January 2020

Has physicist’s gravity theory solved ‘impossible’ dark energy riddle?

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7 mins read

Prof Claudia de Rham’s ‘massive gravity’ theory could explain why universe expansion is accelerating

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INVISIBILITY SOON ? Meta-materials ? Quantum stealth?

4 mins read

Invisibility has been one of the finest ingredients for wide range of novels and films, from Star trek to Harry potter, from the Invisible man to Lord of the rings and so on. How can one ‘cloak’ or ‘obscure’ an object or even people from an observer’s field of sight? Trying to make invisibility a real phenomenon rather than a myth would have been just hilarious if tried in the early eras of classical physics (Newtonian physics) dominance.

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‘Giant, shape-shifting stars’ spotted near Milky Way’s black hole

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5 mins read

Objects raise hopes of scientists managing to track ‘blobs’ being swallowed by black hole
A number of bizarre shape-shifting objects have been discovered close to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.
The blobs are thought to be giant stars that spend part of their orbits so close to the black hole that they get stretched out like bubble gum before returning to a compact, roughly spherical form.

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Cosmic cats and nuclear blasts: the strange history of interstellar messages

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15 mins read

From Sagan to Tesla, scientists have long puzzled over how to talk to extraterrestrial intelligence.
For the past 200 years, the problem of interstellar communication with an extraterrestrial intelligence has vexed some of the world’s greatest scientists and mathematicians. Carl Friedrich Gauss, the mathematician and inventor of the heliotrope, suggested using a large array of mirrors; Guglielmo Marconi and Nikola Tesla, pioneers of wireless communication, found a solution in radio waves; and John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky, the progenitors of artificial intelligence, wanted to send computers into space as our extraterrestrial envoys.

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Could the theory which predicted gravitational waves be wrong?

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4 mins read
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The detection of gravitational waves scooped the 2017 Nobel physics prize. But in a Perimeter Institute lecture Erik Verlinde proposes a rather different theory of gravity

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Black hole at centre of galaxy is getting hungrier, say scientists

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4 mins read

Scientists say Milky Way’s Sagittarius A* has been more active in recent months. Unseeable and inescapable, black holes already rank among the more sinister phenomena out in the cosmos. So it may come as disconcerting news that the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way appears to be growing hungrier.

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Inside Swamp Works, the NASA Lab Learning to Mine the Moon

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11 mins read

Swamp Works is one of the few places in the world with an enormous test bed that mimics the conditions on the lunar surface. Inspired by Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, the lab responsible for several major aviation breakthroughs, Swamp Works was designed to bring the same agile spirit to NASA. And it’s where Schuler and about a dozen other researchers are prototyping robots to explore and mine the moon. In particular, they’re testing the Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot, or Rassor, a four-wheeled contraption about the size of a motorcycle but only a fraction of the weight.

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String theory and black holes

2 mins read
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A public lecture and interactive webcast by Amanda Peet

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Carlo Rovelli: ‘Time travel is just what we do every day…’

31 mins read

What do you ask the man who knows everything? The theoretical physicist and bestselling author answers questions from famous fans and Observer readers

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