October 22, 2013 Science is radical and conservative at the same time, almost as if it exists in a quantum state. Commentator and astrophysicist Adam Frank says this is the tension at play today as his community struggles with whether to keep faith in the laws that determine the one universe we see or jump ship for the promise of the multiverse.
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.
If you know the signs to look for, it becomes clear that the Earth itself is breathing.
Reto Stockli/Alan Nelson/Fritz Hasler/NASA
March 6, 2013 As scientists advance their understanding of how the Earth has changed through billions of years, it becomes increasingly clear that the Earth and the life on it are entwined in unique ways. Commentator Marcelo Gleiser goes in search of the origins of life in a meeting of the minds at CERN.
Don't panic! The end of the Universe (as we know it) isn't likely to hit us for billions of years, if it comes at all. Pictured: the Milky Way rises above the ESO's ALMA facility in Chile.
José Francisco Salgado/ESO
February 27, 2013 The Universe could end tomorrow, courtesy of the newly-discovered Higgs. But, as commentator Marcelo Gleiser explains, there is really no need to panic.
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.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/165906767/165729890" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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.
July 2, 2012 Scientists at the Tevatron may be announcing their own results on the Higgs search today.
July 2, 2012 This week CERN scientists are holding a seminar to update the community on the search for the Higgs Boson.
This visualization shows the electron density in a quantum dot, an artificial atom.
Wei Qiao, David Ebert, Marek Korkusinski, Gerhard Klimeck/NCN, Purdue University
March 28, 2012 Have we found the smallest bits of matter? Are there smaller particles we haven't identified? What are the most fundamental particles? A final, ultimate answer may not be attainable.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor