – but only if you have an object with infinite mass

The concept of time travel has always captured the imagination of physicists and laypersons alike. But is it really possible? Of course it is. We’re doing it right now, aren’t we? We are all traveling into the future one second at a time.

Hunting for rare isotopes: The mysterious radioactive atomic nuclei that will be in tomorrow’s technology

Hunting for rare isotopes: The mysterious radioactive atomic nuclei that will be in tomorrow’s technology

When you hear the term “radioactive” you likely think “bad news,” maybe along the lines of fallout from an atomic bomb. But radioactive materials are actually used in a wide range of beneficial applications. In medicine, they routinely help diagnose and treat disease. Irradiation helps keep a number of foods free from insects and invasive pests. Archaeologists use them to figure out how old an artifact might be. And the list goes on.

The Large Hadron Collider has been Shut Down, and Will Stay Down for Two Years While they Perform Major Upgrades

The Large Hadron Collider has been Shut Down, and Will Stay Down for Two Years While they Perform Major Upgrades

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is getting a big boost to its performance. Unfortunately, for fans of ground-breaking physics, the whole thing has to be shut down for two years while the work is done. But once it’s back up and running, its enhanced capabilities will make it even more powerful.

A New Atomic Clock has been Built that Would be off by Less than a Second Since the Big Bang

A New Atomic Clock has been Built that Would be off by Less than a Second Since the Big Bang

Physicists have developed an atomic clock so accurate that it would be off by less than a single second in 14 billion years. That kind of accuracy and precision makes it more than just a timepiece. It’s a powerful scientific instrument that could measure gravitational waves, take the measure of the Earth’s gravitational shape, and maybe even detect dark matter. How did they do it?

Chinese Fusion Experiment Reaches 100 Million Degrees

Chinese Fusion Experiment Reaches 100 Million Degrees

Fusion power has been the fevered dream of scientists, environmentalists and futurists for almost a century. For the past few decades, scientists have been attempting to find a way to create sustainable fusion reactions that would provide human beings with clean, abundant energy, which would finally break our dependence on fossil fuels and other unclean methods.

Experiments with optical tweezers race to test the laws of quantum mechanics

 Experiments with optical tweezers race to test the laws of quantum mechanics

One might think that the optical tweezer – a focused laser beam that can trap small particles – is old hat by now. After all, the tweezer was invented by Arthur Ashkin in 1970. And he received the Nobel Prize for it this year - presumably after its main implications had been realized during the last half-century.

Mystery particle spotted? Discovery would require physics so weird that nobody has even thought of it

Mystery particle spotted? Discovery would require physics so weird that nobody has even thought of it

There was a huge amount of excitement when the Higgs boson was first spotted back in 2012 – a discovery that bagged the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2013. The particle completed the so-called standard model, our current best theory of understanding nature at the level of particles.

This Super Powerful Magnetic Field Puts Us One Step Closer to Nuclear Fusion

This Super Powerful Magnetic Field Puts Us One Step Closer to Nuclear Fusion

Inexpensive clean energy sounds like a pipe dream. Scientists have long thought that nuclear fusion, the type of reaction that powers stars like the Sun, could be one way to make it happen, but the reaction has been too difficult to maintain. Now, we’re closer than ever before to making it happen — physicists from the University of Tokyo (UTokyo) say they’ve produced the strongest-ever controllable magnetic field.

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of helium’s discovery – why we need it more than ever

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of helium’s discovery – why we need it more than ever

Watching helium gas lift balloons into the air is a lot of fun – or perhaps a tragedy if that balloon belonged to a small child who let it go. And, who hasn’t sipped the helium gas from a balloon and then quacked like Donald Duck? Although, that’s not the smartest thing to do since helium can displace the air in our lungs, or cause other problems with respiration.

The coldest place in space has been created. Next challenge, coldest place in the universe

The coldest place in space has been created. Next challenge, coldest place in the universe

Despite decades of ongoing research, scientists are trying to understand how the four fundamental forces of the Universe fit together. Whereas quantum mechanics can explain how three of these forces things work together on the smallest of scales (electromagnetism, weak and strong nuclear forces), General Relativity explains how things behaves on the largest of scales (i.e. gravity). In this respect, gravity remains the holdout.

Plasma, the mysterious (and powerful) fourth phase of matter

Plasma, the mysterious (and powerful) fourth phase of matter

When I was at elementary school, my teacher told me that matter exists in three possible states: solid, liquid and gas. She neglected to mention plasma, a special kind of electrified gas that’s a state unto itself. We rarely encounter natural plasma, unless we’re lucky enough to see the Northern lights, or if we look at the Sun through a special filter, or if we poke our head out the window during a lightning storm, as I liked to do when I was a kid. Yet plasma, for all its scarcity in our daily lives, makes up more than 99 per cent of the observable matter in the Universe (that is, if we discount dark matter). 

Scientists discover how to harness the power of quantum spookiness by entangling clouds of atoms

 Scientists discover how to harness the power of quantum spookiness by entangling clouds of atoms

From tunnelling through impenetrable barriers to being in two places at the same time, the quantum world of atoms and particles is famously bizarre. Yet the strange properties of quantum mechanics are not mathematical quirks – they are real effects that have been seen in laboratories over and over.