Geoff Brumfiel

Science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel's reports on physics, space, and all things nuclear can be heard across NPR News programs and on NPR.org.

Brumfiel has carried his microphone into ghost villages created by the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan. He's tracked the journey of highly enriched uranium as it was shipped out of Poland. For a story on how animals drink, he crouched for over an hour and tried to convince his neighbor's cat to lap a bowl of milk. He became a full-time correspondent in March of 2013.

Prior to NPR, Geoff was based in London as a senior reporter for Nature Magazine from 2007-2013. There he covered energy, space, climate, and the physical sciences. In addition to reporting, he was a member of the award-winning Nature podcast team. From 2002 – 2007, Brumfiel was Nature Magazine's Washington Correspondent, reporting on Congress, the Bush administration, NASA, and the National Science Foundation, as well as the Departments of Energy and Defense.

He began his journalism career working on the American Physical Society's "Focus" website, which is now part of Physics.

Brumfiel is the 2013 winner of the Association of British Science Writers award for news reporting on the Fukushima nuclear accident.

He graduated from Grinnell College with a BA double degree in physics and English, and earned his Masters in science writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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3:55pm

Tue March 25, 2014
The Two-Way

Can A 250-Year-Old Mathematical Theorem Find A Missing Plane?

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 7:28 am

This statistical map guided searchers to an Air France flight that disappeared into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009.
C. Keller/Metron

Searchers are feeling overwhelmed by the task of locating the wreckage of missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.

"We're not searching for a needle in a haystack — we're still trying to define where the haystack is," Australian Air Marshal Mark Binskin said Tuesday. The current search zone stretches across many thousands of square miles of the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia.

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2:33pm

Mon March 24, 2014
News

Missing Jet May Be Thought Lost At Sea, But The Search Carries On

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 4:46 pm

The Malaysian prime minister announced that the missing airliner was likely lost in the Indian Ocean. NPR's Geoff Brumfiel discusses how this was determined and where the search will go from here.

2:31am

Thu March 20, 2014
Science

Einstein's Lost Theory Discovered ... And It's Wrong

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 9:19 am

It's OK, kids. Even Albert Einstein sometimes made math mistakes.
Harris & Ewing Library of Congress

Earlier this week, physicists announced they'd seen evidence of ripples in the fabric of space and time from just moments after the Big Bang. Such ripples were predicted almost a century ago by Albert Einstein.

Einstein's theory of relativity is arguably the 20th century's greatest idea. But not everything he did was right: Some newly uncovered work from the brilliant physicist was wrong. Really, really wrong.

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3:17am

Tue March 18, 2014
Space

Ripples In Space Could Point To The Universe's Beginnings

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:24 am

Physicists say they've discovered a faint signal from just moments after the universe began. If confirmed, it could revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos. But not everyone is convinced.

2:30pm

Mon March 17, 2014
News

Out Of Antarctica, A 'Grand Slam' That Leads Back To The Big Bang

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 4:33 pm

Physicists using data from an Antarctica telescope say they've observed evidence of primordial gravity waves — in other words, echoes of the Big Bang. If real, this may be a big advance for physics.

10:30am

Wed March 12, 2014
National Security

Ex-Missile Crew Members Say Cheating Is Part Of The Culture

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 9:10 pm

Former missile officer Edward Warren says he and others felt enormous pressure to cheat.
Courtesy of Edward Warren

Edward Warren was shocked when he learned that the airmen in charge of the nation's nuclear-tipped missiles regularly cheated on tests.

In 2009, Warren was fresh out of the Air Force's Reserve Officers' Training Corps. He had just finished training to become a missile launch officer when he was pulled aside.

"One of my instructors said, 'Hey, just so you know, there is cheating that goes on at the missile bases,' " Warren recalls. "I was repulsed. I thought, 'This can't be, this is terrible.' "

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3:12pm

Mon March 10, 2014
The Two-Way

Despite Diplomatic Tensions, U.S.-Russia Space Ties Persist

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 5:40 am

Russian personnel are the first to meet space station crew members when they return to earth.
Bill Ingalls NASA

Update 1:15 a.m. EDT Tuesday:

A Russian Soyuz capsule carrying a U.S.-Russian crew has landed safely in Kazakhstan, according to NASA. American Mike Hopkins and Russians Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy had spent 166 days in space. Russian space officials had considered delaying the landing because of heavy snowfall and strong winds but decided to go ahead with the original plan.

Original Post:

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2:13pm

Mon March 10, 2014
Space

Earthbound Tensions Don't Reach Russian-American Space Partnership

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 3:20 pm

U.S. astronaut Mike Hopkins is expected to land in Kazakhstan, and despite diplomatic tensions the Russians plan to pick him up. It's another sign that U.S. and Russia remain tied at the hip in space.

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