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.
The dispute between Philipp Lenard and Albert Einstein sheds considerable light on the power of nonscientific concerns to sway scientists.
NASA via Wikimedia Commons
Scientists are not always as scientific as many suppose. Recent well-publicized cases of scientific fraud prove that scientists can be as susceptible to the allures of wealth, power and fame as politicians…
The Greatest Mind You’ve Never Heard Of.
The 13th century polymath Robert Grosseteste was ahead of his time when it came to understanding light, colour and the universe itself.
Running the world's largest particle accelerator requires a lot of energy, but it could reveal the secrets of the universe.
An artist’s impression of the much-searched for magnetic monopole.
Heikka Valja/MoEDAL Collaboration
The restart of experiments at CERN's Large Hardron Collider could mark the start of a new era of discovery or a big disappointment.
Gearing up for another run.
CERN's huge particle accelerator has been switched back on after a two-year upgrade to continue its search for answers.
Wide-eyes: the Square Kilometre Array in the Karoo in South Africa.
The Square Kilometre Array is the world's largest telescope – what will it do and how does it work?
Magnets have mysterious powers – now shown to influence heat and sound.
Magnet image via www.shutterstock.com.
Sound waves are made of particles called phonons. New research shows they're affected by magnetic fields, with researchers able to steer heat magnetically.
A 3D artist has dissected the LHC in this composite image, showing a cut-out section of a superconducting dipole magnet. The beam pipes are represented as clear tubes, with counter-rotating proton beams shown in red and blue.
The Large Hadron Collider is ramping up to probe even deeper into the fundamental constituents of matter.