James R. Riordon

Temporary Physics Writer

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.

All Stories by James R. Riordon

  1. Earth

    Get ready for the 2024 total solar eclipse

    A total solar eclipse will race across North America on April 8, 2024, providing a rare opportunity for both scientists and casual observers.

  2. Physics

    Neutrons are unveiling hidden secrets of fossils and artifacts

    Images made with these particles have revealed details of dinosaur bones, mummies and more.

  3. Space

    NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft brought back bits of the asteroid Bennu

    Dirt from the asteroid Bennu could hold clues about the material that built our solar system — and possibly where life comes from.

  4. Space

    You can get involved in science during the 2024 solar eclipse

    The sun will be near the peak of its activity cycle during the eclipse on April 8, 2024. That will make it a great time to crowdsource solar research.

  5. Physics

    Efforts to create ultrafast light pulses win 2023 physics Nobel

    Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier won the prize for creating light bursts that last billionths of a billionth of a second.

  6. Space

    Ghost particles paint a new picture of the Milky Way

    Scientists tracked neutrinos from space to create a new map of our galaxy. It’s the first image of the Milky Way to be made without light.

  7. Planets

    In a first, telescopes have caught a star eating a planet

    A burst of light and a cloud of dust are signs that a distant star swallowed a giant planet.

  8. Animals

    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.

  9. Planets

    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.

  10. Space

    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.

  11. Physics

    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.

  12. Plants

    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.