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National Public Radio (NPR)

NPR’s Nell Greenfieldboyce spotlights how LIGO has helped to usher in a “big astronomy revolution” that is allowing scientists to listen to the universe. “The exciting thing is when you've got a new instrument, you know, a brand-new way of looking at things,” says Greenfieldboyce, “you don't know what you might detect that you never even thought of because until now, you just weren't able to look at the universe in this way.”

New York Times

Former MIT Professor Steven Weinberg, “a theoretical physicist who discovered that two of the universe’s forces are really the same,” has died at age 88, reports Dylan Loeb McClain for The New York Times.

Popular Mechanics

Researchers from MIT and other institutions have been able to observationally confirm one of Stephen Hawking’s theorems about black holes, measuring gravitational waves before and after a black hole merger to provide evidence that a black hole’s event horizon can never shrink, reports Caroline Delbert for Popular Mechanics. “This cool analysis doesn't just show an example of Hawking's theorem that underpins one of the central laws affecting black holes,” writes Delbert, “it shows how analyzing gravitational wave patterns can bear out statistical findings.”

TopUniversities.com

Provost Marty Schmidt speaks with TopUniversities.com reporter Chloe Lane about how MIT has maintained its position as the top university in the world on the QS World University Rankings for 10 consecutive years. “I am honored to have been a part of the MIT community for almost 40 years,” says Schmidt. “It’s a truly interdisciplinary, collaborative, thought-provoking place that encourages experimentation and pushes you to expand your mind. I think it’s a wonderful place to call home.”

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that LIGO researchers have cooled a human-scale object to a near standstill. "One of the questions that we might be able to answer is: 'Why do large objects not naturally appear in quantum states?' There are various conjectures for why that might be; some say that gravity -- which acts strongly on larger objects -- might be responsible," explains Prof. Vivishek Sudhir. "We now have a system where some of these conjectures can be experimentally tested.”

Gizmodo

LIGO researchers have nearly frozen the motion of atoms across four mirrors used to detect ripples in space-time, reports Isaac Schultz for Gizmodo. “We could actually use the same capability of LIGO to do this other thing, which is to use LIGO to measure the random jiggling motion of these mirrors—use that information which we have about the motion—and apply a counteracting force, so that you know you would stop the atoms from moving,” says Prof. Vivishek Sudhir.

New Scientist

New Scientist reporter Leah Crane writes that a set of mirrors at LIGO have been cooled to near absolute zero, the largest objects to be brought to this frigid temperature. “The goal of this work is to help explain why we don’t generally see macroscopic objects in quantum states, which some physicists have suggested may be due to the effects of gravity,” writes Crane.

CNN

CNN reporter Ashley Strickland writes about how researchers from the CHIME collaboration have announced that they have detected over 500 fast radio bursts (FRBs) using a radio telescope in Canada. "With all these sources, we can really start getting a picture of what FRBs look like as a whole, what astrophysics might be driving these events, and how they can be used to study the universe going forward," explains graduate student Kaitlyn Shin.

Nature

Scientists from the CHIME Collaboration, including MIT researchers, have reported that the radio telescope has detected more than 500 fast radio bursts in its first year of operation, reports Davide Castelvecchi for Nature. The findings suggest that these events come in two distinct types. “I think this really just nails it that there is a difference,” says Prof. Kiyoshi Masui.

The Boston Globe

The CHIME radio telescope has catalogues more than 500 fast radio bursts (FRBs), which could be used to help map the universe, reports Charlie McKenna for The Boston Globe. FRBs are “kind of like lighthouses or sonar pings,” explains graduate student Calvin Leung, “and for the very first time we’ve shown that we can detect them in large enough quantities that you can really use them to make statements like, ‘Oh, the universe is expanding at this rate,’ or ‘This is how much matter there is in the whole universe.’”

Inverse

Inverse reporter Passant Rabie explores how the CHIME radio telescope has identified more than 500 fast radio bursts in its first year of operation, providing clues as to the structure of the universe. “With enough of them, they are going to be the ultimate tool for mapping the universe,” says Prof. Kiyoshi Masui.

Axios

Axios reporter Miriam Kramer writes that a new study co-authored by MIT researchers suggests that all black holes go through a similar cycle when feeding, whether they are big or small. “Black holes are some of the most extreme objects found in our universe,” writes Kramer. “By studying the way they grow, scientists should be able to piece together more about how they work.”

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Charlie McKenna writes that a new study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that the way black holes evolve as they consume material is the same, no matter their size. “What we’re demonstrating is, if you look at the properties of a supermassive black hole in the cycle, those properties are very much like a stellar-mass black hole,” says research scientist Dheeraj “DJ” Pasham. The findings mean “black holes are simple, and elegant in a sense.”

The Academic Times

Academic Times reporter Monisha Ravisetti writes that a new study by physicists from a number of institutions, including MIT, finds that supermassive black holes devour gas just like their smaller counterparts. “This is demonstrating that, essentially, all black holes behave the same way,” says research scientist Dheeraj “DJ” Pasham. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a 10 solar mass black hole or a 50 million solar mass black hole – they appear to be acting the same way when you throw a ball of gas at it.”

New Scientist

New Scientist reporter Leah Crane writes that researchers from the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave observatories have potentially detected primordial black holes that formed in the early days of the universe. “When I started this, I was expecting that we would not find any significant level of support for primordial black holes, and instead I got surprised,” says Prof. Salvatore Vitale.