Using Lasers to Direct Lightning Strikes

For the first time ever, scientists have redirected the path of lightning bolts with lasers. During a demonstration atop Switzerland’s Säntis mountain, researchers fired rapid laser pulses at thunderclouds for more than six hours and observed lasers diverting four different lightning strikes. One was filmed in clear enough conditions to demonstrate how the bolt steered the path of the laser for around 50 meters. A laser …

Physicists Build a Wheel that Rolls Uphill

University of Amsterdam’s Corentin Coulais and University of Chicago’s Vincenzo Vitelli, along with their collaborators, invented a wheel that seemingly defies physics. Dubbed “Odd Matter,” the wheel—comprised of six small motors tethered together with plastic arms and rubber bands—wiggles and gyrates to travel uphill. This writhing enables the wheel to adjust to difficult terrain despite not having any cognizance of the environment. It’s a phenomenon …

Scientists Link Two Time Crystals Together for the First Time

Officially confirmed to exist in 2016, time crystals are quantum systems of particles that evade the laws of physics that govern states of matter. For example, rather than embody the fixed, three-dimensional grid structure found in regular crystals, these participles exist in a state of fluctuation (but without the loss of energy). For the first time ever, two time crystals have been linked into one evolving …