headshot of James Riordon

James R. Riordon

Guest Writer

James Riordon is a freelance science writer who covers physics, math, astronomy and occasional lifestyle stories. He's an award-winning amateur playwright and songwriter, and his book Ghost Particle: In Search of the Elusive and Mysterious Neutrino, with coauthor Alan Chodos, is due out in February 2023 from MIT Press.

All Stories by James R. Riordon

  1. photo of a windchime in a backyard
    Cosmology

    The Windchime experiment could use gravity to hunt for dark matter ‘wind’

    Though decades away, the project hopes to use an array of ultrasensitive sensors as a “wind chime,” jostled by dark matter blowing past Earth.

  2. Illustration of two black holes merging and emitting gravitational waves. The black holes, illustrated as dark spheres, have green arrows indicating spin in opposite directions
    Physics

    Two black holes merged despite being born far apart in space

    A closer look at gravitational wave data reveals 10 overlooked mergers, including one between black holes that probably found each other late in life.

  3. microscope image of tiny Dictyostelium discoideum amoebas shown as dots forming larger blobs
    Health & Medicine

    Tiny amoebas move faster when carrying cargo than without

    A new study of the carrying capacity of single-celled amoebas may help scientists develop mini “trucks” to precisely target disease in the human body.

  4. Concorde supersonic jet
    Physics

    Why even small sonic booms are more annoying in cities

    Quieter sonic booms from next-generation planes could still be annoying in cities thanks to narrow streets and tall buildings, simulations suggest.

  5. Smoke from the Cerro Pelado fire in New Mexico in the background against an emergency vehicle driving on an empty road
    Science & Society

    Growing wildfire threats loom over the birthplace of the atomic bomb

    Climate change is expected to make wildfires worse across much of the Southwest United States. A key nuclear weapons lab could be in the hot zone.

  6. black and white photo of water poured from above splashing on raw chicken
    Health & Medicine

    How to wash chicken in the kitchen more safely, according to physics

    Despite the advice of health experts, most people who cook chicken at home wash it. New research offers ways to reduce spreading dangerous germs.

  7. southern live oak
    Plants

    Leonardo da Vinci’s rule for how trees branch was close, but wrong

    An update to da Vinci’s elegant, 500-year-old “rule of trees” offers a powerful, new way to describe the structure of almost any leafy tree.