Did we just discover new physics? These theoretical physicists don’t think so

When the results of an experiment don’t match predictions made by the best theory of the day, something is off. Fifteen years ago, physicists at Brookhaven National Laboratory discovered something perplexing. Muons – a type of subatomic particle – were moving in unexpected ways that didn’t match theoretical predictions. Was the theory wrong? Was the experiment off? Or, tantalizingly, was […]

The imminent discovery of new forces of nature could change physics as we know it

Seven years ago, a huge magnet was transported over 3,200 miles (5,150km) across land and sea, in the hope of studying a subatomic particle called a muon. Muons are closely related to electrons, which orbit every atom and form the building blocks of matter. The electron and muon both have properties precisely predicted by our current best scientific theory describing […]

Physicists working with Microsoft think the universe is a self-learning computer

A team of theoretical physicists working with Microsoft today published an amazing pre-print research paper describing the universe as a self-learning system of evolutionary laws. In other words: We live inside a computer that learns. The big idea: Bostrom’s Simulation Argument has been a hot topic in science circles lately. We published “What if you’re living in a simulation, but […]

What if you’re living in a simulation, but there’s no computer?

Swedish Philosopher Nick Bostrom’s simulation argument says we might be living in a computer-generated reality. Maybe he’s right. There currently exists no known method by which we could investigate the parameters of our “programming,” so it’s up to each of us to decide whether to believe in The Matrix or not. Perhaps it’s a bit more nuanced than that though. […]

What’s solar geoengineering… and why is it controversial?

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine tackles a controversial question: Is solar geoengineering – an approach designed to cool the Earth by reflecting sunlight back into space or modifying clouds – a potential tool for countering climate change? The report, produced by a committee of 16 experts from diverse fields, does not take a […]