Quanta Science Podcast https://www.quantamagazine.org In-depth news about mathematics, physics, biology and computer science. Fri, 05 Jul 2019 20:49:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.3 Listen to Quanta Magazine's in-depth news stories about developments in mathematics, theoretical physics, theoretical computer science and the basic life sciences. Quanta, an editorially independent magazine published by the Simons Foundation, seeks to enhance public understanding of basic research. Quanta Magazine clean Quanta Magazine tlin@simonsfoundation.org tlin@simonsfoundation.org (Quanta Magazine) Quanta Magazine In-depth news about mathematics, physics, biology and computer science. Quanta Science Podcast https://d2r55xnwy6nx47.cloudfront.net/uploads/2017/12/quanta_podcast_logo-1400.png https://www.quantamagazine.org New York, N.Y. Weekly Quanta Writers and Editors Discuss Trends in Science and Math https://www.quantamagazine.org/quanta-writers-and-editors-discuss-big-ideas-in-science-and-math-20181121/ Wed, 21 Nov 2018 15:24:34 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=65581 https://www.quantamagazine.org/quanta-writers-and-editors-discuss-big-ideas-in-science-and-math-20181121/#respond https://www.quantamagazine.org/quanta-writers-and-editors-discuss-big-ideas-in-science-and-math-20181121/feed/ 0 On November 16, 2018, more than 200 readers joined writers and editors from <em>Quanta Magazine</em> for a wide-ranging panel discussion that examined the newest ideas in fundamental physics, biology and mathematics research. Quanta Magazine for a wide-ranging panel discussion that examined the newest ideas in fundamental physics, biology and mathematics research.]]> Quanta Magazine Panel Discussion Join writers and editors from Quanta Magazine for a stimulating panel discussion on the biggest ideas in math and science presented in two new books: Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire and The Prime Number Conspiracy. Panelists will discuss whether our universe is “natural,” the nature of time, the origin and evolution of life, the role of mathematics in science and society, and where all these questions are taking us. Quanta Magazine clean 1:05:34 A Math Theory for Why People Hallucinate https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-math-theory-for-why-people-hallucinate-20180730/ Mon, 30 Jul 2018 14:17:02 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=61591 https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-math-theory-for-why-people-hallucinate-20180730/#respond https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-math-theory-for-why-people-hallucinate-20180730/feed/ 0 Psychedelic drugs can trigger characteristic hallucinations, which have long been thought to hold clues about the brain’s circuitry. After nearly a century of study, a possible explanation is crystallizing. A Math Theory for Why People Hallucinate Psychedelic drugs can trigger characteristic hallucinations, which have long been thought to hold clues about the brain’s circuitry. After nearly a century of study, a possible explanation is crystallizing. Read more at QuantaMagazine.org. Music is “Retro” by Wayne Jones. Quanta Magazine clean 23:45 Closed Loophole Confirms the Unreality of the Quantum World https://www.quantamagazine.org/closed-loophole-confirms-the-unreality-of-the-quantum-world-20180725/ Wed, 25 Jul 2018 16:56:22 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=61191 https://www.quantamagazine.org/closed-loophole-confirms-the-unreality-of-the-quantum-world-20180725/#respond https://www.quantamagazine.org/closed-loophole-confirms-the-unreality-of-the-quantum-world-20180725/feed/ 0 A quickly closed loophole has proved that the “great smoky dragon” of quantum mechanics may forever elude capture. Closed Loophole Confirms the Unreality of the Quantum World After researchers found a loophole in a famous experiment designed to prove that quantum objects don’t have intrinsic properties, three experimental groups quickly sewed the loophole shut. The episode closes the door on many “hidden variable” theories. Quanta Magazine clean 18:20 To Remember, the Brain Must Actively Forget https://www.quantamagazine.org/to-remember-the-brain-must-actively-forget-20180724/ Tue, 24 Jul 2018 14:43:09 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=61125 https://www.quantamagazine.org/to-remember-the-brain-must-actively-forget-20180724/#respond https://www.quantamagazine.org/to-remember-the-brain-must-actively-forget-20180724/feed/ 0 Researchers find evidence that neural systems actively remove memories, suggesting that forgetting may be