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Science

Essays and videos exploring physics, evolution, cosmology and other frontiers in science
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Physics

What does it look like to hunt for dark matter? Scenes from one frontier in the search

7 minutes

Abstract black-and-white image featuring a spherical shape at the centre surrounded by an intricate web of swirling, crisscrossing lines, creating a three-dimensional effect. The background is dark, enhancing the contrast and emphasising the white lines and central sphere.
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Physics

Imagining spacetime as a visible grid is an extraordinary journey into the unseen

12 minutes

Image of M87 galaxy showing a bright yellowish central core with a jet of blue plasma extending outward into space. The background is filled with faint stars and a hazy, brownish hue
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essay

History of science

His radiant formula

Stephen Hawking’s greatest legacy – a simple little equation now 50 years old – revealed a shocking aspect of black holes

Roger Highfield

A close-up of an orange and black butterfly perched on a leaf with a soft, pastel-coloured background.
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History of ideas

Chaos and cause

Can a butterfly’s wings trigger a distant hurricane? The answer depends on the perspective you take: physics or human agency

Erik Van Aken

Artistic depiction of a black hole with light bending around its event horizon. A bright swirl of light contrasts against the dark background, illustrating the gravitational pull and bending of light.
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video

Physics

The abyss at the edge of human understanding – a voyage into a black hole

4 minutes

A woman with brown hair wearing a dark blazer and light-coloured top is speaking, gesturing with her hand. The background is out-of-focus greenery.
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Cosmology

Tiny, entangled universes that form or fizzle out – a theory of the quantum multiverse

11 minutes

Close-up microscopic view of Diatom plankton with transparent, geometric shapes connected by thin, radiant lines, set against a dark background.
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Metaphysics

Simple entities in universal harmony – Leibniz’s evocative perspective on reality

4 minutes

Illustration of a man in a suit, looking down, with a background of indistinct figures in a hallway. The colours are muted, creating a sombre atmosphere.
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Cosmology

The Indian astronomer whose innovative work on black holes was mocked at Cambridge

13 minutes

An elongated, rocky interstellar object travelling through space with stars in the background, emitting a faint, translucent tail.
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Astronomy

Seven years later, what can we make of our first confirmed interstellar visitor?

59 minutes

Four blue, irregularly shaped objects with black squiggly lines attached, displayed in a sequence against grey and white backgrounds.
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Physics

Is it possible to design a shape to roll along any fixed path?

4 minutes

A circular space station with solar panels and lights orbiting above a planetary surface.
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Space exploration

Mind-bending speed is the only way to reach the stars – here are three ways to do it

5 minutes

An intricate paper snowflake cutout against a dark blue background with stylised trees and grass.
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Physics

Find the building blocks of nature within a single, humble snowflake

4 minutes

Childlike drawing of buildings, a house, pyramids, and a Greek temple on a curved surface under a starry sky with a radiating sun. Stick figures roam between structures.
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Physics

Why the golden age of total solar eclipses is already behind us

5 minutes

Silhouetted man standing by a large window with a view of Saturn’s rings in a dimly lit, elegant restaurant.
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Future of technology

Is this the future of space travel? Take a luxury ‘cruise’ across the solar system

6 minutes

A person in a red jumpsuit playing the trumpet, causing flames along a metal tube to create visible sound waves.
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Physics

A song of ice, fire and jelly – exploring the physics and history of the trumpet

9 minutes

Simulation of particle cloud with a dense yellow centre and three green regions on a black background. Bright blue dot at the very centre.
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Quantum theory

We are not empty

The concept of the atomic void is one of the most repeated mistakes in popular science. Molecules are packed with stuff

Mario Barbatti

Three orange spheres create trails on a sparkling, metallic surface, casting long shadows. The background shimmers in shades of copper and gold.
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Physics

A dreamy tribute to the music of Brian Eno, rendered in paint, soap and water

2 minutes

Four-panel sequence of a sunset with vibrant green and yellow hues on the horizon, transitioning across various stages of visibility against a darkening sky.
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Physics

Why does the Sun occasionally flash green as it eclipses the horizon?

7 minutes

Abstract depiction of two galaxies, one on the left with spiral arms and bright centre, and one on the right with swirling patterns and luminous core.
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Physics

There’s a striking link between quantum and astronomic scales. What could it mean?

5 minutes

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Quantum theory

Untangling entanglement

Why does the quantum world behave in that strange, spooky way? Here’s our simple, four-step explanation (no magic needed)

Huw Price & Ken Wharton

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Biology

The key to geckos’ unrivalled climbing skills isn’t sticky feet. It’s subatomic

4 minutes

Photograph of a small green frog with bright red eyes sitting on the edge of a green leaf, surrounded by darkness.
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Physics

Time is an object

Not a backdrop, an illusion or an emergent phenomenon, time has a physical size that can be measured in laboratories

Sara Walker & Lee Cronin

A moody seascape painting featuring a dark cliff on the right, a calm sea, and a starry night sky, all rendered in dark, cool blue tones.
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Quantum theory

All is One

The ancient philosophy of monism and the physics of quantum entanglement agree: all that exists is one unified whole

Heinrich Päs

Abstract sculpture of a human head with intricate lines extending from the top against a green background, encircled by two semi-transparent rings.
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Philosophy of mind

We may never settle the ‘free will’ debate, but tapping into it is still worthwhile

32 minutes