James Riordon is a freelance science writer who covers physics, math, astronomy and occasional lifestyle stories. He's an award-winning amateur playwright and songwriter, and his book Ghost Particle: In Search of the Elusive and Mysterious Neutrino, with coauthor Alan Chodos, is due out in February 2023 from MIT Press.
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All Stories by James R. Riordon
Random hops always bring jumping beans to shade — eventually
It’s not fast, but jumping beans use randomness to maximize their chances of getting out of the sun’s heat.
Planets like Star Wars’ Tatooine could be fit for life
Like Luke Skywalker’s home, planets orbiting two stars may be plentiful. A new computer model suggests that many of those worlds could sustain life.
Spacecraft traveling through a wormhole could send messages home
A probe going through a wormhole should be able to send messages home before such a tunnel forever closes, a new computer model finds.
In a breakthrough experiment, fusion gave off more energy than it used
The sun creates energy through nuclear fusion. Now scientists have too. This achievement raises hopes for developing a new type of clean energy.
Why dandelions are so good at widely spreading their seeds
Individual seeds on a dandelion release most easily in response to winds from a specific direction. As the wind shifts, this scatters the seeds widely.
Protons may be stretchier than physicists had thought
Physicists looked at how the quarks that make up protons move in response to electric fields. And they found more movement than expected.
Experiments on ‘entangled’ quantum particles won the physics Nobel Prize
Three pioneers in quantum physics share the 2022 Nobel Prize in physics.