Model Brains-on-a-Chip Reveal the Physics of Brain Folding

Brains fold in on themselves as they grow. That’s just what they do. How and why they do it is a different story, and studying it requires some pretty interesting science. Science like growing simple mini-brains on a chip under a microscope. Read More >>

Amateur Astronomer Spots Supernova Right as It Begins

Amateur astronomer Victor Buso was testing his camera-telescope setup in Argentina back in September 2016, pointing his Newtonian telescope at a spiral galaxy called NGC613. He collected light from the galaxy for the next hour and a half, taking short exposures to keep out the Santa Fe city lights. When he looked at his images, he realised he’d captured a potential supernova—an enormous flash of light and energy bursting off of a distant star. Read More >>

New Results Challenge Basic Ideas of Supermassive Black Holes

Galaxies have supermassive black holes at their centres—our Milky Way, for example, has its own 4-million-solar-mass one, Sagittarius A*. Some astronomers have previously thought that there’s a simple relationship between the galaxy’s size, the black hole’s mass, and how much light the black hole spits out while it eats up the things surrounding it. But a pair of papers studying the biggest star-eating behemoths imaginable seems to bust up that assumption. Read More >>

Scientists Will Transport Antimatter in a Truck

The antimatter of science fiction vastly differs from the real-life antimatter of particle physics. The former powers spaceships or bombs, while the latter is just another particle that physicists study, one that happens to be the mirror image with the opposite charge of the more familiar particles. Read More >>

This Is the Most Distant Confirmed Supernova Ever Observed

Supernovae are already some of the brightest explosions in the universe—but there’s a more mysterious type, called superluminous supernovae, that can shine a hundred times brighter than the usual ones. And on 22 August 2016, astronomers spotted one whose light travelled over 10 billion years to reach us. Read More >>

Falcon Heavy May Have Drastically Increased the Number of Asteroids We Can Mine

Asteroid mining is about more than just heading up into space and bringing back a rock full of platinum—you actually need to land something on just the right asteroid. Read More >>

Science Reveals Hidden Secrets in Picasso Works

Looking at a Pablo Picasso painting could be confusing itself. But scientists using x-rays have revealed secrets behind both paintings and sculptures of the famed artist. Read More >>

When Will We Finally Find a Truly Earth-Like Exoplanet?

There are many definitions of an Earth-like exoplanet. Some say it’s a planet that orbits a star at just the right distance for liquid water to exist on its surface. Some say it’s a rocky planet, like ours. But determining if an exoplanet is truly habitable requires actually figuring out what’s on the planet. Read More >>

These Asexual Animals Don’t Need Love

Does all the stress of finding a partner get you down? Do you ever wish you could just start a family of your own, with kids that looked just like you, but without all of the trouble of finding another individual to mix sex cells with? Read More >>

There’s Only the Tiniest Chance That Musk’s Tesla Will Crash Back to Earth, but We’ll Take it

By now it’s old news—somewhere in space, there’s a red Tesla Roadster with a spacesuit-wearing dummy in the passenger’s seat. It probably doesn’t drive anymore, and NASA has officially listed it as a celestial object. Read More >>

I Learned the Nerdy Cooking Secrets of Modernist Chefs—And You Can Too

You can cook food worthy of five-star restaurants, even if you’re the most inexperienced cook. You just need to throw a bit of money at your kitchen. It will be wasteful. It will be expensive as hell. But it will taste incredible. I know this because I tried it. I lived the Modernist Cuisine lifestyle. Read More >>

I Went Curling and Not Even Physics Could Save Me

Before I went curling last month with my partner’s family at the Grand Forks Curling Club in North Dakota, I figured that getting the basics down would be simple enough. Push a heavy rock hard enough to get it to the other side of the ice, and that’s it, right? Wrong. I was in for a much more complicated physics lesson than I expected. Here are the basics of gravity and friction, for example: Read More >>

New Silicon Chip-Based Quantum Computer Passes Major Test 

There’s another quantum computer to keep track of in this Wild West era of quantum computing research we’re in. And it uses some parts you might already be familiar with. Read More >>

Scientists Have No Idea Why This Enriched Uranium Particle Was Floating Above Alaska

On August 3, 2016, seven kilometres above Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, a research plane captured something mysterious: an atmospheric aerosol particle enriched with the kind of uranium used in nuclear fuel and bombs. Read More >>

Picture of Single Trapped Atom Wins UK Science Photography Prize

Zoom in close on the centre of the picture above, and you can spot something you perhaps never thought you’d be able to see: a single atom. Here is a close-up if you’re having trouble: Read More >>