Blog Profile / Symmetry Breaking

Filed Under:Academics / Physics
Posts on Regator:1084
Posts / Week:2.5
Archived Since:December 20, 2008

Blog Post Archive

You keep using that physics word

I do not think it means what you think it means. Physics can often seem inconceivable. It’s a field of strange concepts and special terms. Language often fails to capture what’s really going on within the math and theories. And to make...Show More Summary

Small cat, big science

The proposed International Linear Collider has a fuzzy new ally. Hello Kitty is known throughout Japan as the poster girl (poster cat?) of kawaii, a segment of pop culture built around all things cute. But recently she took on a newShow More Summary

The secret lives of long-lived particles

A theoretical species of particle might answer nearly every question about our cosmos—if scientists can find it. The universe is unbalanced. Gravity is tremendously weak. But the weak force, which allows particles to interact and transform, is enormously strong. Show More Summary

The hunt for the truest north

Many theories predict the existence of magnetic monopoles, but experiments have yet to see them. If you chop a magnet in half, you end up with two smaller magnets. Both the original and the new magnets have “north” and “south” poles.  But...Show More Summary

A tale of two black holes

What can the surprisingly huge mass of the black holes detected by LIGO tell us about dark matter and the early universe? The historic detection of gravitational waves announced earlier this year breathed new life into a theory that’s been around for decades: that black holes created in the first second of the universe might make up dark matter. Show More Summary

Turning on the cosmic microphone

A new tool lets astronomers listen to the universe for the first time. When Galileo first introduced the telescope in the 1600s, astronomers gained the ability to view parts of the universe that were invisible to the naked eye. ThisShow More Summary

CUORE almost ready for first cool-down

The refrigerator that will become the coldest cubic meter in the universe is fully loaded and ready to go. Deep within a mountain in Italy, scientists have finished the assembly of an experiment more than one decade in the making. The...Show More Summary

Universe steps on the gas

A new and puzzling mismatch is forcing astronomers to re-think how well they understand the expansion of the universe. Astronomers think the universe might be expanding faster than expected. If true, it could reveal an extra wrinkleShow More Summary

Our galactic neighborhood

What can our cosmic neighbors tell us about dark matter and the early universe? Imagine a mansion. Now picture that mansion at the heart of a neighborhood that stretches irregularly around it, featuring other houses of different sizes—but all considerably smaller. Show More Summary

Winners declared in SUSY bet

Physicists exchanged cognac in Copenhagen at the conclusion of a bet about supersymmetry and the LHC. As a general rule, theorist Nima Arkani-Hamed does not get involved in physics bets. “Theoretical physicists like to take bets on all kinds of things,” he says. Show More Summary

Five facts about the Big Bang

It’s the cornerstone of cosmology, but what is it all about? Astronomers Edwin Hubble and Milton Humason in the early 20th century discovered that galaxies are moving away from the Milky Way. More to the point: Every galaxy is moving away from every other galaxy on average, which means the whole universe is expanding. Show More Summary

The $100 muon detector

A doctoral student and his adviser designed a tabletop particle detector they hope to make accessible to budding young engineering physicists. When Spencer Axani was an undergraduate physics student, his background in engineering led...Show More Summary

The physics photographer

Fermilab’s house photographer of almost 30 years, Reidar Hahn, shares four of his most iconic shots. Science can produce astounding images. Arcs of electricity. Microbial diseases, blown up in full color. The bones of a long-dead beasts. Show More Summary

#AskSymmetry Twitter chat with Risa Wechsler

See cosmologist Risa Wechsler's answers to readers' questions about dark matter and dark energy. [View the story "#AskSymmetry Twitter Chat with Risa Wechsler - Aug. 9, 2016" on Storify]

Dark matter hopes dwindle with X-ray signal

A previously detected, anomalously large X-ray signal is absent in new Hitomi satellite data, setting tighter limits for a dark matter interpretation.   In the final data sent by the Hitomi spacecraft, a surprisingly large X-ray signal previously seen emanating from the Perseus galaxy cluster did not appear. Show More Summary

Sterile neutrinos in trouble

The IceCube experiment reports ruling out to a high degree of certainty the existence of a theoretical low-mass sterile neutrino. This week scientists on the world’s largest neutrino experiment, IceCube, dealt a heavy blow to theories...Show More Summary

The contents of the universe

How do scientists know what percentages of the universe are made up of dark matter and dark energy? Cosmologist Risa Wechsler of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology explains. Video of d6S4PyJ01IA Have a burning...Show More Summary

LHC bump fades with more data

Possible signs of new particle seem to have washed out in an influx of new data. A curious anomaly seen by two Large Hadron Collider experiments is now looking like a statistical fluctuation. The anomaly—an unanticipated excess of photon...Show More Summary

Higgs boson resurfaces in LHC data

The Higgs appeared in the second run of the LHC about twice as fast as it did in the first. The Higgs boson is peeking out of the new data collected during the second run of the Large Hadron Collider, scientists reported today at the...Show More Summary

Q&A: The future of CERN

CERN’s Director General is enthusiastic about the progress and prospects of the LHC research program, but it’s not the only thing on her plate. Physicist Fabiola Gianotti started her mandate as the fifteenth Director General of CERN on January 1. Show More Summary

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