Physics stories

 
Italian astrophysicists, well-known as the party animals of their field, have decided that it would be fun to launch a disco ball into orbit and then shoot lasers at it. Besides giving the astronauts on the ISS a good excuse to get their boogie on (like they need one), the disco ball should also help measure one of the weirdest effects of general relativity to an accuracy of 1%.
 
In order to predict when a volcano is going to erupt, and how bad that eruption is going to be, it's helpful to have a picture of what's going on deep down inside the thing. Seeing as we don't have any volcano-sized x-ray tables lying around, scientists have simply started using the entire universe, and the cosmic rays that it produces, as an imaging system.
 
At CERN today, home of the Large Hadron Collider, particle physicists announced the most recent (and most tantalizing) results in their search for the Higgs Boson. They haven't nailed down the elusive particle quite yet, but they're closer than ever before, and they may now know just exactly where it's hiding.
 
Nothing can travel faster than light. It's one of the fundamental constants of our universe, and as such, it's kind of a big deal. We've got a bit of an issue here, then, since scientists at CERN have just announced that they've spotted some subatomic particles blowing past the light speed barrier. Physics, we have a problem.

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