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Art for "As Planet Discoveries Pile Up, a Gap Appears in the Pattern"
Abstractions blog

As Planet Discoveries Pile Up, a Gap Appears in the Pattern

Astronomers are puzzling over a paucity of planets in the galaxy measuring between 1.5 and two times Earth’s size.

Art for "In Ecology Studies and Selfless Ants, He Finds Hope for the Future"
Q&A

In Ecology Studies and Selfless Ants, He Finds Hope for the Future

For more than six decades, the influential biologist Edward O. Wilson has drawn connections between evolution, ecology and behavior, often sparking controversies inside and outside of science.

Art for "What Are Feynman Diagrams?"
In Theory

How Feynman Diagrams Revolutionized Physics

In the late 1940s, Richard Feynman invented a visual tool for simplifying particle calculations that forever changed theoretical physics.

Art for "How Feynman Diagrams Revolutionized Physics"
sphere packing

Out of a Magic Math Function, One Solution to Rule Them All

Mathematicians used “magic functions” to prove that two highly symmetric lattices solve a myriad of problems in eight- and 24-dimensional space.

Art for "Rapid Oxygen Changes Fueled an Explosion in Ancient Animal Diversity"
Abstractions blog

Rapid Oxygen Changes Fueled an Explosion in Ancient Animal Diversity

Skyrocketing animal diversity a half-billion years ago was linked to spikes and dips in marine oxygen levels, according to a detailed geological study.

Art for "Black, Hot Ice, Newly Seen in the Lab, May Be Nature's Commonest Form of Water"
chemistry

Black, Hot Ice May Be Nature’s Most Common Form of Water

A new experiment confirms the existence of “superionic ice,” a bizarre form of water that might comprise the bulk of giant icy planets throughout the universe.

Art for "The Subtle Art of the Mathematical Conjecture"
Quantized Columns

The Subtle Art of the Mathematical Conjecture

It’s an educated guess, not a proof. But a good conjecture will guide math forward, pointing the way into the mathematical unknown.

Art for "Universal Pattern Explains Why Materials Conduct"
mathematical physics

Universal Pattern Explains Why Materials Conduct

Mathematicians have found that materials conduct electricity when electrons follow a universal mathematical pattern.

Art for "Brains Speed Up Perception by Guessing What’s Next"
neuroscience

Brains Speed Up Perception by Guessing What’s Next

Your expectations shape and quicken your perceptions. A new model that explains how that happens also suggests it’s time to update theories about sensory perception and decision making.