The target chamber at the National Ignition Facility has been the site of a number of breakthroughs in fusion physics.
U.S. Department of Energy/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The promise of abundant, clean energy powered by nuclear fusion is one big step closer thanks to a new experiment. The results are a historic scientific milestone, but energy production remains a ways off.
A new particle accelerator at Michigan State University is set to discover thousands of never-before-seen isotopes.
Facility for Rare Isotope Beams
A new particle accelerator has just begun operation. It is the most powerful accelerator of its kind on Earth and will allow physicists to study some of the rarest matter in the universe.
Haikouichthys ercaicunensis based on fossil evidence.
A biologist explains how researchers nail down the age of ancient fossils thanks to a physical process called radioactive decay.
Protons and neutrons in an atom’s nucleus can be arranged in different configurations, creating nuclear isomers.
KTSdesign/SciencePhotoLibrary via Getty Images
Nuclear isomers are rare versions of elements with properties that mystified physicists when first discovered. Isomers are now used in medicine and astronomy, and researchers are set to discover thousands more of them.
Magnetic fusion reactors contain super hot plasma in a donut-shaped container called a tokamak.
dani3315/iStock via Getty Images
In January 2022, the JET fusion experiment produced more power over a longer period of time than any past attempt. Two physicists explain the engineering advancements that made the result possible.
Chien-Shiung Wu’s experiments were instrumental in supporting some of the biggest 20th-century theories in physics.
Bettmann via Getty Images
Chinese American physicist Wu worked on the Manhattan Project and performed groundbreaking experiments throughout her long career.
Anomalies in nuclear physics experiments may show signs of a new force.
A recent experiment with atomic nuclei is hard to square with our current understanding of physics.
Lise Meitner was left off the publication that eventually led to a Nobel Prize for her colleague.
Left off publications due to Nazi prejudice, this Jewish woman lost her rightful place in the scientific pantheon as the discoverer of nuclear fission.
Researchers have identified 3,000 radioactive isotopes – and predict 4,000 more are out there.
Alongside their famous dangers, radioactive materials have many beneficial uses. With as many more predicted as have already been discovered, nuclear physicists are searching for more isotopes.
iThemba LABS provides support for research and training to all universities.
Neutrons can penetrate through matter, which means they can be harnessed for all sorts of important work.
New heavy nuclei are constantly generated in stars and other astronomical bodies.
People long assumed all the elements we see now were created during the Big Bang. But on May 2, 1952, an astronomer reported spotting new elements coming from an old star and changed our origin story.
For the first time, human beings harnessed the power of atomic fission.
By figuring out fission, physicists were able to split uranium atoms and release massive amounts of energy. This Manhattan Project work paved the way both for atomic bombs and nuclear power reactors.
Scientists have finally been able to prove that thunder and lightning drive nuclear reactions.
The sky is the limit for African science when universities work together.
Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters
Collaboration is one of the keys to making African science soar: when the continent’s universities work together, they can produce amazing results.
Straw-necked ibis gather to breed.
Bird feathers can tell us a lot about their owners and the places they visit.
It’s not just about weapons, nuclear science has changed practically everything around us – for the better.
‘Nope, definitely not a Caravaggio.’
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
The identification of fakes and forgeries is a basic issue that has always raised controversy. This is unsurprising, of course – the enormous sums garnered by top paintings would turn to dust as soon as…
True fusion will be way more impressive than this.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Researchers in the US have overcome a key barrier to making nuclear fusion reactors a reality. In results published in Nature, scientists have shown that they can now produce more energy from fusion reactions…