Physics Feature

A long way from everything: The search for a Grand Unified Theory

The recent confirmation of gravity waves observed by the LIGO project represents a huge breakthrough in physics, verifying Albert Einstein's predictions regarding the effect of mass on space and time and supporting his general theory of relativity published in 1916. But what of his other grand hypothesis? Einstein's unified field theory consumed the last 30 years of his life without resolution, but how much closer have we come to a theory that brings every known force in the universe together into a single, all-encompassing frame of reference? Read More


Was Planet 9 born of a different star?

A team of researchers from Lund University, Sweden, has run a series of computer simulations to test the likelihood that the as-of-yet undiscovered Planet 9 formed in the orbit of an alien star. Whilst the planet has not yet been directly observed, evidence of its gravitational influence may have been observed perturbing the orbits of six Kuiper Belt objects, leading some to assert that Planet 9 boasts a mass around 10 times that of Earth.Read More


Fermi telescope helps close in on the origin of gravitational waves

Astrophysicists made history last year when they detected gravitational waves – the elusive ripples in space-time that were first theorized by Albert Einstein as part of his theory of general relativity in 1916. Early efforts failed to pinpoint the visible light component of the chaotic event that triggered the waves. But now data from NASA's Fermi telescope has reduced the search area by around two-thirds, which will help scientists understand more about the nature of the event and improve their systems for detecting future gravitational wave events. Read More


Gravity-measuring smartphone tech might save you from a volcano

Although you may not use a gravimeter to detect tiny changes in gravity (or for anything else), they are commonly used in fields such as oil exploration and environmental surveying. They could have more applications, were it not for the fact that they tend to be relatively large and expensive. Scientists at the University of Glasgow have set about addressing that limitation, by creating a compact gravimeter that incorporates smartphone technology.Read More


High-resolution gravity map confirms Mars’ molten core

NASA has released a new gravity map for Mars stitched together from telemetry data collected by a trio of spacecraft over the course of 16 years orbiting the Red Planet. The map has already led to the confirmation that Mars hosts a molten liquid outer core, and insights relating to the titanic transfer of atmospheric material to the polar regions of the Red Planet during their winter cycle.Read More


ESA's LISA Pathfinder experiment launches to explore Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity

ESA's LISA Pathfinder experiment has successfully launched atop a Vega rocket from the agency's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, and completed initial maneuvers required to place the probe in a low, stable orbit. The experiment will seek to observe tiny ripples in space known as gravitational waves, which were first predicted by Albert Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity.Read More


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