Why the number 137 is one of the greatest mysteries in physics

Famous physicists like Richard Feynman think 137 holds the answers to the Universe.

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  • The fine structure constant has mystified scientists since the 1800s.
  • The number 1/137 might hold the clues to the Grand Unified Theory.
  • Relativity, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics are unified by the number.
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Could an updated Feynman experiment finally lead to a Theory of Everything?

Measuring quantum gravity has proven extremely challenging, stymying some of the greatest minds in physics for generations.

Illustration of gravitational waves being created by two black holes merging. Credit: NASA.

For over a century, the two leading theories in physics have had irreconcilable differences, and scientists have scrambled to find ways to square them, to no avail. An experiment proposed in 1957 by American luminary Richard Feynman, is now getting a makeover, and the results could be significant.

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Why Searching for a Theory of Everything Is Better Than Finding It

Will we ever have a Theory of Everything? Theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss isn't sure that's the right question to be asking.

It’s no surprise that understanding highly abstract mathematics can be challenging, says theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss. The organ of your body that does the understanding — the brain — is like the organ that does the waste processing — the kidney. Both are products of millions of years of evolution, and neither will change overnight. The type of thinking that helped us survive on the African savannas doesn’t help us grasp quantum mechanics. We should expect to not understand everything about the universe, and to keep asking questions…

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A 6-Step Infographic For Ending Pseudoscience

Don't believe every science study you read, because sometimes not even their authors believe them. Here are the issues corrupting good, honest science – and how to fix them. 

Pseudoscience caught in the act! This article by TIME stretched the truth of a study that showed flavanols in cocoa are linked to the slowing or reversing of age-related cognitive decline, by reporting that eating chocolate can win you a Nobel Prize.

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