Could the Higgs boson help shed light on dark matter, or will a ghostly X-ray signal recorded by Dutch researchers turn out to be a first sign of the mysterious substance?
In July, we hear how CERN’s Large Hadron Collider will be used to look for elusive dark matter particles, and how a surge of dark matter researchers are helping keep Europe at the forefront of experimental cosmology.
During an interview with Horizon magazine, Dr Seth Shostak, the senior astronomer at the US-based Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute, explains his belief that we are likely to discover an alien civilisation within our lifetimes.
We also look at EU-funded projects developing a 400-square-kilometre solar sail which could power a spacecraft across the solar system, and making magnetic shields that might be the best way to protect astronauts from deadly cosmic radiation.
The planned Square Kilometre Array telescope, a radio telescope to span two continents, could be instrumental in finding intelligent alien civilisations within our lifetimes, according to Dr Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the US-based Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute. Dr Shostak was a speaker at the EU's Innovation Convention in March 2014.
In November, Horizon discovers a futuristic world of transparent e-books, plastic solar cells and electronic skin with a look at some of the applications of organic electronics. We speak to organic chemist Prof. Andreas Hirsch about how using carbon rather than silicon in electronics can make them flexible, lightweight and biocompatible and could lead to a new generation of human-looking robots and ‘chemical’ computing. We take a look at work to create electronic skin – self-healing, stretchable material that can mimic some of the functions of human skin – and its potential uses. We discover how thin, flexible, plastic solar cells could turn surfaces such as cars and fabric into sources of renewable energy, and we uncover some novel approaches to charging wearable electronics.
The world looks very different from this time last year. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the centrality of science, research and innovation, accelerated some changes already in the works, but also exposed our weaknesses. In September, Horizon looks at how the pandemic is reshaping Europe in areas including health research, work, tech, transport and food – and how research can contribute to Europe’s recovery over the coming years. We will also be covering the European Research & Innovation Days at the end of the month, which will bring together scientists, policymakers, entrepreneurs and citizens to debate how research and innovation can ensure that the transition to a post-coronavirus society is sustainable, inclusive and resilient.
In three decades of diving at locations including the Red Sea and Great Barrier Reef, Gal Eyal has seen coral reefs transform in front of his eyes.
Imagine lying on a green hill watching the clouds go by on a beautiful day. The clouds you’re probably thinking of are cumulous clouds, the ones that resemble fluffy balls of cotton wool. They seem innocent enough. But they can grow into the more formidable cumulonimbus, the storm cloud. These are the monsters that produce thunder and lightning. They are powerful, destructive and intensely mysterious. They may also be getting a lot more common, which makes understanding their workings – and their effects on the human world, including how we construct buildings or power lines – more important than ever.
Scientists are studying past conditions to understand which corals migrated to deeper waters.
A lack of knowledge about thunderstorms means we could be overengineering our tallest buildings.
Dr Kate Rychert studies ocean plate structures.