In 2013, the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded jointly to François Englert and Peter W. Higgs for their work on what is now commonly known as the Higgs field and the Higgs boson. The existence of this fundamental particle, responsible for the creation of mass, was confirmed by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in 2012.
By David M. Levinson
Shopping trips now comprise fewer than 9% of all trips, down from 12.5% in 2000, according to our analysis of the Twin Cities Travel Behavior Inventories. This is consistent with other results from the American Time Use Survey. They are down by about one-third in a decade.
By Ayana Young and Georgia Mierswa
NASA posted an update in the last week of December that the international space station would be visible from the New York City area—and therefore the Oxford New York office—on the night of 28 December 2013. While there were certainly a vast number of NASA super fans rushed outside that particularly clear night (this writer included), it’s difficult for recent generations to recall a time when space observations and achievements like this contributed significantly to the cultural zeitgeist.
By Peter Vickers
An important part of life is judging when to be sceptical about scientific claims, and when to trust in those claims and take actions accordingly. Often this comes down to the task of weighing up evidence. But we might think that when the science in question is internally inconsistent, or self-contradictory, we have an easy decision.
By Jessica M. Anna, Gregory D. Scholes, and Rienk van Grondelle
Photosynthesis is responsible for life on our planet, from supplying the oxygen we breathe to the food that we eat. The process of photosynthesis is complex, involving many protein complexes and enzymes that work together in a concerted effort to convert solar energy to chemical bonds.
By Professor Sir Francis Graham-Smith
The Crab Nebula and the pulsar at its centre are endlessly fascinating. The pulsar is a neutron star, with the same mass as our Sun but only the size of a city.
By Istvan Hargittai
The Los Alamos National Laboratory came to life in 1943 as the concluding segment of the Manhattan Project to produce the atomic bombs for the US Army. In August 1945, these bombs were dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
By Victor P. Debattista
The gravity of the Milky Way Galaxy is tearing the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy apart. Stars ripped out of the tiny galaxy have ended up in a stream, which wraps around our own much heavier galaxy.
By Gianfranco Bertone
A quiet turmoil agitates the international scientific community, as cosmology and particle physics discretely inch toward a pivotal paradigm shift.
The giant detectors that have allowed the much celebrated discovery of the Higgs boson, for which the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded this October, now sit quietly in the depths of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider tunnel — barely fitting in their underground hall, like the green apple in Magritte’s painting The Listening Room —
By Jim Baggott
Earlier today the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the award of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics to English theorist Peter Higgs and Belgian François Englert, for their work on the ‘mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles’. This work first appeared in a series of research papers published in 1964.
By Stephen R. Wilk
When reporting on the origin of that science fiction cliché, the ray gun or death ray, most histories cite H.G. Wells’ classic story The War of the Worlds, which first appeared in Pearson’s Magazine between April and December of 1897. Wells was undoubtedly one of the founders of science fiction, striving to create original situations and ideas.
By James O’Brien
Between Edgar Allan Poe’s invention of the detective story with The Murders in the Rue Morgue in 1841 and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes story A Study in Scarlet in 1887, chance and coincidence played a large part in crime fiction. Nevertheless, Conan Doyle resolved that his detective would solve his cases using reason He modeled Holmes on Poe’s Dupin and made Sherlock Holmes a man of science and an innovator of forensic methods.
>By Eric Scerri
After years of lagging behind physics and biology in the popularity stakes, the science of chemistry is staging a big come back, at least in one particular area. Information about the elements and the periodic table has mushroomed in popular culture.
By Matt Dorville
One of the most prolific scientists of all time, Galileo’s life and accomplishments has been studied and written about in detail for centuries. From his discovery of the moons of Jupiter to his fight with Pope Urban VIII, noted authors and playwrights have been fascinated with both Galileo’s life and contributions.
By André Authier
This year celebrates the hundredth anniversary of the first crystal structure determinations. On 30 July 1913, the crystal structure of diamond was published by W. H. and W. L. Bragg, father and son, and those of sodium chloride, potassium chloride, and potassium bromide, by W. L. Bragg, the son.
By Jacob Darwin Hamblin
Fifty years ago, the United States, United Kingdom, and Soviet Union signed a pact to stop testing nuclear bombs in the atmosphere, oceans, and space. As we commemorate the treaty, we will not agree on what to celebrate. There are two sides of the story.