If You Can’t Smell Him, Can You Love Him?
What are the ingredients of a good relationship? Trust? Communication? Compromise? How about a sense of smell? When researchers in the United Kingdom surveyed almost 500 people with anosmia (the loss of sense of smell), more than 50 percent of them reported feeling isolated, and blamed their relationship troubles on their affliction. “I worry I […]
Love Can Make You Smarter
Love is supposed to make you stupid. We’re used to seeing the lover as a mooning fool, blind to his lover’s faults and the goings-on of the outside world, or even as a person who has lost all sense of rationality or propriety, driven to a kind of madness. There’s science to back this […]
Top 5 Targets of a Gravity Wave Observatory
On February 3, Cliff Burgess, a physicist at McMaster University, emailed some of his colleagues about an exciting rumor—a possible discovery—that, if verified at a press conference later today, would mean a “Nobel prize is coming someone’s way.” According to “spies,” Burgess said, an instrument called LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) had apparently observed […]
This Is How to Check Whether Spacetime Is Foamy
In 1944, John Wheeler received a haunting postcard. It was from his younger brother, Joe, who had written only two words: “Hurry up.” Wheeler was involved with the United States’ atomic weapons effort, and Joe wanted him to finish the bomb so he could come home from fighting in Italy. But by the time Hiroshima […]
Why You Shouldn’t Swipe Left Too Quickly
When Eric Klinenberg, an NYU sociologist, was waiting at Penn Station with an armful of groceries, he got a call from a publisher at Penguin. “Hey,” said the publisher, “I have a random question for you: Have you ever heard of a comedian named Aziz Ansari?” “I was like, Yea,” said Klinenberg, “Aziz Ansari […]
Spark of Science: Childhood Discovery
Kirk Johnson’s mom gave him 5 minutes at a rest stop. It was enough to find an arrowhead.
How to Learn to Love to Practice
Is there a secret to staying in the zone?
Curiosity Depends on What You Already Know
We seek novelty, but not too much.
Am I Ugly?
What science says about my outer beauty.
It’s a Fishapod!
The story behind the discovery of the four-legged fish.