Physics

Physicist Paul Halpern honors the life and work of Cécile DeWitt-Morette , former Member in the School of Mathematics/Natural Sciences, who died on May 8 at the age of 94, writing: Starting with the bombing of her family’s house in World War II that...
“What is space and time really? Why is the universe really big?” Professor Nima Arkani-Hamed asks. “And on top of that, we don’t understand why there are big things in it.” Part of a family that zigzagged the globe in pursuit, and defense,...
New math shows how, contrary to conventional scientific wisdom, conscious beings and other macroscopic entities might have greater influence over the future than does the sum of their microscopic components. In a recent essay, Erik Hoel , Visitor in the Program in Interdisciplinary Studies,...
What struck me was some regularity in the anomaly. The rotational velocities were not just larger than expected, they became constant with radius. Why? Sure, if there was dark matter, the speed of stars would be greater, but the rotation curves, meaning the rotational speed...
Einstein’s general theory of relativity taught us that the universe is expanding, but we have only recently discovered the pace of that expansion and its consequences. View the video at Business Insider as Robbert Dijkgraaf , Institute Director and Leon...
How does science work? . . . The scientific method—famously objective, logical and eminently reliable; and the fruits of its success, both pure and applied, are the single most obvious factor in distinguishing the varying levels of progress between different human societies throughout history. But...
Lawrence Krauss , Member (2005) in the School of Natural Sciences, asks "What if the world around us is just a shadow of reality?" in the New Yorker 's Elements. ... The notion that the world of our experience is an accident...
Time crystals are hypothetical structures that pulse without requiring any energy—like a ticking clock that never needs winding. The pattern repeats in time in much the same way that the atoms of a crystal repeat in space. The idea was so challenging...
In Quanta 's Abstractions blog, top women in mathematics and physics, including Miranda Cheng , Visitor (2011) in the School of Natural Sciences, Tracy Slatyer , Member (2010–13) in the School, Maria Chudnovsky , Veblen Research Instructor (2003–05) in the School of...
In the 1960s, the charismatic physicist Geoffrey Chew , Member (1956) in the School of Mathematics/Natural Sciences, espoused a radical vision of the universe, and with it, a new way of doing physics, arguing that "Nature is as it is because this is the...
On April 14, 1954, Albert Einstein , one of the Institute's first Faculty members (1933–55), gave the last lecture of his life. Speaking to physics students at Princeton University, he remarked that although quantum mechanics works, “it is difficult to believe that this description...
Steven Weinberg discusses how the development of quantum mechanics in the first decades of the twentieth century came as a shock to many physicists. Today, despite the great successes of quantum mechanics, arguments continue about its meaning, and its future. Read more...