the default mode of the brain. To Remember, the Brain Must Actively Forget Researchers find evidence that neural systems actively remove memories, which suggests that forgetting may be the default mode of the brain. Read more at QuantaMagazine.org. Music by The Green Orbs. Quanta Magazine clean 19:39 The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-octonion-math-that-could-underpin-physics-20180720/ Fri, 20 Jul 2018 14:42:35 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=60944 https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-octonion-math-that-could-underpin-physics-20180720/#respond https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-octonion-math-that-could-underpin-physics-20180720/feed/ 0 New findings are fueling an old suspicion that fundamental particles and forces spring from strange eight-part numbers called “octonions.” The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature New findings are fueling an old suspicion that fundamental particles and forces spring from strange eight-part numbers called “octonions.” Read more at QuantaMagazine.org. Music by Kevin MacLeod. Quanta Magazine clean 26:27 To Make Sense of the Present, Brains May Predict the Future https://www.quantamagazine.org/to-make-sense-of-the-present-brains-may-predict-the-future-20180710/ Tue, 10 Jul 2018 14:22:33 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=60581 https://www.quantamagazine.org/to-make-sense-of-the-present-brains-may-predict-the-future-20180710/#respond https://www.quantamagazine.org/to-make-sense-of-the-present-brains-may-predict-the-future-20180710/feed/ 0 A controversial theory suggests that perception, motor control, memory and other brain functions all depend on comparisons between ongoing actual experiences and the brain’s modeled expectations. To Make Sense of the Present, Brains May Predict the Future A controversial theory suggests that perception, motor control, memory and other brain functions all depend on comparisons between ongoing actual experiences and the brain’s modeled expectations. Read more at QuantaMagazine.org. Music by Everet Almond. Quanta Magazine clean 29:52 Finally, a Problem That Only Quantum Computers Will Ever Be Able to Solve https://www.quantamagazine.org/finally-a-problem-that-only-quantum-computers-will-ever-be-able-to-solve-20180621/ Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:02:17 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=59975 https://www.quantamagazine.org/finally-a-problem-that-only-quantum-computers-will-ever-be-able-to-solve-20180621/#respond https://www.quantamagazine.org/finally-a-problem-that-only-quantum-computers-will-ever-be-able-to-solve-20180621/feed/ 0 Computer scientists have been searching for years for a type of problem that a quantum computer can solve but that any possible future classical computer cannot. Now they’ve found one. Finally, a Problem That Only Quantum Computers Will Ever Be Able to Solve Computer scientists have been searching for years for a type of problem that a quantum computer can solve but that any possible future classical computer cannot. Now they’ve found one. Read more at QuantaMagazine.org. Music by Vibe Mountain. Quanta Magazine clean 11:50 Why Earth’s Cracked Crust May Be Essential for Life https://www.quantamagazine.org/plate-tectonics-may-be-essential-for-life-20180607/ Thu, 07 Jun 2018 14:25:16 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=59541 https://www.quantamagazine.org/plate-tectonics-may-be-essential-for-life-20180607/#respond https://www.quantamagazine.org/plate-tectonics-may-be-essential-for-life-20180607/feed/ 0 Life needs more than water alone. Recent discoveries suggest that plate tectonics has played a critical role in nourishing life on Earth. The findings carry major consequences for the search for life elsewhere in the universe. Why Earth’s Cracked Crust May Be Essential for Life Life needs more than water alone. Recent discoveries suggest that plate tectonics has played a critical role in nourishing life on Earth. The findings carry major consequences for the search for life elsewhere in the universe. Music by Audionautix. Quanta Magazine clean 26:47 Overtaxed Working Memory Knocks the Brain Out of Sync https://www.quantamagazine.org/overtaxed-working-memory-knocks-the-brain-out-of-sync-20180606/ Wed, 06 Jun 2018 14:06:30 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=59503 https://www.quantamagazine.org/overtaxed-working-memory-knocks-the-brain-out-of-sync-20180606/#respond https://www.quantamagazine.org/overtaxed-working-memory-knocks-the-brain-out-of-sync-20180606/feed/ 0 Researchers find that when