## The New Math of Wrinkling

A comprehensive mathematical framework treats wrinkling patterns as elegant solutions to geometric problems. The post The...

## How Do Fireflies Flash in Sync? Studies Suggest a New Answer. | Quanta Magazine

Field research suggests a new explanation for the synchronized flashing in fireflies and confirms that a...

## Chaos Researchers Can Now Predict Perilous Points of No Return

A custom-built machine learning algorithm can predict when a complex system is about to switch to...

## How AI Transformers Mimic Parts of the Brain | Quanta Magazine

Neural networks originally designed for language processing turn out to be great models of how our...

## A Black Hole’s Orbiting Ring of Light Could Encrypt Its Inner Secrets

Physicists have discovered that the ring of photons orbiting a black hole exhibits a special kind...

## How Claude Shannon’s Concept of Entropy Quantifies Information | Quanta Magazine

What’s a message, really? Claude Shannon recognized that the elemental ingredient is surprise. The post How...

## Webb Space Telescope Snaps Its First Photo of an Exoplanet

The grainy image of a “super-Jupiter” is a sign of what’s to come as the telescope’s...

## How Isaac Newton Discovered the Binomial Power Series

Rethinking questions and chasing patterns led Newton to find the connection between curves and infinite sums....

## The AI Researcher Giving Her Field Its Bitter Medicine | Quanta Magazine

Anima Anandkumar wants computer scientists to move beyond the matrix, among other challenges. The post The...

## Bacteria’s Immune Sensors Reveal a Novel Way to Detect Viruses

A new study reveals that bacteria can fight viruses in a surprisingly elegant way that has...

## Old Problem About Algebraic Curves Falls to Young Mathematicians | Quanta Magazine

Eric Larson and Isabel Vogt have solved the interpolation problem — a centuries-old question about some...

## Why and How Do We Dream? | Quanta Magazine

Dreams are subjective, but there are ways to peer into the minds of people while they...

## ‘Post-Quantum’ Cryptography Scheme Is Cracked on a Laptop | Quanta Magazine

Two researchers have broken an encryption protocol that many saw as a promising defense against the...

## What Drives Galaxies? The Milky Way’s Black Hole May Be the Key. | Quanta Magazine

Supermassive black holes have come to the fore as engines of galactic evolution, but new observations...

## Electric Fish Genomes Reveal How Evolution Repeats Itself | Quanta Magazine

By studying how electric organs arose in different lineages of fish, scientists gain new insights into...

## Help Star Trek’s Lieutenant Uhura in This Probability Puzzle | Quanta Magazine

In honor of the actor and activist Nichelle Nichols, this month’s puzzle imagines a Star Trek...

## Epigenetic ‘Clocks’ Predict Animals’ True Biological Age | Quanta Magazine

A statistical analysis of chemical tags on DNA may help unify disparate theories of aging. The...

## A Numerical Mystery From the 19th Century Finally Gets Solved | Quanta Magazine

Two mathematicians have proven Patterson’s conjecture, which was designed to explain a strange pattern in sums...

## Self-Taught AI Shows Similarities to How the Brain Works | Quanta Magazine

Self-supervised learning allows a neural network to figure out for itself what matters. The process might...

## What Is Quantum Field Theory and Why Is It Incomplete? | Quanta Magazine

Quantum field theory may be the most successful scientific theory of all time, but there’s reason...

## Ancient Equations Offer New Look at Number Groups | Quanta Magazine

Ever since Archimedes, mathematicians have been fascinated by equations that involve a difference between squares. Now...

## How the Physics of Nothing Underlies Everything | Quanta Magazine

The key to understanding the origin and fate of the universe may be a more complete...

## Black Holes Finally Proven Mathematically Stable

The solutions to Einstein’s equations that describe a spinning black hole won’t blow up, even when...

## Geometric Analysis Reveals How Birds Mastered Flight | Quanta Magazine

Partnerships between engineers and biologists have begun to reveal how birds evolved their superb maneuverability. The...

## The Computer Scientist Trying to Teach AI to Learn Like We Do | Quanta Magazine

Christopher Kanan is building algorithms that can continuously learn over time — the way we do....

## Particle Physicists Puzzle Over a New Duality | Quanta Magazine

A hidden link has been found between two seemingly unrelated particle collision outcomes. It’s the latest...

