Nuclear Science

Nuclear science is the study of sub-atomic particles and their application in various disciplines. Here you can learn about nuclear power plants, atomic theory and radiation.

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This human-made element can power everything from nuclear weapons to deep space missions. So what's so scary about plutonium?

By Mark Mancini

The lava-like material that formed after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster is a deadly example of corium, a hazardous material created only after core meltdowns. Five minutes next to it can kill a human.

By Patrick J. Kiger

First discovered in the late 1930s, muons are passing through you and everything around you at a speed close to light, as cosmic rays strike particles in our planet's atmosphere. So what are muons and how are they informing the new physics?

By Patrick J. Kiger

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The Standard Model of physics provides a framework for the subatomic world of all energies. Could a possible newfound carrier boson expand the definition of that framework?

By Mark Mancini

The proposed collider would dwarf the existing Large Hadron Collider. But is the $22 billion price tag worth it?

By John Perritano

We caught up with everyone's favorite boson to see what it's been up to and exactly how it decays.

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

CERN researchers have successfully tested a new way of accelerating electrons to high energies through proton-driven plasma wakefield acceleration.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor plant aims to demonstrate that nuclear fusion could be a viable source of power in the future.

By Patrick J. Kiger

The seriously ambitious experiment aims to understand the mysterious neutrino and maybe even figure out why matter won out over antimatter during the Big Bang.

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

New data shows extremely high radiation levels inside one of the reactor containment vessels. Are post-tsunami radiation levels spiking? Not so fast …

By Patrick J. Kiger

In 1957, Hugh Everett first wrote about the multiverse — different realms where every choice spawns a separate universe in which another version of ourselves does something different. It sounds crazy, but here are some reasons it might be true.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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The site of the largest nuclear accident in history is now home to diverse wildlife. Can studying the animals help researchers discover how radiation affects us all?

By Lauren Vogelbaum

When physicists want accelerator particles, they head to OK Quark, answer questions about what they're looking for, and hope for a match. Nah, wait … that's not it at all.

By Kate Kershner

Of all the superheroes we have in the universe, supersymmetry might be the one that will save us from total annihilation. Not because it fights bad guys, but because it just might explain how the tiniest parts of the cosmos work.

By Kate Kershner

Want to see two physicists fight? Ask them what they think about the multiverse. Isn't it time you formed an opinion, too?

By Kate Kershner

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When something as important as the Higgs rocks our world, we want to know every last thing about it, including what it looks like. So?

By Kate Kershner

Twenty-seven kilometers is more than five 5K races. Most humans aren't interested in running that much, so why do a bunch of speeding protons require that considerable distance?

By Kate Kershner

The Large Hadron Collider sounds so exciting, with its millions of near-light-speed collisions per second. But what do scientists really see while that's going on?

By Kate Kershner

String theory is the basic idea that everything in the universe is fundamentally composed of vibrating strings. Can the LHC prove that it's true?

By Kate Kershner

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Supersymmetry: the idea that the particles we know about have as-yet-underscovered force partners. Multiverse: exactly what it sounds like. Can they coexist?

By Kate Kershner

When scientists announced that the Large Hadron Collider had found evidence of the Higgs boson, we cried right along with elated physicists everywhere. But ... then what?

By Kate Kershner

To the uninitiated, the LHC can look like a junk drawer ... a junk drawer that's full of tiny, rapidly decaying particles that move at light speed. How do scientists know what's where?

By Kate Kershner

The Large Hadron Collider isn't just a one-trick (Higgs) pony. Find out what else has happened where hundreds of millions of particles may collide any given second.

By Nicholas Gerbis

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Nuclear waste epitomizes the double-edged sword of modern technology. It's a toxic and radioactive byproduct of nuclear medicine, nuclear weapons manufacturing and nuclear power plants.

By Nathan Chandler

Batman and particle physicists have a lot in common. While Batman brawls with anarchist clowns and mutated ecoterrorists, CERN scientists chase down their own notable adversaries. Get to know five of them.

By Robert Lamb