R2D2 and BB-8 never seem to let anything hold them back, even when faced with vast, terrifying desert planets. R2D2 trundles cheerfully across the sands of Tatooine. BB-8 takes his own sandy trek on Jakku. Sadly, such scenarios aren’t realistic. Not because Star Wars is fiction (though it is). It’s because a droid with wheels has no place on a desert planet.
That you exist in the Universe is pretty obvious, at least to yourself. But now researchers have used the fact that human observers are alive — and haven’t been zapped into oblivion by supernova explosions — to account for the puzzling weakness of dark energy, the mysterious force accelerating the expansion of the Universe.
A weird form of matter called a time crystal has made an appearance in two more types of materials, doubling the number of known time crystal habitats. In a typical crystal, its arrangement of atoms regularly repeats in space, such as the alternating sodium and chloride ions that make up a salt crystal. But time crystals’ patterns repeat themselves at regular time intervals.
Australia is set to announce the country’s first space agency. Although the emphasis will apparently be on the commercial utilization of space, researchers are hoping there will be purely scientific efforts as well.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule that would limit the kinds of scientific research it can use in crafting regulations, an apparent concession to big business that has long requested such restrictions.
One of the recurring media narratives about the nature of science today is that it is ‘broken’ or ‘in crisis’. In the mainstream press, some stories about the failure to reproduce study results or the rising retraction rate or incidents of scientific fraud have been accompanied by assertions about a ‘systemic crisis’ in areas of science — or in science itself.