The February 2023 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

The Hunt for the Invisible Axion

One team goes it alone in the quest for the dark horse in the dark matter race

17 min read
The Hunt for the Invisible Axion
Lights, Camera, Axion: Physicists Leslie Rosenberg (left) and Gray Rybka examine the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment insert in October 2013.
Photo: Mary Levin/University of Washington

Dark matter, the most abundant form of matter in the universe, is invisible and intangible. But that doesn’t keep Leslie Rosenberg from seeing it nearly everywhere he looks. Like most physicists, he finds ample evidence of it written on the sky. It’s there in the swirling of galaxies, the aftermath of cosmic collisions, and the vast, weblike scaffolding that the universe’s luminous matter seems to hang upon.

It’s also, he hopes, near at hand. Dark matter almost certainly sweeps through Earth like water through cheesecloth. But Rosenberg, a professor at the University of Washington, in Seattle, thinks he might have just the thing to coax it out of hiding.

Keep reading...Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

The Aftershocks of the EV Transition Could Be Ugly

To avoid unintended consequences, bring realism to the table

10 min read
CEO of Dodge Brand standing on a podium next to a Dodge Charger Daytone SRT concept all-electric muscle car. Behind him a giant screen displaying the sentence: The Rules Have Changed.

Tim Kuniskis, CEO of Dodge Brand, Stellantis, introduces the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept all-electric muscle car on August 17, 2022 in Pontiac, Michigan.

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The introduction of any new system causes perturbations within the current operating environment, which in turn, create behavioral responses, some predictable, many not. As University of Michigan professor emeritus and student of system-human interactions John Leslie King observes “People find ways to use systems for their own benefit not anticipated by designers and developers. Their behavior might even be contradictory to hoped-for outcomes.”

“Change rides on the rails of what doesn’t change,” King notes, “including people being self-serving.”

Keep Reading ↓Show less
{"imageShortcodeIds":[]}

Fine-Tuning the Factory: Simulation App Helps Optimize Additive Manufacturing Facility

Additive manufacturing processes can provide rapid and customizable production of high-quality components

7 min read
Fine-Tuning the Factory: Simulation App Helps Optimize Additive Manufacturing Facility

An example of a part produced through the metal powder bed fusion process.

This sponsored article is brought to you by COMSOL.

History teaches that the Industrial Revolution began in England in the mid-18th century. While that era of sooty foundries and mills is long past, manufacturing remains essential — and challenging. One promising way to meet modern industrial challenges is by using additive manufacturing (AM) processes, such as powder bed fusion and other emerging techniques. To fulfill its promise of rapid, precise, and customizable production, AM demands more than just a retooling of factory equipment; it also calls for new approaches to factory operation and management.

Keep Reading ↓Show less
{"imageShortcodeIds":["32338242"]}