How do we make snap decisions?

Decision-making is part of daily life but in many situations, from deciding whether to hit the snooze button on your alarm or reacting to an intruder, choices are made very quickly. Now we’re getting new insight into how these snap decisions are made. Professor Karin Roelofs, a psychology researcher at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, … Read more

Dark matter clusters could reveal nature of dark energy

Scientists are hoping to understand one of the most enduring mysteries in cosmology by simulating its effect on the clustering of galaxies. That mystery is dark energy – the phenomenon that scientists hypothesise is causing the universe to expand at an ever-faster rate. No-one knows anything about dark energy, except that it could be, somehow, blowing … Read more

Quotas get more women on boards and stir change from within

Mandated quotas are raising the number of women appointed to top company posts in Europe and sparking a cultural push for gender equality, but entrenched networks are getting in the way of achieving true boardroom diversity, according to researchers. In recent years, a number of European countries have tried to tackle the underrepresentation of women on boards … Read more

From dust to pebbles to planets – insight into the birth of a solar system

Detailed simulations of planetary formation are revealing how tiny grains of dust turn into giant planets and could shed light on where to find new Earth-like worlds. Scientists theorise that planets form from rotating discs of gas that surround newly formed stars, known as proto-planetary discs. Pebble-sized objects in these discs then clump together to … Read more

Artificial forest air and light-based chemical reactions tackle indoor pollution

In an office environment, the air could contain over 300 chemicals, according to NAAVA founder Niko Järvinen. Image credit-NAAVA

The air in our offices and homes can contain a higher mix of chemicals than outdoors, but next-generation purifiers are aiming to absorb the harmful particles and let us all breathe a bit easier. Detergents, tobacco, cosmetics, new furniture, paints, printers and even pets – all these release different chemicals that millions of people breathe … Read more

Dark energy is the biggest mystery in cosmology, but it may not exist at all – leading physicist

Leftover light from Type Ia supernovae has been used to calculate the expansion rate of the universe and infer the existence of dark energy.

The most mysterious phenomenon in cosmology – dark energy – may not exist at all, according to Professor Subir Sarkar, head of the particle theory group at the University of Oxford in the UK. In the late 1990s, astronomers found evidence from supernovae that the universe has been expanding faster and faster as it gets … Read more

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