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Articles on Physics

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Every World Cup, Adidas introduces a new ball, and this year’s is called the Al Rihla. Joern Pollex/FIFA via Getty Images

World Cup: This year’s special Al Rihla ball has the aerodynamics of a champion, according to a sports physicist

Adidas releases a new ball for every World Cup. At the highest level of play, a ball that behaves in unexpected ways can throw players off. A sports physicist explains the science of this year’s ball.
A new particle accelerator at Michigan State University is set to discover thousands of never-before-seen isotopes. Facility for Rare Isotope Beams

Powerful linear accelerator begins smashing atoms – 2 scientists on the team explain how it could reveal rare forms of matter

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.
Marcel Proust on a French postage stamp. Shutterstock

When Marcel Proust talks physics

From electricity to X-rays, the Doppler Effect and even quantum theory, Proust’s writing is littered with physics references.
When two particles are entangled, the state of one is tied to the state of the other. Victor de Schwanberg/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

What is quantum entanglement? A physicist explains the science of Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’

A multitude of experiments have shown the mysterious phenomena of quantum mechanics to be how the universe functions. The scientists behind these experiments won the 2022 Nobel Prize in physics.
TRAPPIST-1e is a rocky exoplanet in the habitable zone of a star 40 light-years from Earth and may have water and clouds, as depicted in this artist’s impression. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Wikimedia Commons

To search for alien life, astronomers will look for clues in the atmospheres of distant planets – and the James Webb Space Telescope just proved it’s possible to do so

Life on Earth has dramatically changed the chemistry of the planet. Astronomers will measure light that bounces off distant planets to look for similar clues that they host life.
A nanographene molecule imaged by noncontact atomic force microscopy. Patrik Tschudin/gross3HR/Wikimedia Commons

What do molecules look like?

A physicist explains how atoms arrange themselves into molecules – and how scientists are able to image these tiny bits of matter that make up everything around you.
Protons and neutrons in an atom’s nucleus can be arranged in different configurations, creating nuclear isomers. KTSdesign/SciencePhotoLibrary via Getty Images

Nuclear isomers were discovered 100 years ago, and physicists are still unraveling their mysteries

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.

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