A Decades-Long Quest Reveals New Details of Antimatter

It often goes unmentioned that protons, the positively charged matter particles at the center of atoms, are part antimatter. We learn in school that a proton is a bundle of three elementary particles called quarks—two “up” quarks and a “down” quark, whose electric charges (+2/3 and −1/3, respectively) combine to give the proton its charge […]

The Brain’s ‘Background Noise’ May Be Meaningful After All

At a sleep research symposium in January 2020, Janna Lendner presented findings that hint at a way to look at people’s brain activity for signs of the boundary between wakefulness and unconsciousness. For patients who are comatose or under anesthesia, it can be all-important that physicians make that distinction correctly. Doing so is trickier than […]

Don’t Tell Einstein, but Black Holes Might Have ‘Hair’

Identical twins have nothing on black holes. Twins may grow from the same genetic blueprints, but they can differ in a thousand ways—from temperament to hairstyle. Black holes, according to Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity, can have just three characteristics—mass, spin and charge. If those values are the same for any two black holes, it […]

What Dust From Space Tells Us About Ourselves

Every year, roughly 10 particles of space dust land on each square meter of Earth’s surface. “That means that they are everywhere. They are on the streets. They are in your home. You may even have some cosmic dust on your clothes,” said Matthew Genge, a planetary scientist at Imperial College London who specializes in […]