Maeve Madigan, Philip Clarke and João Melo explain the central concepts behind the 2019 Physics Nobel Prize. The first half of the prize, awarded for the detection of a planet orbiting a star like our own, teaches us about our cosmological neighbourhood as it is today. The second half, awarded for research on the understanding of our cosmological history, teaches us about where the Universe as we know it came from.
The story of the electron shows that the language of ‘discovery’ in science is misleading and problematic. Instead, we should focus on contextualising significant scientific events more carefully and accurately.
Mrittunjoy Majumdar A network of eight radio telescopes spanning locations in various continents, from Antarctica to Europe and South America, called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) has captured the first image of a black hole ever. In a project that involved more than 200 scientists, the latest achievement of the team marks a milestone in the study of the enigma that black holes are. Einstein’s general relativity first laid the theoretical groundwork for predicting the existence of black
BlueSci presents three perspectives on how scientists have expanded our understanding of science using the greatest laboratory of all – planet Earth. We begin with a piece by Bryony Yates, on using Earth’s biosphere in the study of life. HUMANS HAVE LONG been fascinated with the natural world, as pre-historic paintings of plants and animals so beautifully illustrate. We can trace formal scientific study back to Ancient Greek philosophers, with
Mrittunjoy Guha Majumdar talks Bohmian mechanics, the ‘causal interpretation’ of the strange world of quantum mechanics. Fluid droplets bounce when placed on the surface of a vibrating fluidic bath. A student working at the Matter and Complex Systems Laboratory, National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France discovered this using oil droplets and an oil bath in 2005. The bouncing of the droplets seemed to be guided by an unseen
Maeve Madigan discusses how and why we can leverage Antarctic ice to find some of the most elusive particles in the known Universe.
James Macdonald describes designing a system to control video games with lasers. Each year over 1000 visitors pass through the main doors of the Institute for Manufacturing for the Cambridge Science Festival; around 300 laser-engineers-of‑the-future make it into the laboratories of the Centre for Industrial Photonics. Among the many exhibits was the laser video game controller developed by the MRes Ultra Precision CDT (Centre for Doctoral Training) students. In this
In Search of Quantum Gravity Gianamar Giovannetti-Singh explores the holographic universe Modern fundamental physics consists of two major pillars; general relativity, describing the interactions between matter and spacetime at the largest scales imaginable, and quantum mechanics, the physics governing the behaviour of subatomic particles. Despite each respective theory being tested to an extraordinary degree of accuracy, they are fundamentally incompatible with each other – general relativity predicts continuous spacetime as