News Round-up: Higgs (probably), Dark Matter’s skeleton, Private Asteroid Detective, TV-Powered GPS, Libel Dismissed

Higgs boson found … probably Image: CERN Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva have announced the discovery of a new elementary particle consistent with the Higgs boson. The announcement, given to a packed auditorium at CERN and broadcast live over the Internet, was met with standing ovations from scientists across the world. Although […]

A New Particle – But is it Higgs?

CERN announces discovery of new particle – but is it Higgs? Earlier this morning, physicists working at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva announced that they had discovered a new particle. At this stage, the characteristics of this particle appear to be in-keeping with what we would expect to observe if it were the […]

News round-up: New elements, Olympicene, Venus, SpaceX & Neutrinos

Guest contributor Conor McKeever kicks off our new fortnightly round-up of the key science news of the last few weeks. Two more place cards at the Periodic Table Video: youtube | periodicvideos Scientists have officially named two elements whose discoveries were announced last year. Element 114, first detected in 1999 by scientists at Russia’s Joint […]

The Arrow of Time (Part 3)

The Thermodynamic “Arrow of Time” in Physics (And to a Lesser Extent, in Snooker) PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 Special Boxes Although every point in phase space corresponds to a different, unique arrangement of the particles, we can impose some organization on the space as a whole. Let’s imagine dividing it into […]

The Arrow of Time (Part 2)

The Thermodynamic “Arrow of Time” in Physics (And to a Lesser Extent, in Snooker) PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 Jiggling Particles Let’s look again at the third film. The rolling ball possesses an initial kinetic energy, which gradually dissipates away through friction: the particles in the fabric that the ball travels over, […]

Have We Found the Higgs Boson?

The furore surrounding the world-famous Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will reach its peak tomorrow when particle physicists working at CERN are expected to reveal whether or not they have found the elusive Higgs Boson, or ‘God’ particle. A theoretical necessity in keeping our postulated ‘standard model‘ of particle physics, scientists have been accelerating and colliding […]

1932: Physics goes ‘Anti’ – Part I

The word “anti” comes from ancient Greek, which literally translates as “against” or “opposite to” and nowadays is very commonly used in many contexts from social-politics (anti-social, anti-capitalism) to medicine (antibiotics, antidepressive) and even religion (Antichrist). In 1932 “anti” prefix officially entered in the world of physical science. Carl Anderson in Pasadena, California, had started […]

The Elusive Element 118

This is the first of  a series of posts looking back at the science news of 10 years ago. Read on to see how much things have changed (or perhaps how much they haven’t). In August 1999 Physical Review Letters, one of the most prestigious journals in physics, published a report from a US team […]

Tiny terabytes – storing data in a single molecule

Storage of larger and larger quantities of data is constantly taking up smaller and smaller amounts of physical space. But what about storing data in a single molecule? Since the early 1990s single molecule magnets (SMMs) have been explored as a means of data storage and recent research at the University of Nottingham has produced […]

Proofing the pudding

For something so small, it’s not shy of a big theory. In fact, the atom and its activity have a long history in the world of theoretical science, punctuated by the ideas of many a perplexed physicist. The birth of atomic theory takes us way, way back to ancient Greek times. Here, Democritus (460–370 BC), […]

Lurking in the dark

Science has a long-standing tradition of making more powerful microscopes, detectors and other instruments in its quest for greater understanding. From the first suggestion of the existence of atoms, to the high-energy probing taking place at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) today, it is clear that science aims to unearth the absolute foundations of nature […]