The past few years have been incredible for physics discoveries. Scientists spotted the Higgs boson, a particle they’d been hunting for almost 50 years, in 2012, and gravitational waves, which were theorized 100 years ago, in 2016. This year, they’re slated to take a picture of a black hole. So, thought some theorists, why not combine all of the craziest physics ideas into one, a physics turducken? What if we, say, try to spot the dark matter radiating off of black holes through their gravitational waves?
It’s long been accepted by physics that nature has supplied us with four fundamental forces. Gravity holds the planets and galaxies together, and the electromagnetic force holds us and our molecules together. At the smallest level are the two other forces: the strong nuclear force is the glue for atomic nuclei, and the weak nuclear force helps some atoms go through radioactive decay. These forces seemed to explain the physics we can observe, more or less.
The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been jointly awarded to three scientists for their pioneering work on parasitic diseases. Thus begins the annual ritual that is Nobel Week—a period of frenzied anticipation and speculation that is the equivalent of March Madness for geniuses.