Los Alamos National Laboratory/Flickr
Particle accelerators are helping to push forward the frontiers of theoretical physics but they've also had more impact on your everyday life than you realise.
Shaken not stirred …
Getting tellurium and phosphorus to form a molecule is stupidly hard and not very glamorous. Here's why it's worth the effort.
New elements were discovered in early thermonuclear bomb tests.
New elements found in the reactions of nuclear tests during World War II sparked the hunt for additions to the periodic table.
The expanding periodic table of elements.
Shutterstock/Olivier Le Queinec
They might only last for a fraction of a second but four new elements have finally won their place in the periodic table. The hunt is now on to find even more.
The microprocessors on this wafer of silicon have transistors measuring in the nanometres.
As the components in electronic devices are shrinking to the nanoscale, even a single atom out of place can disrupt their function. But this also presents an opportunity to make them even better.
Love is for everyone.
How Paul Dirac, a brilliant but lonely man, found something new and wonderful that had been missing his entire life: love.
Albert Einstein wrestled with unifying gravity with electromagnetism and quantum mechanics until his dying days.
Oren Jack Turner/Wikimedia Commons
After the triumph of general relativity, Albert Einstein spent the rest of his life chasing a unified theory, which eluded him right up until the end.
The fathers of modern physics, including Einstein, Millikan, Planck and others, in debate.
Physicists are working hard to unite Einstein's theory of relativity with quantum mechanics. It's no easy task.
It’s possible that had Einstein not conceived of general relativity, then we’d still be at a loss to explain gravity to this day.
Special relativity was inspired, but it took true genius to conceive of general relativity. Had Einstein not come up with it, it may have taken decades for us to figure it out.
Ice cold physics: hunting for neutrinos in Antarctica.
Sven Lidström, IceCube/NSF
A cubic kilometer of clear, stable ice could help physicists answer big questions about cosmic rays and neutrinos. Hardy scientists collect data via a unique telescope at the frozen bottom of the world.
General relativity didn’t happen overnight, but took several steps to come to fruition.
This month is the centenary of the general theory of relativity. But how did we get from the absolutism of Newton to the relativity of Einstein?
Japanese physicist Takaaki Kajita after he won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics, along with Arthur B McDonald of Canada.
EPA Franck Robichon
On the journey to discovery with the 'gifted mentor' Takaaki Kajita, one of this year's Nobel Prize winners, from some one who studied with him.
Neutrinos, we’re looking for you! Japan’s Super-Kamiokande detector.
Kamioka Observatory, ICRR (Institute for Cosmic Ray Research), The University of Tokyo
They're beyond tiny and super mysterious. Neutrinos are an elemental particle that might just help us understand the structure and evolution of the universe.
Can the arts be a bridge to other worlds?
Is a novella published 130 years ago our best bet for explaining the worlds of 4D and beyond?
Launching a space balloon in Sweden.
Geomagnetic storms can interact with particles near Earth, causing issues for satellites and other tech. Researchers send balloons 20 miles into the sky to figure out just what's going on up there.
Reported "evidence" that the proposed fuel-free "EmDrive" works (and breaks the known laws of physics) is nothing of the sort.
Green lasers glowing within cells.
Matjaž Humar and Seok Hyun Yun
Using fluorescent dye, researchers figured out how to turn cells into lasers – with applications for cell tagging and tracking as well as medical diagnoses and therapies.
Scientists have shed light on light.
Suprising discovery of fundamental property of light could lead to applications in optical communications, metrology and quantum information processing.
Machine to make anything.
The most powerful laser ever built could help us produce a machine that can turn energy into matter.
Isaac Newton was the most famous Lucasian Professor, but many other colourful figures have also occupied ‘Newton’s Chair’.
Some of history's most brilliant scientists have occupied the Lucasian Chair, including Newton, Dirac and Hawking. Others were not so stellar.