Why a physicist wants to build a particle collider on the moon

NASA recently launched the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative whose aim is to find the best future payloads to deliver to the surface of the moon. These payloads would include instruments for basic science investigations. Shown here, a Lockheed Martin space concept for a commercial lunar lander. As we probe deeper into the innermost […]

Growing Anomalies at the Large Hadron Collider Raise Hopes

Recent measurements of particles called B mesons deviate from predictions. Alone, each oddity looks like a fluke, but their collective drift is more suggestive. Computer reconstruction of a collision event in the Large Hadron Collider beauty experiment. The collision produces a B meson, which subsequently decays into other particles that strike LHCb’s detectors. Amid the […]

Even Physicists Don’t Understand Quantum Mechanics

Quantum mechanics, assembled gradually by a group of brilliant minds over the first decades of the 20th century, is an incredibly successful theory. We need it to account for how atoms decay, why stars shine, how transistors and lasers work and, for that matter, why tables and chairs are solid rather than immediately collapsing onto […]

Physicists finally calculated where the proton’s mass comes from

A proton’s mass is more just than the sum of its parts. And now scientists know just what accounts for the subatomic particle’s heft. Protons are made up of even smaller particles called quarks, so you might expect that simply adding up the quarks’ masses should give you the proton’s mass. However, that sum is […]

Inside the plans for Chinese mega-collider that will dwarf the LHC

Physicists at Beijing’s Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) are are designing the world’s biggest particle smasher. If built, the 100-kilometre-circumference facility would dwarf the 27-kilometre Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Europe’s particle-physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland — and would cost around half the price. The ambitious 30-billion-yuan (US$4.3-billion) facility, known as the Circular […]

Universal Quantum Phenomenon Found in Superconductors

A ubiquitous quantum phenomenon has been detected in a large class of superconducting materials, fueling a growing belief among physicists that an unknown organizing principle governs the collective behavior of particles and determines how they spread energy and information. Understanding this organizing principle could be a key into “quantum strangeness at its deepest level,” said […]

“Schrödinger’s Bacterium” Could Be a Quantum Biology Milestone

The quantum world is a weird one. In theory and to some extent in practice its tenets demand that a particle can appear to be in two places at once—a paradoxical phenomenon known as superposition—and that two particles can become “entangled,” sharing information across arbitrarily large distances through some still-unknown mechanism. Perhaps the most famous […]

You thought quantum mechanics was weird: check out entangled time

In the summer of 1935, the physicists Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger engaged in a rich, multifaceted and sometimes fretful correspondence about the implications of the new theory of quantum mechanics. The focus of their worry was what Schrödinger later dubbed entanglement: the inability to describe two quantum systems or particles independently, after they have […]