Physics, Astronomy and Space

Phobos-Grunt, grunt. 11 January 2012

The U.S. Didn’t Shoot Down Russia’s Mars Probe. But It Could Have.
Strange accusations from the head of Russia’s space programme, and why they matter.

String theory 5 January 2012

The art and science of making violins
I spent some time with Tom King, a violinmaker in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He uses a combination of craftsmanship and technical analysis to make great-sounding, and beautiful, instruments. He once took several million dollars worth of violins to the hospital to get CAT-scanned.
[Stanford Magazine]

The 40-year itch 5 October 2011

How to build a really awesome spaceship, maybe
Would-be space explorers, scientists, and a couple of crackpots gather at DARPA’s 100-Year Starship Symposium to try to get interstellar travel unstuck.

Salvaging space 1 September 2011

Cleaning up low-Earth-orbit debris might lead to new space technologies.
Why problems are sometimes useful to have.

Weapons in space 16 August 2011
Looking for ET 25 February 2010

Signs of life
As the search for alien life turns 50, its practitioners find new methods

Nuclear forensics 25 February 2010

A weighty matter
How to analyze smuggled uranium

Better engines 18 November 2004

The sparks fly
Electric propulsion for spacecraft

A costly failure 21 October 2004

Why the Genesis probe crashed

Private space exploration 7 October 2004

The X-Prize is claimed

Dodging bullets… 30 September 2004

Far away, so close
A large asteroid sweeps by the Earth. Where are the others?

Foreign atmospheres 23 September 2004

Valuable vapours
How methane on Mars is distributed.

Looking for planets around distant stars 23 September 2004

In search of the Earth Mark II
Terrestrial exoplanets will likely be found soon.

Telescopes in orbit 28 August 2004

X-ray specs
A retrospective on NASA’s Great Observatories, Compton, and Spitzer.

Understanding gravity 21 August 2004

An invisible hand
A gravitational mystery affecting pendulums and satellites–could General Relativity be wrong?

Propulsion 12 August 2004

The heat is on.
A more efficient spacecraft engine.

Quantum oddities 17 June 2004

In the twinkling of an ion
Two groups have succeeded in teleporting quantum states.

Understanding gravity 15 April 2004

Turn, turn, turn
A new satellite, Gravity Probe B, will test Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

Novel computational techniques 1 April 2004

Bit by bit
Developments in quantum computing and chaotic computing

Standard modelling 27 March 2004

Precise in every part
A new measurement of the muon is revealing problems with the standard model of physics.