Particle physics is driven by surprise. Researchers in the 1960s studying tiny but ubiquitous particles called neutrinos found only a fraction of what they expected to be in their detector. That unexpected result eventually led to the discovery that neutrinos are shape-shifters, oscillating between three types as they travel. In this stop-motion video, Symmetry writer Zack Savitsky imagines a painter discovering a similar surprise among his art supplies.
Sensors for the world’s largest digital camera have snapped their first 3,200-megapixel images at SLAC. Crews at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory took the photo with an extraordinary array of imaging sensors that will become the heart and soul of the future camera of Vera C. Rubin Observatory.
While we’ve known about neutron stars for the better part of a century, astrophysicists still aren’t entirely sure how large they are. That uncertainty is related to two other unanswered questions: What’s in the middle of neutron stars, and how massive can they grow? Astrophysicists are combining multiple methods to reveal the secrets of some of the weirdest objects in the universe.
Three physicists share their experiences learning and communicating physics in a foreign language: English. Because of English’s hegemony in science and the world, aspiring scientists in non-English-speaking countries must learn English in school to pursue a career in science. In some cases, science classes are even taught entirely in English.