Physics

Without more data, a black hole’s origins can be ‘spun’ in any direction

An MIT study finds that, for now, the catalog of known black hole binaries does not reveal anything fundamental about how black holes form. Pictured is a simulation of the light emitted by a supermassive black hole binary system where the surrounding gas is optically thin (transparent). Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Clues to …

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Large Hadron Collider Beauty releases first set of data to the public

LHCb event display from 2011 showing a B meson decaying into a muon and antimuon pair. Credit: CERN The Large Hadron Collider Beauty (LHCb) experiment at CERN is the world’s leading experiment in quark flavor physics with a broad particle physics program. Its data from Runs 1 and 2 of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) …

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‘I have no idea what all this means’: Nobel Laureate John F. Clauser on his long road to proving quantum entanglement

On Oct. 4, 80-year-old John F. Clauser woke up in his California home to the news that he had been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics. He will receive the prize at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, on Dec. 10 together with Anton Zeilinger and Alain Aspect for their work on quantum entanglement. It was …

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In a world first, physicists move light back and forth in time simultaneously

What is a “quantum time flip”? Two independent teams of scientists conducted their experiments side by side and achieved what they describe as a “quantum time flip”, in which a photon exists both in forward and backward time states at the same time. Essentially, this was achieved via the convergence of quantum superposition and charge, …

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The Multiverse is real — just not in the way you think it is

SEAN CARROLL: There’s no question the multiverse is having a kind of moment in popular culture. You know, Marvel movies have been leaning into it. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” various Spider-Man movies, but also “Rick and Morty” and “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” You might think it’s the fault of physics because …

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‘Solar Twins’ Reveal the Consistency of the Universe

Sometimes we must look to the heavens to understand our own planet. In the 17th century, Johannes Kepler’s insight that planets move in elliptical orbits around the sun led to a deeper understanding of gravity, the force that determines Earth’s tides. In the 19th century, scientists studied the color of sunlight, whose distinctive properties helped …

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How far has nuclear fusion power come? We could be at a turning point for the technology

Our society faces the grand challenge of providing sustainable, secure and affordable means of generating energy, while trying to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to net zero around 2050. To date, developments in fusion power, which potentially ticks all these boxes, have been funded almost exclusively by the public sector. However, something is changing. Private equity …

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Tidal disruption event J150052 was caused by a rapidly spinning intermediate-mass black hole, study finds

Long–term lightcurve of J150052 starting from 2008. Credit: Cao et al, 2022 Using NASA’s Chandra and ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescopes, astronomers from the Radboud University in the Netherlands and elsewhere have conducted X-ray observations of a tidal disruption event designated 3XMM J150052.0+015452, or J150052 for short. The results show that J150052 was triggered by a …

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‘Early dark energy’ could explain the crisis in cosmology

The cosmic distance ladder, the solar system to the stars to nearby galaxies to distant ones, is used to measure the Hubble constant. Credit: NASA/ESA/A. Feild (STScI)/A. Riess (JHU)). In 1916, Einstein finished his theory of general relativity, which describes how gravitational forces alter the curvature of spacetime. Among other things, this theory predicted that …

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