Why can't Einstein and Quantum Mechanics get along?

Despite our successes at describing the inner workings of the universe (Higgs, anyone?), there are still some gaping holes in our knowledge. Where's our Grand Unified Theory or our Theory of Everything? And why is Einstein's General Relativity still at odds with Quantum Mechanics? Why should we want to unify them… » 8/09/13 12:24pm 8/09/13 12:24pm

The Planck Satellite Discovers Extra Dark Matter In the Universe

This week, the Planck Satellite team announced major findings from over a year of observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), or the radioactive sludge that lingers in our universe from the beginning of time, right after the Big Bang. And while there's a lot to digest, I wanted to give you some high… » 3/22/13 7:00am 3/22/13 7:00am

What happened before the Big Bang?

We spend a lot of time thinking about futurism, but the past is pretty interesting, too. In this week's "Ask a Physicist" we get extra speculative and think about what things may have been like before the beginning of time. What was there before the Big Bang? Did anything exist before our current universe? Here's what… » 2/02/12 12:23pm 2/02/12 12:23pm