Rainer Weiss of MIT and Kip Thorne and Barry Barish of Caltech were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for the first direct observation of ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves, which were predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago.
A team of physicists who can now count themselves as astronomers announced Thursday that they had heard and recorded the sound of two black holes colliding 1 billion light-years away, a fleeting chirp that fulfilled the last prophecy of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
Stardust got in their eyes.
It might be a place that only a lichen or pond scum could love, but astronomers said Wednesday that they had found a very distant planet capable of harboring water on its surface, thus potentially making it a home for plant or animal life.
It is, in the words of the Danish filmmaker Michael Madsen, “a place we must remember to forget.”
Physicists returned to their future on Friday. About 10 p.m. outside Geneva, scientists at CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, succeeded in sending beams of protons clockwise around the 17-mile underground magnetic racetrack known as the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s biggest and most expensive physics experiment.
Seven astronauts blasted off Monday for one last dance with the Hubble Space Telescope.
Astronomers said Wednesday that they had found a miniature version of our own solar system 5,000 light years across the galaxy — the first planetary system that really looks like our own, with outer giant planets and room for smaller inner planets.
At a news conference in Beijing an international consortium of physicists released the first detailed design of what they believe will be the Next Big Thing in physics: A machine 20 miles long that will slam together electrons and their evil-twin opposites, positrons, to produce fireballs of energy recreating conditions when the universe was only a trillionth of a second old.