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Posts Tagged "dark energy"

Critical Opalescence

Is Dark Matter a Glimpse of a Deeper Level of Reality?

Two years ago several of my Sci Am colleagues and I had an intense email exchange over a period of weeks, trying to figure out what to make of a new paper by string theorist Erik Verlinde. I don’t think I’ve ever been so flummoxed by physicists’ reactions to a paper. Mathematically it could hardly [...]

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Life, Unbounded

The Biggest Cosmological Problem Is…

The whole sky (again in Galactic coordinates) seen by Planck (ESA)

…living in a place that makes doing cosmology hard. Let’s backtrack a little. Unless you’ve been living under a particularly thick and insulating rock you’ll know that in recent months the world of experimental cosmology (what would have previously been called observational cosmology, or just plain old astronomy) has been on tenterhooks waiting to see [...]

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Life, Unbounded

This Is What We Don’t Know About The Universe

dont panic.001

In recent days I’ve had some interesting conversations. There’s a giddiness going around, related to an outpouring of science love – the kind you get from President Obama introducing TV science shows, the kind that has wonderful visuals, but is, well, a wee bit simplistic (a sin that none of us could ever, ever be [...]

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Observations

What It’s Like to Carry Your Nobel Prize through Airport Security

Nobel Prize medal

Nine scientists became new Nobel Laureates this week when the 2014 Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, Physics and Physiology or Medicine were announced. Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner won the chemistry prize for improving the microscope; Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura won the physics award for inventing blue light-emitting diode [...]

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Observations

5 Unanswered Questions That Will Keep Physicists Awake at Night

Orion Nebula photo

Physics is all about probing the most fundamental mysteries in nature, so it’s no surprise that physicists have some very basic questions about the universe on their minds. Recently, Symmetry Magazine (published by two U.S.-government funded physics labs) asked a group of particle physicists to name the open questions in physics they most want answers [...]

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Observations

The Real Explosions in the Sky: Supernovae Translated into Music [Video]

Tycho

What does a supernova sound like? Hopefully we will never find out directly—getting within earshot of an exploding star is probably a bad idea. But a pair of researchers has nonetheless devised a way to represent supernovae in an auditory way, and the result is a rather interesting piece of abstract music. University of Victoria [...]

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Plugged In

Dark Energy, Dark Universe

Screen-Shot-2013-12-11-at-7.32.53-AM

Last week, I was delighted to visit one of my favorite places in NYC, the American Museum of Natural History. Over a decade ago, I served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, and it stands out as one of the best ‘jobs’ I’ve had. You cannot run out of things to [...]

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