## Seeking Mathematical Truth in Counterfeit Coin Puzzles | Quanta Magazine

Readers balanced logical reasoning and mathematical insights to find phony coins with a double-pan balance scale....

## Neuronal Scaffolding Plays Unexpected Role in Chronic Pain | Quanta Magazine

Perineuronal nets, rigid structures that hold certain neurons in place, affect a surprising amount of brain...

## Why Do We Get Old, and Can Aging Be Reversed? | Quanta Magazine

Everybody gets older, but not everyone ages in the same way. In this episode, Steven Strogatz...

## Hidden Chaos Found to Lurk in Ecosystems | Quanta Magazine

New research finds that chaos plays a bigger role in population dynamics than decades of ecological...

## New Number Systems Point Geometry Problem Toward a Real Solution | Quanta Magazine

The Kakeya conjecture predicts how much room you need to point a line in every direction....

## Two Weeks In, the Webb Space Telescope Is Reshaping Astronomy | Quanta Magazine

In the days after the mega-telescope started delivering data, astronomers reported new discoveries about galaxies, stars,...

## How Can Infinitely Many Primes Be Infinitely Far Apart? | Quanta Magazine

Mathematicians have been studying the distribution of prime numbers for thousands of years. Recent results about...

## The Astrophysicist Who Sculpts Stars Before They Are Born | Quanta Magazine

Nia Imara is working to understand the mysterious clouds of gas and dust that collapse into...

## How the ‘Diamond of the Plant World’ Helped Land Plants Evolve | Quanta Magazine

Structural studies of the robust material called sporopollenin reveal how it made plants hardy enough to...

## Computer Science Proof Lifts Limits on Quantum Entanglement | Quanta Magazine

Three computer scientists have solved the NLTS conjecture, proving that systems of entangled particles can remain...

## Hypergraphs Reveal Solution to 50-Year-Old Problem | Quanta Magazine

In 1973, Paul Erdős asked if it was possible to assemble sets of “triples” — three...

## How Do Mathematicians Know Their Proofs Are Correct? | Quanta Magazine

What makes a proof stronger than a guess? What does evidence look like in the realm...

## Mass and Angular Momentum, Left Ambiguous by Einstein, Get Defined

Surprising as it may sound, 107 years after the introduction of general relativity, the meanings of...

## Embryo Cells Set Patterns for Growth by Pushing and Pulling | Quanta Magazine

Patterns that guide the development of feathers and other features can be set by mechanical forces...

## Quantum Algorithms Conquer a New Kind of Problem | Quanta Magazine

Computer scientists have found a new type of problem that quantum computers can solve dramatically faster...

## Number Theorist James Maynard Wins the Fields Medal | Quanta Magazine

On his way to winning a Fields Medal, James Maynard has cut a path through simple-sounding...

## Hugo Duminil-Copin Wins the Fields Medal | Quanta Magazine

With Hugo Duminil-Copin, thinking rarely happens without moving. His insights into the flow-related properties of complex...

## June Huh, High School Dropout, Wins the Fields Medal | Quanta Magazine

June Huh wasn’t interested in mathematics until a chance encounter during his sixth year of college....

## Ukrainian Mathematician Maryna Viazovska Wins Fields Medal | Quanta Magazine

With her homeland mired in war, the sphere-packing number theorist Maryna Viazovska has become the second...

## Life Helps Make Almost Half of All Minerals | Quanta Magazine

A new origins-based system for classifying minerals reveals the huge geochemical imprint that life has left...

## The Scandalous History of the Cubic Formula | Quanta Magazine

The quest to solve cubic equations led to duels, betrayals — and modern mathematics. The post...

## Can Computers Be Mathematicians? | Quanta Magazine

Artificial intelligence has bested humans at problem-solving challenges like chess and Go. Is mathematics research next?...

## Controversy Continues Over Whether Hot Water Freezes Faster Than Cold

Decades after a Tanzanian teenager initiated study of the “Mpemba effect,” the effort to confirm or...

## Protein Blobs Linked to Alzheimer’s Affect Aging in All Cells | Quanta Magazine

Protein buildups like those seen around neurons in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other brain diseases occur in...