The calibrated cosmos
Is our universe fine-tuned for the existence of life – or does it just look that way from where we’re sitting?
Scientists used to scan the skies for messages from alien civilisations. Now they go looking for their ruins
If human history turns on the tilt of the multiverse, can we still trust our ideas of achievement, progress and morality?
The wait of the world
Ditching the leap second would mean decoupling clock time from the Earth’s rotation – from day and night itself
Planets in potato fields and asteroids in gravel: how a Maine highway illuminates the strange history of the solar system
Trying to resolve the stubborn paradoxes of their field, physicists craft ever more mind-boggling visions of reality
In the dark
Dark matter is the commonest, most elusive stuff there is. Can we grasp this great unsolved problem in physics?
A binding light
Laser beams can tie themselves in knots, just like electrical cords. But what does this tendency to tangle illuminate?
What life wants
Dead matter has no goals of its own, yet life is constantly striving. That makes it a deep puzzle for physics