Symmetry

Symmetry has launched a brand new magazine. We’ve simplified and updated our webpages to help you find what you’re looking for, to guide your attention to our best art and photography, and to give you a better reading experience.

Deep in the dense core of a black hole, protons and electrons are squeezed together to form neutrons, sending ghostly particles called neutrinos streaming out. Matter falls inward. In the textbook case, matter rebounds and erupts, leaving a neutron star. But sometimes, the supernova fails, and there’s no explosion; instead, a black hole is born. Scientists hope to use neutrino experiments to watch a black hole form.

Ghostlike subatomic particles called neutrinos could hold clues to some of the greatest scientific questions about our universe: What extragalactic events create ultra-high-energy cosmic rays? What happened in the first seconds following the big bang? What is dark matter made of?

Finding a small discrepancy in measurements of the properties of neutrinos could show us how they fit into the bigger picture. One of those properties is a parameter called theta13. Theta13 relates deeply to how neutrinos mix together, and it’s here that scientists have seen the faintest hint of disagreement from different experiments.

It survived a month-long journey over 3,200 miles, and now the delicate and complex electromagnet is well on its way to exploring the unknown. The Muon g-2 ring has successfully cooled down to operating temperature and powered up, proving that even after a decade of inactivity, it remains a vital and viable scientific instrument.

Scientists think that a Higgs force does exist. But it’s the Higgs boson’s relationship to that force that makes it a bit of a black sheep. It’s the reason that, when the Higgs is added to the Standard Model of particle physics, it’s often pictured apart from the rest of the boson family.