'Featherweight oxygen' discovery opens window on nuclear symmetry

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have discovered and characterized a new form of oxygen dubbed "featherweight oxygen"—the lightest-ever version of the familiar chemical element oxygen, with only three neutrons ...

Dark matter experiment finds no evidence of axions

Physicists from MIT and elsewhere have performed the first run of a new experiment to detect axions—hypothetical particles that are predicted to be among the lightest particles in the universe. If they exist, axions would ...

What happened before the Big Bang?

A team of scientists has proposed a powerful new test for inflation, the theory that the universe dramatically expanded in size in a fleeting fraction of a second right after the Big Bang. Their goal is to give insight into ...

Quantum sensing method measures minuscule magnetic fields

A new way of measuring atomic-scale magnetic fields with great precision, not only up and down but sideways as well, has been developed by researchers at MIT. The new tool could be useful in applications as diverse as mapping ...

Researchers turn liquid metal into a plasma

Most laypersons are familiar with the three states of matter as solids, liquids, and gases. But there are other forms that exist. Plasmas, for example, are the most abundant form of matter in the universe, found throughout ...

'Immunizing' quantum bits so that they can grow up

Quantum computers will process significantly more information at once compared to today's computers. But the building blocks that contain this information – quantum bits, or "qubits" – are way too sensitive to their surroundings ...

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