For today's Nobel Laureates in Physics, it was pretty much a matter of when, not if. When the three winners and their teams announced back in 1998 that the universe was not only expanding, but accelerating, they shook cosmology to its core: Their findings said the universe would end not with a bang, but a whimper.
And the question of why — the mysterious force of dark energy, which accounts for about three-fourths of the mass-energy of the entire universe — is one of the greatest questions in modern science.
The spongy bones and tough-as-nails beaks of woodpeckers are inspiring a new generation of shock absorbers, potentially shielding airplane black boxes, football players and other valuable materials from the forces of impact.
An invention that's been around for two decades, but is only now getting any real attention, could change the way millions of people drive -- if people ever have the good sense to adopt it, its inventor says. Japanese inventor Masuyuki Naruse claims that placing the braking and acceleration pedals in our cars side-by-side, just inches apart, is a dangerous design flaw. The solution: his Naruse pedal, a unified pedal design that puts accelerator and brake on the same foot-activated lever.
Dark matter's status as a mysterious and invisible lurker in the universe has frustrated scientists for years. Now, one hopes to solve the puzzle a different way: using a modified version of Newton's second law that would eliminate the need for dark matter altogether. Researchers in Brazil have devised an experiment that could put the modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND) to the test, New Scientist reports.