theoretical physics

16 Stories

How Dark Matter Could End Life on Earth

By hurling comets at our planet: Harvard study

(Newser) - Dark matter seems to hold galaxies snugly together across the universe—but it could also hurl comets at Earth and threaten our entire species, according to a new study . This is based on a theory that there's a huge disk of dark matter lying on the central plane of... More »

All the Universe Is ... Just a Hologram?

New physics research might prove Maldacena's hologram theory

(Newser) - Prepare for a head trip: The universe may actually be a hologram and everything you see an illusion, according to new research that could prove gravity comes from thin, vibrating strings—holograms of events in a simpler, flatter cosmos. It was an idea first put forth by physicist Juan Maldacena... More »

Scientists in Catfight to Rename Higgs

Name makes Peter Higgs a 'rock star,' fellow theorist complains

(Newser) - Amid rumors that this year's Nobel Prize for Physics will go to the Higgs boson theory, some scientists say the particle's name should be changed so that all the glory doesn't go to British physicist Peter Higgs. At a press conference last year to announce the particle'... More »

'Tiny Bubble' May Gobble Up the Universe

Higgs boson finding supports theory of 'vacuum instability'

(Newser) - Thanks, Higgs boson: Looks like the particle's tiny mass is proof that the universe will one day be vacuumed up and replaced by another universe, the BBC reports. That is, if the Large Hadron collider really has spotted the Higgs boson . Calling their discovery "Higgs-like" for now, physicists... More »

Einstein's Brain Shows Why He Was So Smart

Study shows that his gray matter had extra folds

(Newser) - Albert Einstein had quite the advantage in contemplating the universe, according to a new study . Photographs of his brain reveal unusually complex folding patterns in several areas, particularly his frontal lobes, which are linked to planning and abstract thought, LiveScience reports. "It's a really sophisticated part of the... More »

Scientists Hunt for Smallest Objects in Existence

Superstring theory could help us measure one

(Newser) - The tiniest thing in the universe is not a grain of sand, as people once thought, nor a proton or neutron, or even a quark or electron—as small as they all are. In fact, experts today balk at naming any point-like object "the smallest" because of a theoretical... More »

Neutrons Jump Into Mirror Universe: Scientists

Magnetic field seems to induce particle vanishings

(Newser) - A universe right next door may be stealing our neutrons, or at least giving them quickie vacations, Science Daily reports. A pair of theoretical physicists in Italy came to this conclusion after analyzing the "loss rate" of certain neutrons in a French experiment. The vanishings seemed to depend on... More »

Einstein Safe: Neutrinos Do Not Break Light Speed

New experiment shows particles at identical speed with light

(Newser) - Einstein's theory apparently remains untouchable, and flabbergasted theoretical physicists can cease hyperventilating: Neutrinos do not exceed the speed of light, but they do appear to travel at the same speed as light, according to the results of a recent experiment. The new data confirm Einstein's foundational ideas and... More »

'God Particle' Hunters Set to Bare Results Today

Physicists' understanding of the universe is at stake

(Newser) - Christmas may be about to come early for the world's physicists. Two competing teams of scientists who have been sifting through data from CERN's Large Hadron Collider will give a progress report today. Scientists caution that there won't be any firm answer on whether the Higgs boson... More »

Glimpse of 'God Particle' Nigh?

Scientists may be just days from spotting mysterious Higgs Boson particle

(Newser) - The Higgs boson "God particle" may or may not exist, and physicists at the Large Hadron Collider may or may not be close to spotting it, but one thing is clear: There are some very excited scientists at CERN. Rumors that the elusive particle believed to endow matter with... More »

Scientists Spot Signs of 'Shadow' Universes

Space telescope testing 'multiverse' theory

(Newser) - Scientists who believe our universe is just one of many have found a way to put their theory to the test. The "multiverse" theory holds that our universe is in a bubble of space and time drifting in a sea of other "bubble universes." Cosmologists say that... More »

CERN Quashes ‘God Particle’ Rumors

Leaked memo just one of many, atom-smashers say

(Newser) - The atom-smashers at CERN have quelled rumors that the elusive Higgs boson "God particle" has been found. A leaked internal memo that suggested detectors at the Large Hadron Collider had found signs of the particle caused excitement when it was posted on a science blog, but CERN says nothing... More »

Collider Scientists Launch 'Mini Big Bang'

Experiment generates highest temperatures ever achieved

(Newser) - Scientists have used the Large Hadron Collider to smash together lead ions and create a "mini Big Bang" for the first time. The ions collided at close to the speed of light, creating temperatures a million times hotter than the heart of the sun. The "soup" of subatomic... More »

Scientists Find Music in 'God Particle'

LHC data used to mimic sound of Higgs boson collision

(Newser) - Scientists searching for the elusive Higgs boson "God particle" have devised a way to listen for it. Data from the Large Hadron Collider have been used to predict the sounds that will be made by sub-atomic particles like the Higgs as they collide. The results are surprisingly melodic, a... More »

'God Particle' Might Really Be 5 God Particles

Fermilab experiment produces results standard physics can't explain

(Newser) - The Large Hadron Collider scientists searching for the Higgs boson "God particle" that explains the mysteries of the universe should be looking for five different particles, according to their rival atom-smashers in the US. Fermilab researchers in Illinois colliding protons and anti-protons found that the smashes yielded matter particles... More »

Physicists: Bird From the Future Damaged Collider

Theory says the universe is sabotaging the big experiment

(Newser) - CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is having a tough time getting on its feet—construction delays, birds, etc.—but now two physicists have a novel theory about why: The experiment is so “abhorrent” to God, or nature, that the universe is conspiring to sabotage it. When scientists get... More »

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