When black holes met

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 was awarded to Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves”.

Diary of a Researcher: Recreating the conditions of space at our fingertips

In part 3 of our Diary of a Researcher series, we take a look at how Imperial physicists are recreating the conditions of space, on Earth.

And the Nobel Prize goes to…

It’s that time of year when outstanding advances in science are acknowledged and celebrated by awarding the Nobel prizes. Here’s all you need to know about the science behind the prizewinners. Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine This year, the Nobel Prize for medicine has been awarded to Japanese cell biologist, Yoshinori Ohsumi. The 71 […]

Invisibility cloaking – hiding a whole new world

The idea of invisibility cloaking – being able to hide things from view – has been a point of interest to humans for thousands of years. Plato wrote in The Republic about The Ring of Gyges which allowed the wearer to become invisible. Within nature there are many different species of creatures that have evolved […]

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 […]

News round-up: Space-Age China, In-Utero Surgery, Signing Physics, Sexist Science & H5N1 Published

Chinese astronauts reach orbiting space lab Image: Xinhua/Wang Yongzhuo via Xinhuanet China’s Shenzhou 9 rocket – which last week became the first Chinese mission to carry a female astronaut – has successfully docked with the orbiting Tiangong-1 station 340 km (210 miles) above the Earth. The arrival of the three crewmembers marks the first time […]

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 […]

Video: What Is Science Communication?

“This video is the result of a workshop run for the Imperial College Science Communication Group. It represents 12 hours of intensive work from 16 Imperial College students and 4 technical assistants, including the fabulous TortoiseButler who edited the piece together.” Thanks to Morag Hickman! Watch on Vimeo here. More > Check out GM from […]

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 1)

The Thermodynamic “Arrow of Time” in Physics (And to a Lesser Extent, in Snooker) PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 He reached toward the ash tray on the desk, selected the shortest – and hence best – cigarette butt, dabbed it against the ceramic surface until it began to burn, then lifted it […]

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 […]

A world bubbling over with bubbles

The most recent financial crisis caused by the housing bubble, which popped as subprime mortgages in the US and many Western European countries defaulted, has been having dramatic consequences in many aspects of Western Europe and US economies such as high rate of unemployment and economical policies based on ”cut if you can”. Stock market […]

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 […]

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), […]