Katie Mack

Katie Mack

Katie Mack is an astrophysicist at North Carolina State University.

Dr Katherine (Katie) Mack is a theoretical astrophysicist who studies a range of questions in cosmology, the study of the universe from beginning to end.

She currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University, where she is also a member of the Leadership in Public Science Cluster. Throughout her career she has studied dark matter, the early universe, galaxy formation, black holes, cosmic strings, and the ultimate fate of the cosmos.

Alongside her academic research, she is an active science communicator and has been published in a number of popular publications such as Scientific American, Slate, Sky & Telescope, and Time.com. You can find her on Twitter as @AstroKatie and her website is www.astrokatie.com

  • How quickly is the Universe expanding?

    It’s a question that’s causing a crisis in astrophysics.

    The following is an excerpt from the article “Hubble trouble, boils and bubbles which is available in the Summer 2019...

    March 9, 2020
  • Superflares don’t go away entirely

    They still pose a risk, so it would be wise to make some contingency plans.

    By Katie MackLiving with a star is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, our Sun provides us with light, warm...

    December 3, 2019
  • We are stardust. And Big Bang dust.

    Neutron star collisions appear to be essential to our chemical origin story.

    When, in 2017, the LIGO experiment detected gravitational waves from two neutron stars colliding, it sent electromagn...

    July 5, 2019
  • Hawking’s chaotic contribution

    The link between the physics of black holes and of quantum particles.

    Stephen Hawking thought a lot about black holes. But his biggest insight, the work that connected gravity to quantum ...

    June 11, 2019
  • Hints of a fourth type of neutrino create more confusion

    Anomalous experimental results hint at the possibility of a fourth kind of neutrino, but more dat...

    It was a balmy summer in 1998 when I first became aware of the confounding weirdness of neutrinos. I have vivid memor...

    September 17, 2018
  • The galactic tide coming our way

    The same force responsible for moving oceans will also rip our galaxy apart. Katie Mack explains.

    Southern Hemisphere stargazers have it good. From anywhere on Earth, on a very dark night, the band of the Milky Way ...

    July 3, 2018
  • Colliding neutron stars prove equality before the law of gravity

    The neutron star explosion confirmed the equivalence principle: gravitational waves and light tra...

    The scene: Pisa, Italy, late 16th century. Galileo Galilei enters the famous Leaning Tower. He climbs the steps, trai...

    January 21, 2018
  • Why planetary protection meant Cassini had to die

    It’s not easy stop microscopic creatures hitching a ride into space. That’s where the Planetary P...

    You’d think it was the name of a superhero, but the Planetary Protection Officer doesn’t wear a cape or work in a sec...

    September 12, 2017
  • Supernova déjà vu, all over again

    When astronomers saw a star explode they knew – thanks to Einstein – that they could watch it aga...

    In late 2015, the Hubble Space Telescope turned toward a distant galaxy to watch the explosive demise of a doomed sta...

    August 20, 2017
  • Fast radio bursts: enigmatic and infuriating

    The high-speed, short-lived phenomena are perplexing to say the least. Katie Mack explains.

    Auscape / UIG / Getty ImagesThe best science stories are mystery stories. Something unexplained occurs, the detective...

    February 12, 2017
  • ‘Goldilocks’ planets might not be so nice

    What does 'habitable' really mean? Katie Mack explains.

    This artist’s impression shows the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri. Proxima b is a litt...

    January 5, 2017
  • Love and loss in the time of colliders

    Alas, even the most promising data can let us down, writes Katie Mack.

    Proton collision data collected by the Large Hadron Collider in 2015 contained a 'blip' that had physicists on the ed...

    November 6, 2016
  • The bright side of black holes

    They're key to the evolution of galaxies, writes Katie Mack.

    JeffrEy PhillipsOver a billion years ago, two black holes in a distant galaxy spiralled together, rippling the very f...

    August 22, 2016
  • Catching gravitational waves

    Prepare for the unveiling of the invisible universe, writes Katie Mack.

    jeffery phillipsYou may think you are sitting still, peacefully reading this column. In fact you are awash in waves o...

    June 2, 2016
  • Building a model of the Universe

    The rightness or wrongness of a theory is an impractical concept, writes Katie Mack.

    One hundred years ago Albert Einstein wrote a new theory of gravity. General relativity is an elegant but mathematica...

    April 8, 2016
  • Finding the pattern in all matter

    The search for symmetries leads to a deeper understanding of nature, says Katie Mack.

    Symmetry is a fundamental property of nature. – Anna39 / Getty Images To a physicist, the highest form of p...

    January 4, 2016
  • The woman who invented abstract algebra

    Mathematician Emmy Noether was a genius who laid the basis for a new approach to physics. By Kati...

    Mathematician Emmy Noether helped lay the foundations for a new approach to physics. – Science Photo Library/Getty Im...

    October 19, 2015
  • Vacuum decay: the ultimate catastrophe

    If the Universe dies, this is the most efficient way.

    Every once in a while, physicists come up with a new way to destroy the Universe. There’s the Big Rip (a rending of s...

    September 14, 2015
  • Recreating the beginning of time

    The Large Hadron Collider is a giant time machine for physicists. By Katie Mack.

    Views of the LHC tunnel sector 3-4 – Maximilien Brice / CERN The Big Bang theory, despite being a popular t...

    June 29, 2015
  • Star dust and gravitational waves

    Scientists who claimed to have detected gravitational waves may have been fooled by swirling gala...

    The BICEP2 radio telescope at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, with aurora australis over it. – Wikepedia ...

    May 11, 2015
  • The problem with dark matter

    The evidence that dark matter is real is all but irrefutable. But that only makes it more maddeni...

    The distribution of dark matter, galaxies, and hot gas in the core of the merging galaxy cluster Abell 520, was forme...

    February 16, 2015

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