Category Archives: Physics Today

Ancient lightning may have provided the phosphorus necessary for life

On early Earth, lightning strikes created glassy rocks that hosted abundant soluble minerals, which were rich in phosphorus, a vital ingredient in biomolecules. Continue reading

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A tabletop waveguide delivers coherent x rays

The layered anode emits bright, directed beams without the need for mirrors or large-scale accelerators. Continue reading

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Evolutionary insights into shape-shifting proteins

Over millions of years a protein that now folds into two stable structures likely favored first one configuration, then the other, before settling on both. Continue reading

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A tabletop waveguide delivers focused x rays

By simultaneously generating and guiding beams, the layered anode emits x rays in one direction without the need for mirrors or large-scale accelerators. Continue reading

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Evolutionary insights into shape-shifting protein

A protein that has two stable structures likely evolved from an ancestor that had only one. Continue reading

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Railways could double as a tool for probing Earth’s shallow crust

Seismologists prospect for mineral deposits in Canada by recording the humming vibrations from freight trains. Continue reading

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A galactic fast radio burst finally reveals its origin

Observations at multiple wavelengths provide compelling evidence that the first example of a fast radio burst detected in our galaxy came from a magnetized neutron star. Continue reading

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A fast radio burst finally reveals its origins

Observations at multiple wavelengths provide compelling evidence that the first burst detected in our galaxy came from a magnetized neutron star. Continue reading

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Nobel Prize in Physics honors the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the heart of the Milky Way

By tracking the orbits of stars close to the galactic center, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez ruled out all possibilities besides a black hole. Continue reading

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Climate patterns shape forest wildfire recovery

An alternating north–south drought cycle in the western US restricts seedlings’ ability to regenerate after fires. Continue reading

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