Science: Detecting a Twist of Space

A Stanford researcher may have found the long-sought monopole

Its existence was predicted in 1931 by British Theoretical Physicist Paul Dirac, and scientists have been looking for it ever since—on the ocean floor, in meteorites, Arctic ice and even moon rocks. Dirac, one of the fathers of quantum theory, said that magnetic particles might exist that are exclusively "north" or "south." Recent developments in quantum theory suggest that these single-poled units, or "monopoles," would have immense mass, about 10 million billion times that of a proton at rest. Placed on a table, a monopole...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!