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Articles on Physics

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Experiments at the Large Hadron Collider in Europe, like the ATLAS calorimeter seen here, are providing more accurate measurements of fundamental particles. Maximilien Brice

2021: a year physicists asked, ‘What lies beyond the Standard Model?’

Physicists know a lot about the most fundamental properties of the universe, but they certainly don’t know everything. 2021 was a big year for physics – what was learned and what’s coming next?
Headphone designers have to balance scientific limitations with human preferences. Vladimir Godnik via Getty Images

Great headphones blend physics, anatomy and psychology – but what you like to listen to is also important for choosing the right pair

There is a lot to consider when buying a new pair of headphones. A professional musician and acoustics researcher explains how the science of sound and quirks of human hearing make for a great listening experience.
It only takes light about eight minutes to go from the Sun to Earth. loops7/E+ via Getty Images

Have we made an object that could travel 1% the speed of light?

The fastest things ever made by humans are spacecraft, and the fastest spacecraft reached 330,000 mph – only 0.05% the speed of light. But there are ways to go faster.
The Earth’s weather and climate interactions form one of the most complex systems imaginable. NASA/Joshua Stevens/Earth Observatory via Flickr

Winners of 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics built mathematics of climate modeling, making predictions of global warming and modern weather forecasting possible

Modern climate and weather models can predict what the weather will be next week and what the climate may be in 100 years. They would not exist without Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann and Giorgio Parisi.
The James Webb Space Telescope is the biggest orbital telescope ever built and is scheduled to be launched into space on Dec. 18, 2021. NASA/Desiree Stover

James Webb Space Telescope: An astronomer on the team explains how to send a giant telescope to space – and why

The largest orbital telescope ever made will allow astronomers to study the atmospheres of alien planets, learn about how stars form in the Milky Way and peer into the farthest reaches of the universe.

Is space infinite? We asked 5 experts

The universe has a finite age — 13.8 billion years to be exact. So if it had a beginning, why is it so difficult to say for sure whether it will have an end?
Scientists have been studying lunar samples brought back from Apollo missions to understand the geologic history of the Moon. NASA

Moon lacked a magnetic field for nearly all its history – new research resolves mystery sparked by rocks brought back on Apollo

Without a magnetic field, the Moon’s surface is exposed to solar wind. These could have been depositing resources like water and potential rocket fuel on the Moon’s surface for billions of years.
Gravity feels like it’s pulling everything toward Earth, but why? AdventurePhoto/E+ via WikimediaCommons

Why does gravity pull us down and not up?

Gravity is something every person on Earth intuitively understands: It is what keeps you on the ground. But how come gravity pulls down, rather than pushes up? Einstein came up with the answer.

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