By Angela Leroux-Lindsey Hold out your hand: Look closely. If you’re outside on a sunny day, you might see dust motes and pollen dance in the air, perhaps landing on your skin, and bright rays of sunlight peek between your fingers. To the naked eye, your skin provides a barrier between your body and these…

Muons on the Move

Big science is a massively collaborative endeavor. From the initial theoretical puzzles to the brilliant engineers that build on-of-a-kind machinery, experts come together to make discoveries happen. Case in point: We’re  moving this 50-foot-wide physics experiment over 3,200 miles of land, sea, and river, starting on Long Island, NY and ending in Batavia, IL. Sometimes understanding…

Magnets are neverendingly awesome, and superconductors may be the ultimate in cool—they are, after all, literally extremely cold. And not just anyone has the tools to weave superconducting magnets with compressed metallic thread. It’s a more essential skill than you might think. Ultra-cold superconducting magnets steer high-speed particles inside colliders, keeping the beams tight and…

From butter in croissants to cocoa solids in chocolate, edible fats pack a flavor punch that delights like no other macronutrient we consume. Fats are the most energy dense macronutrients, providing more than twice as many kilocalories per gram as proteins or carbohydrates, which may be the reason we’ve developed a taste for them. Fats…

Particle collisions aren’t the easiest thing in the world to explain, but one of our physicists took this challenge to the extreme. In another Ten Hundred Words of Science submission, Brookhaven Lab physicist Paul Sorenson explains his work studying quark-gluon plasma with the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. Where I work, we slam together small things to break them…

Inspired by the internet comic “The Up-Goer Five”, which used only the 1,000 most commonly used words to describe the Saturn V Rocket, scientists across the internet are attempting to describe their work using the just this small set of words. And it’s tough! But one of Brookhaven’s atmospheric scientists was up to the challenge.…

We sat down with Brookhaven theoretical physicist Raju Venugopalan for a conversation about “color glass condensate” and the structure of visible matter in the universe. Q. We’ve heard a lot recently about a “new form of matter” possibly seen at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Europe — a state of saturated gluons called “color…

Brookhaven Lab physicist John Smedley wrote this post. People use diamonds to cut concrete, sharpen knives, and jumpstart wedding plans. As a member of Brookhaven’s Instrumentation Division, I’m on a team that found that diamond also fits the bill for new components in cutting-edge tools we are designing for upgrades for the Relativistic Heavy Ion…

Ever imagined that an Xbox controller could help open a window into the nanoworld of groundbreaking physics? Well, check out the video above. Brookhaven scientist Ray Conley designed that one-of-a-kind machine to grow (through a technique called sputtering deposition) atomically precise lenses that can focus x-rays to within one billionth of one meter, revealing the…

See the way those smooth, amorphous blobs rapidly transform into textured honeycombs? Something similar is probably happening right now inside your laptop or smartphone’s battery, providing you with portable power. But the cherished efficiency and portability of those compact lithium-ion batteries comes with a cost: each cycle of discharge/recharge degrades the material’s essential structure and…