Articles from Discover Physics & Math

Scientists Clash with Corporations in a Battle for the Soul of Mars

Mars the planet is a unique world: a little like Earth, a little like the Moon, but entirely a world unto itself. Mars the television show is similarly one of a kind, an unusual amalgam of scripted science fiction and serious science documentary. The fictional part of the story begins in 2033, when the spacecraft Daedalus lands on the Red Planet to establish the first human outpost there. But as so often happens in space exploration, things don't go exactly as planned...

Season 1 of Mars

Scientists Hunt for A Seeming Paradox: A Magnet With Only One Pole

For centuries, physicists have hunted for magnetic monopoles to help put together their theory of everything. They may be closer than ever.

How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch

How the science of the super small affects our everyday lives.

Want to be a Mars Astronaut? You'll Need the Proper Mindset

NASA is studying what personality an astronaut candidate needs to make the journey to Mars.

What "First Man" Gets Fabulously Right About NASA: An Interview with Apollo 15 Astronaut Al Worden

First Man is not like other movies about the space race, and I mean that in a very good way.

I’ll admit, I was skeptical about the director of La La Land telling the story of Neil Armstrong’s historic landing on the Moon. (Would there be songs? A scowling J.K. Simmons?) It turns out to be a synergistic pairing of artist and material. First Man brushes aside the expected saga of space cowboys saddling up their steel horses, delivering instead a moving narrative of NASA’s glory days as seen

Saving the World, One Science Fair at a Time

When I was 16, I participated in the Montgomery County, Maryland science fair. My entry was--as I recognized even at the time--a fairly middling effort, more a research project than an original experiment. I was not surprised when I walked away with an appropriately middling "honorable mention" in my category. It was an inspiring experience anyway, for reasons that are perceptively captured in the marvelous new documentary Science Fair.

The culture of the science fair is one of profound o

Shape Shifters

An obscure mathematical field might bring about a new era in technology.

Searching For Tonight’s Supernova

Astronomers are ready for the next big stellar explosion — whenever it comes.

Milky Way

Embraced in spiral arms.

Here's the Answer That Will Finally Settle the "Is Pluto a Planet?" Debate for Good (Yeah, Right)

I love Pluto. I grew up entranced by this strange little world: What could you be, you rebel that doesn’t seem to follow any of the rules? I even wrote a childhood letter to a local astronomer, offering my homespun hypothesis that Pluto might be a captured fragment of an exploded star. When the New Horizons spacecraft finally revealed the true face of Pluto, I was right there at mission control in Langley, Maryland, to watch the images as they came in.

So I have a lot of sympathy for the