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Science

Essays and videos exploring physics, evolution, cosmology and other frontiers in science
Cogitating black holes | Aeon
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essay

Cosmology

Cogitating black holes

The Universe cannot always be understood through observation. Instead, physicists explore by devising thought experiments

Michael Dine

The Boltzmann brain paradox | Aeon
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video

Logic and probability

Is it more likely you’re a person with a past, or an ephemeral brain in a void?

6 minutes

Dark horses in the cosmos | Aeon
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essay

Cosmology

Dark horses in the cosmos

Could primordial black holes from the beginning of time explain ‘dark matter’, the mysterious missing mass in the Universe?

Briley Lewis

Powers of ten, updated | Aeon
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video

Cosmology

Revisiting ‘Powers of Ten’ – what we’ve learned about the Universe since 1977

7 minutes

The search for alien tech | Aeon
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essay

Cosmology

The search for alien tech

There’s a new plan to find extraterrestrial civilisations by the way they live. But if we can see them, can they see us?

Corey S Powell

ORIGINALCosmology in the dark | Aeon
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video

Cosmology

Building ‘bigger and better’ has pushed cosmology forward. Can it take it any further?

7 minutes

A non-Standard model | Aeon
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essay

Cosmology

A non-Standard model

Most cosmologists say dark matter must exist. So far, it’s nowhere to be found. A widely scorned rival theory explains why

David Merritt

Contact | Aeon
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essay

Astronomy

Contact

An alien-made artefact or just interstellar debris? What ʻOumuamua says about how science works when data is scarce

Matthew Bothwell

The cosmic chasm | Aeon
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essay

Physics

The cosmic chasm

Physics as we know it is elegant and exquisitely accurate. It tells almost nothing about the deepest riddles of the Universe

Pedro G Ferreira

Roger Penrose: Why did the Universe begin? | Aeon
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video

Cosmology

A cyclical, forgetful Universe – Roger Penrose details an astonishing origin hypothesis

17 minutes

Big space | Aeon
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essay

Cosmology

Big space

Our planet is a tiny porthole, looking over a cosmic sea. Can we learn what lies beyond our own horizons of perception?

Katie Mack

Does dark matter exist? | Aeon
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essay

Astronomy

Does dark matter exist?

Dark matter is the most ubiquitous thing physicists have never found: it’s time to consider alternative explanations

Ramin Skibba

As above | Aeon
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video

Chemistry

As above, so below – an artist finds the cosmos in a microscopic chemical reaction

6 minutes

Naming the Universe | Aeon
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essay

History of science

Naming the Universe

How the quick thinking of internationally minded astronomers avoided stamping the solar system with petty European rivalries

Stephen Case

Mercury in transit | Aeon
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video

Astronomy

Watch the rare, awesome spectacle as Mercury passes between the Earth and Sun

1 minute

Mary-Jane Rubenstein: multiverses, pantheism and ecology | Aeon
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video

Philosophy of religion

If you think that modern cosmology leaves no room for ‘god’, start using your imagination

27 minutes

Fate of the Universe | Aeon
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essay

Cosmology

Fate of the Universe

Are we part of a dying reality or a blip in eternity? The value of the Hubble Constant could tell us which terror awaits

Corey S Powell

Einstein’s biggest blunder | Aeon
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video

Cosmology

Turns out that, even when Einstein was wrong, he was kind of right

6 minutes

The comet | Aeon
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video

Space exploration

How the Rosetta space probe brings a distant comet into vivid focus

3 minutes

Impossible muons | Aeon
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video

Physics

Extremely small and incredibly fast, muons offer amazing proof of special relativity

5 minutes

The cosmic now | Aeon
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essay

Cosmology

The cosmic now

Are you here now? Impossible to say. The idea that any group of events can truly happen at once is just an illusion

Anthony Aguirre

Monsters in the dark | Aeon
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essay

Astronomy

Monsters in the dark

The Universe’s biggest galaxies could hold the key to the birth of the cosmos. Why are these behemoths so hard to find?

Matthew Bothwell

Curving the Universe | Aeon
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essay

History of science

Curving the Universe

A century ago, a team of scientists chased the arc of starlight across a total eclipse to prove Einstein right on relativity

Matthew Stanley

A revolution in time | Aeon
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essay

History of ideas

A revolution in time

Once local and irregular, time-keeping became universal and linear in 311 BCE. History would never be the same again

Paul J Kosmin