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From the College of Natural Sciences
The Highly Cited Allan MacDonald

The Highly Cited Allan MacDonald

Allan H. MacDonald, a professor in the Department of Physics, was one of eight UT Austin faculty chosen for Thomson Reuters' 2015 Highly Cited Researchers list.

Fish Skin Provides Invisibility in Open Ocean

Fish Skin Provides Invisibility in Open Ocean

Scientists have solved a longstanding mystery about how some fish seem to disappear from predators in the open waters of the ocean, a discovery that could help materials scientists and military technologists create more effective methods of ocean camouflage.

Testing General Relativity

Testing General Relativity

This is the third of a three-part series on general relativity.

The Theory of General Relativity—Einstein's century-old description of gravity—presented physicists with some pretty bizarre predictions. To test them, scientists from the University of Texas at Austin have traveled to the Sahara Desert to observe a rare eclipse, launched into Earth orbit the densest known object orbiting anywhere in the Solar System, and used computers to model ripples in space and time unleashed by the mergers of black holes.

A team from the University of Texas at Austin constructed a temporary telescope house from plywood and styrofoam in the Sahara Desert to observe the bending of starlight by the sun during a total solar eclipse in June 1973. Photo: Richard Matzner.
Diet in Fish Affects Offspring's Metabolism

Diet in Fish Affects Offspring's Metabolism

Scientists at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas have discovered that in fish, just like in humans, the nutrients that are passed from a mother to her offspring can change the way her offspring develop and make a big difference in how well they do in life.

Audio: The Race for Dark Energy

Audio: The Race for Dark Energy

This is the second of a three-part series on general relativity.

Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, which describes how gravity works, turns 100 this month. The theory has successfully explained a lot of what we observe out in the universe; but there are signs that it's incomplete. In the 1990s, astronomers observed that the expansion of the universe is speeding up, as if some mysterious force is pushing everything apart faster and faster. Nearly 20 years later, one of the biggest unanswered questions in science is: what is this dark energy? Not only was dark energy not predicted by general relativity, but its mere existence might mean that the theory needs to be tweaked or even replaced.

Computer Science Undergrad Gives Back in Big Way

Computer Science Undergrad Gives Back in Big Way

Nicholas Cobb, a second-year computer science student, has won national recognition repeatedly for his work with a charitable organization he started at the age of 12. Most recently, he traveled to New York for recognition at the 2015 Nickelodeon HALO Awards.

Can General Relativity, at 100, Withstand Some Holes?

Can General Relativity, at 100, Withstand Some Holes?

This is the first of a three-part series on general relativity. 

In November 1915, Albert Einstein stood before his colleagues in the Prussian Academy of Sciences and unveiled a set of equations that would forever change the way we see the universe. The Theory of General Relativity, Einstein's description of gravity, explained the motions of everything we see in the universe.

Giant Magellan Telescope, World’s Largest, Breaks Ground in Chilean Desert

Giant Magellan Telescope, World’s Largest, Breaks Ground in Chilean Desert

Leaders and supporters from The University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory, along with representatives from an international group of partner universities and research institutions, are gathering on a remote mountaintop high in the Chilean Andes today to celebrate groundbreaking for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT).

Alumna Talks Science, Whiskey and Advice for Students

Alumna Talks Science, Whiskey and Advice for Students

Amanda Swift graduated in 2007 from The University of Texas at Austin with a BS in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior.​ We sat down with her and her husband Nick to hear how they're doing and what they've been up to since graduation. They say it all started over dinner, that is, their plan to create the best single malt whiskey ever tasted, a pursuit for which a science education turns out to come in handy. In 2012, they launched Swift Distillery and have "searched the world over" for barrels in order to bring their dream to Central Texas. 

Researchers Develop New Tool for Green Chemistry

Researchers Develop New Tool for Green Chemistry

Chemists from The University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University have developed an environmentally friendly method for creating chemical structures with complex shapes like those found in living things. The results have implications for reducing toxic waste in chemical manufacturing and research, understanding basic biological processes and developing more effective medical therapies.