Students in England concluded that the Star Wars space station could easily have destroyed an Earth-like planet
January 11, 2012 | By Sarah Zielinski
In an attack against a Cape fur seal, a great white shark's advantage comes down to physics
December 12, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
December 2011 | By G. Wayne Clough
Science is about unlocking the world around us and laying it out to be admired
November 17, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
No one else will be dressed like dark energy
October 31, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
Physicist Lisa Randall explores the mind-stretching realms that new experiments soon may expose
September 2011 | By Robert Irion
As the space shuttle program ends, a salute to some of its most surprising studies
July 08, 2011 | By Erin Wayman
Corked bats and juiced balls have long plagued baseball, but do they really help a player’s game? Four scientists found surprising answers
June 24, 2011 | By Christopher Solomon
Scientists have generated the first video of a shock wave from a trombone
June 02, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
There's a special place in my heart for non-traditional science books. I snapped up Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species in graphic novel form. And I'm still drooling over the copy of Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout that sits in my colleague Laura's office; it...
May 12, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
Astrophysicists like to talk about big concepts---like the nature of time, the universe, our very existence---but few make it understandable to the non-astrophysicist crowd. Usually these discussions leave my head spinning, unable to keep track of all of the concepts being flung my way. Which is ju...
May 09, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
Scientists are probing deep beneath the surface of our nearest star to calculate its profound effect on Earth
April 2011 | By Robert Irion
When book collector Wilfrid M. Voynich acquired several items from a Jesuit college near Rome in 1912, he discovered a manuscript like no other. Now know as the "Voynich manuscript," it had weird writing in some unrecognizable language and biological, botanical and astronomical images that may give...
February 11, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
Antimatter may have a good home in the realm of science fiction—it's the stuff that powered the Enterprise's warp drive, for example—but it's also real, albeit rare.Maybe not as rare as we thought, though. Scientists have detected beams of antimatter coming out of thunderstorms and heading into spa...
January 12, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
It's the end of the year, so you know what that means—it's time for the parade of "year in review" articles. Start with Smithsonian.com's Top 10 Stories of 2010, which features lots of science, and then move on to these others:* Discover magazine picked the top 100 stories of 2010 (and my brother w...
December 29, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
Is your office rather empty this week? Looking for something to read to fill the time? How about some great science and nature stories from Smithsonian? Here are my ten favorites from the past year:The Truth About Lions (January): Staff writer Abigail Tucker visits Craig Packer, who has been runnin...
December 28, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
The 1940 documentary short "Quicker'n a Wink" fascinated people with its slow-motion imagery of things like the beating of a hummingbird's wings; it won a 1941 Academy Award. One of the revelations from the movie was that a cat curls its tongue backwards into a "J" when it goes to take a drink of l...
November 12, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
Here's an easy question: What is a kilogram?A. 1000 gramsB. a standard unit of mass (often ignored in the United States)C. a platinum-iridium cylinder kept in a vault in Sèvres, FranceD. all of the aboveThe answer is D, of course. And that's a problem for the scientists in charge of the science of ...
November 03, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
To study some of the most elusive particles, physicists have built detectors in abandoned mines, tunnels and Antarctic ice
November 2010 | By Ann Finkbeiner
One of the things I love about visiting the U.K. is British television. Specifically what my friend calls "quiz shows." That's not quite the right name for them, though, because they usually consist of a panel (or two) of comedians discussing anything from current events to music to natural history...
October 25, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski