Harvard Cosmologist Cora Dvorkin Dreams in Dark Matter | Quanta Magazine

Lambda-CDM explains very well the observations at large scales. We have tested this theory with different observables — with the cosmic microwave background, with galaxy clustering, with the Lyman-alpha forest. And all of them are in agreement with what is predicted by the Lambda-CDM standard model for cosmology. By construction, different models of dark matter [...]

Cosmos on Nautilus: The Crisis of the Multiverse

If the universe, like a box of gas, can exist in only a finite number of available states, theory predicts that we are Boltzmann brains, which conflicts with observations, not to mention common sense. If, on the contrary, the universe has an infinite number of available states, then our usual statistical techniques are not predictive, [...]

How Life Could Continue to Evolve – Issue 88: Love & Sex – Nautilus

... the ultimate currency of life in the universe may be life itself: The marvelous genetic surprises that biological and technological Darwinian experimentation can come up with given enough diversity of circumstances and time. Perhaps, in the end, our galaxy, and even our universe, is simply the test tube for a vast chemical computation exploring [...]

Heavy metal may rain from the skies of planet WASP 76b | Science News

On one distant world, “heavy metal” could be a weather forecast. Telescope observations indicate that an exoplanet nearly 400 light-years away has iron rain. The planet, dubbed WASP 76b, is an extreme kind of exoplanet known as an ultrahot gas giant (SN: 7/30/19). These worlds “are complete oddballs,” says astronomer David Ehrenreich of the University [...]

Neil Armstrong’s Spacesuit Was Made by a Bra Manufacturer | History | Smithsonian Magazine

For the suit’s creator, the International Latex Corporation in Dover, Delaware, the toughest challenge was to contain the pressure necessary to support life (about 3.75 pounds per square inch of pure oxygen), while maintaining enough flexibility to afford freedom of motion. A division of the company that manufactured Playtex bras and girdles, ILC had engineers [...]

We’re Better Equipped to Find Extraterrestrial Life Now Than Ever Before | Science | Smithsonian Magazine

... however small the probability of seeing a signal from E.T. is, those chances are soon going to be a lot better than they have been in the past. Sure, after decades of listening, there is still no message. But with more data to sift through, and new technologies with superior search capabilities, odds of [...]

How an Interstellar Starship Could Actually Explore Alpha Centauri

Last year, Stephen Hawking and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner hatched an ambitious plan to send a tiny probe to the Alpha Centauri star system. Travelling at 20 percent the speed of light, the researchers weren’t entirely sure how the probe was supposed to stop once it arrived at its destination, or whether it would even [...]

Consciousness Isn’t Self-Centered – Issue 82: Panpsychism – Nautilus

... how does felt experience arise out of non-sentient matter? The Australian philosopher David Chalmers famously termed this the “hard problem” of consciousness.1 Unlike the “easy problems” of explaining behavior or understanding which processes in the brain give rise to various functions, the hard problem lies in understanding why some of these physical processes have [...]