How coral atolls get their gorgeous ring shapes

OPINION: Sea levels rising and falling over hundreds of thousands of years helped build up these special islands

Alexandra Witze • knowable
Feb. 18, 2021 ~9 min

How black holes morphed from theory to reality

PODCAST: Physicists were mostly skeptical back when the idea of them emerged a century ago from Einstein’s work. The evolution of the evidence, from circumstantial to conclusive, is the quintessential story of science.

Adam Levy • knowable
Jan. 11, 2021 ~22 min

How researchers are making do in the time of Covid

The coronavirus pandemic has shuttered labs and sidelined scientists all over the world. Here’s a look at how some of them have coped.

Anil Ananthaswamy • knowable
Dec. 2, 2020 ~21 min

Rising to meet the tide

As the threat of coastal flooding grows, scientists are responding with an inundation of data. Faster and more accurate forecasts can save lives and property.

Carrie Arnold • knowable
Nov. 11, 2020 ~12 min

Seeking surprises in comets and asteroids

Exploring small bodies in the solar system provides clues to origins

Adam Mann • knowable
Oct. 16, 2020 ~18 min

The danger lurking in an African lake

Kivu is no ordinary lake, with dense depths packed with methane and carbon dioxide gas. Its features hold aquatic puzzles, explosive hazards and the capacity to provide valuable energy.

John Wenz • knowable
Oct. 7, 2020 ~11 min

Why solar geoengineering should be part of the climate crisis solution

The controversial technology of reflecting sunlight away from the planet could help blunt the worst impacts of climate change

Betsy Mason • knowable
Sept. 16, 2020 ~15 min

Why some artificial intelligence is smart until it’s dumb

Machine learning has found uses in fields as diverse as particle physics and radiology, and its influence is growing. But so is the understanding of its limits.

Tom Siegfried • knowable
Aug. 27, 2020 ~14 min

The origin of mud

For most of Earth’s history, hardly any of the mucky stuff existed on land. It finally started piling up around 458 million years ago, changing life on the planet forever.

Laura Poppick • knowable
Aug. 17, 2020 ~10 min

Searching high and low for the origins of life

Researchers think they’re getting warmer: They’ve created amino acids and primitive membranes by simulating conditions found at scalding vents on the ocean floor

Anne N. Connor • knowable
July 21, 2020 ~10 min