NASA's New Horizons spacecraft returned images, such as this one, to improve maps of different regions of Pluto.
December 30, 2015 The year 2015 was a busy one for science, with discoveries on many fronts. Astrophysicist Marcelo Gleiser offers thoughts on a few.
This July 16, 1945, photo shows the mushroom cloud of the first atomic explosion at Trinity Test Site, New Mexico.
August 26, 2015 Humans toy dangerously with things we barely understand — and the consequences could be cataclysmic — but astrophysicist Marcelo Gleiser says these five experiments shouldn't have driven such fear.
July 22, 2015 Last week, scientists working at the Large Hadron Collider announced the discovery of the "pentaquark" particle, clearing up 50 years of false signals and potential sightings, says Marcelo Gleiser.
Smart phones contain a silicon chip inside the camera that might be used to detect rare, high energy particles from outer space.
J. Yang/Courtesy of WIPAC
March 27, 2015 Two physicists keen to detect a a very rare, high energy particle think you and I can help. The researchers are working on an app that would allow any smartphone to detect rare particles from space.
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Part of the Large Hadron Collider.
March 18, 2015 This month, the powerful particle accelerator will be back up and running — bigger and bolder than before. Physicist Marcelo Gleiser says it may bring big discoveries or be nature's big tease.
A view of the Large Hadron Collider in its tunnel at CERN in Switzerland.
September 3, 2014 In taking sides for or against a theory, scientists place their faith on an idea. Commentator Marcelo Gleiser asks what happens when the idea can't be tested or validated. Is it still science?
August 27, 2014 We've learned so much, yet we still don't know the composition of 95 percent of the cosmos. Commentator Marcelo Gleiser says it is good to stay humble and keep an open mind as the search continues.
The Large Hadron Collider's ATLAS detector under construction in 2005. ATLAS is one of the tools physicists are using to try and understand how the universe works.
April 26, 2014 It's been four decades since the idea of supersymmetry was proposed as a better way to explain the universe. The problem is, says commentator Marcelo Gleiser, that we haven't been able to prove it.
High-energy physics in action: an image of an event in CERN's CMS detector during the search for the Higgs boson.
August 21, 2013 It's time to reconsider the grand quest for "unification" in modern physics, says commentator Marcelo Gleiser. Our unrelenting search for symmetry and perfection in the natural world leaves us blind to data that seems to depict an imperfect and asymmetric Universe.
A visualization of proton-proton collision events recorded by the Large Hadron Collider's (LHC) Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
February 27, 2013 Scientists have found a Higgs-like particle, a key component in modern physics theory. But is it the Higgs particle, or a new one, part of a more complex model?
Big science in orbit: the Hubble Space Telescope
January 30, 2013 In the wake of the Hubble Space Telescope and the discovery of the Higgs boson, should we continue to pursue big science projects, in spite of their costs? Commentator Marcelo Gleiser says it's a no brainer.
One way we make sense of the cosmos is to study what's in it, objects like this brown dwarf (artist's impression) observed by the ESO's ALMA project. Another way is to watch what happens when tiny particles are smashed together in "labs" such as the LHC at CERN.
December 5, 2012 Can scientists create universes in the lab? Although that may not be possible, physicists can recreate the young universe in high energy particle collisions. Recent results indicate that the young universe may be stranger than anticipated.
November 27, 2012 If you're the kind who secretly obsesses about the fundamental nature of reality but wouldn't know a boson if it was delivering roses at your doorstep, I have good news for you.
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The Universe of Particles exhibition at CERN in 2011.
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
November 21, 2012 Theories are the life-blood of science; but ruling them out may be harder than you think. And letting a cherished model fall on the trash heap of history is even harder, yet. Take "supersymmetry" from the world of particle physics, for example. When might we see its demise or its vindication?
July 4, 2012 Count your money or look to the stars, either way, the discovery of the Higgs is significant and a significant step forward for humanity.
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