working memory gets overburdened, dialogue between three brain regions breaks down. The discovery provides new support for a larger concept about how the brain works. Overtaxed Working Memory Knocks the Brain Out of Sync Researchers find that when working memory gets overburdened, dialogue between three brain regions breaks down. The discovery provides new support for a broader theory about how the brain operates. Read more at QuantaMagazine.org. Music by SYBS. Quanta Magazine clean 13:52 A New World’s Extraordinary Orbit Points to Planet Nine https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-new-worlds-extraordinary-orbit-points-to-planet-nine-20180515/ Wed, 16 May 2018 00:00:57 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=58845 https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-new-worlds-extraordinary-orbit-points-to-planet-nine-20180515/#respond https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-new-worlds-extraordinary-orbit-points-to-planet-nine-20180515/feed/ 0 Astronomers argue that there’s an undiscovered giant planet far beyond the orbit of Neptune. A newly discovered rocky body has added evidence to the circumstantial case for it. A New World’s Extraordinary Orbit Points to Planet Nine Astronomers argue that there’s an undiscovered giant planet far beyond the orbit of Neptune. A newly discovered rocky body has added evidence to the circumstantial case for it. Quanta Magazine clean 9:11 A Thermodynamic Answer to Why Birds Migrate https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-thermodynamic-answer-to-why-birds-migrate-20180507/ Mon, 07 May 2018 13:53:14 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=58518 New modeling studies suggest that birds migrate to strike a favorable balance between their input and output of energy. A Thermodynamic Answer to Why Birds Migrate Quanta Magazine clean 17:19 Machine Learning’s ‘Amazing’ Ability to Predict Chaos https://www.quantamagazine.org/machine-learnings-amazing-ability-to-predict-chaos-20180418/ Wed, 18 Apr 2018 14:35:40 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=57907 In new computer experiments, artificial-intelligence algorithms can tell the future of chaotic systems. Machine Learning’s ‘Amazing’ Ability to Predict Chaos Quanta Magazine clean 20:08 Decades-Old Graph Problem Yields to Amateur Mathematician https://www.quantamagazine.org/decades-old-graph-problem-yields-to-amateur-mathematician-20180417/ Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:33:52 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=57900 By making the first progress on the “chromatic number of the plane” problem in over 60 years, an anti-aging pundit has achieved mathematical immortality. Decades-Old Graph Problem Yields to Amateur Mathematician Quanta Magazine clean 8:59 Brainless Embryos Suggest Bioelectricity Guides Growth https://www.quantamagazine.org/brainless-embryos-suggest-bioelectricity-guides-growth-20180313/ Tue, 13 Mar 2018 16:05:01 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=56922 Researchers are building a case that long before the nervous system works, the brain sends crucial bioelectric signals to guide the growth of embryonic tissues. Brainless Embryos Suggest Bioelectricity Guides Growth Quanta Magazine clean 20:46 To Test Einstein’s Equations, Poke a Black Hole https://www.quantamagazine.org/to-test-einsteins-equations-poke-a-black-hole-20180308/ Thu, 08 Mar 2018 17:00:32 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=56537 Two teams of researchers have made significant progress toward proving the black hole stability conjecture, a critical mathematical test of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. To Test Einstein’s Equations, Poke a Black Hole Quanta Magazine clean 16:30 Oxygen and Stem Cells May Have Reshaped Early Complex Animals https://www.quantamagazine.org/oxygen-and-stem-cells-reshaped-animals-during-the-cambrian-explosion-20180307/ Wed, 07 Mar 2018 17:05:05 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=56530 An unlikely team offers a controversial hypothesis about what enabled animal life to get more complex during the Cambrian explosion. Oxygen and Stem Cells May Have Reshaped Early Complex Animals Quanta Magazine clean 16:30 Physicists Find a Way to See the ‘Grin’ of Quantum Gravity https://www.quantamagazine.org/physicists-find-a-way-to-see-the-grin-of-quantum-gravity-20180306/ Tue, 06 Mar 2018 16:30:51 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=56523 A recently proposed experiment would confirm that gravity is a quantum force. Physicists Find a Way to See the ‘Grin’ of Quantum Gravity Quanta Magazine clean 20:57 Why Don’t Patients Get Sick in Sync? Modelers Find Statistical Clues https://www.quantamagazine.org/disease-modelers-seek-statistical-clues-to-the-timing-of-symptoms-20180301/ Thu, 01 Mar 2018 15:34:08 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=56441 The long, variable times that some diseases incubate after infection defies simple explanation. An idealized model of tumor growth offers a statistical solution. Why Don’t Patients Get Sick in Sync? Modelers Find Statistical Clues Quanta Magazine clean 11:22 Why Artificial Intelligence Like AlphaZero Has Trouble With the Real World https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-alphazeros-artificial-intelligence-has-trouble-with-the-real-world-20180221/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 14:35:30 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=56190 The latest artificial intelligence systems start from zero knowledge of a game and grow to world-beating in a matter of hours. But researchers are struggling to apply these systems beyond the arcade. Why Self-Taught Artificial Intelligence Has Trouble With the Real World Quanta Magazine clean 20:37 Scant Evidence of Power Laws Found in Real-World Networks https://www.quantamagazine.org/scant-evidence-of-power-laws-found-in-real-world-networks-20180215/ Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:29:22 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=56033 A new study challenges one of the most celebrated and controversial ideas in network science. Scant Evidence of Power Laws Found in Real-World Networks Quanta Magazine clean 21:47 Smart Swarms Seek New Ways to Cooperate https://www.quantamagazine.org/smart-swarms-of-robots-seek-better-algorithms-20180214/ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 16:30:31 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=56006 New algorithms show how swarms of very simple robots can be made to work together as a group. Smart Swarms Seek New Ways to Cooperate Quanta Magazine clean 16:07 How the Universe Got Its Bounce Back https://www.quantamagazine.org/big-bounce-models-reignite-big-bang-debate-20180131/ Wed, 31 Jan 2018 19:39:26 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=55487 Cosmologists have shown that it’s theoretically possible for a contracting universe to bounce and expand. The new work resuscitates an old idea that directly challenges the Big Bang theory of cosmic origins. How the Universe Got Its Bounce Back Quanta Magazine clean 22:17 A Domesticated Dingo? No, but Some Are Getting Less Wild https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-domesticated-dingo-no-but-some-are-getting-less-wild-20180123/ Tue, 23 Jan 2018 16:20:03 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=55008 Near an Australian desert mining camp, wild dingoes are losing their fear of humans. Their genetic and behavioral changes may echo those from the domestication of dogs. A Domesticated Dingo? No, but Some Are Getting Less Wild Quanta Magazine clean 17:02 Fossil Discoveries Challenge Ideas About Earth’s Start https://www.quantamagazine.org/fossil-discoveries-challenge-ideas-about-earths-start-20180122/ Mon, 22 Jan 2018 14:57:19 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=54978 A series of fossil finds suggests that life on Earth started earlier than anyone thought, calling into question a widely held theory of the solar system’s beginnings. Fossil Discoveries Challenge Ideas About Earth’s Start Quanta Magazine clean 19:39 Mathematicians Find Wrinkle in Famed Fluid Equations https://www.quantamagazine.org/mathematicians-find-wrinkle-in-famed-fluid-equations-20171221/ Thu, 21 Dec 2017 15:46:54 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=53974 Two mathematicians prove that under certain extreme conditions, the Navier-Stokes equations output nonsense. Mathematicians Find Wrinkle in Famed Fluid Equations Quanta Magazine clean 16:30 Light-Triggered Genes Reveal the Hidden Workings of Memory https://www.quantamagazine.org/light-triggered-genes-reveal-the-hidden-workings-of-memory-20171214/ Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:39:11 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=53760 Nobel laureate Susumu Tonegawa’s lab is overturning old assumptions about how memories form, how recall works and whether lost memories might be restored from "silent engrams." Light-Triggered Genes Reveal the Hidden Workings of Memory Quanta Magazine clean 15:57 Secret Link Uncovered Between Pure Math and Physics https://www.quantamagazine.org/secret-link-uncovered-between-pure-math-and-physics-20171201/ Fri, 01 Dec 2017 15:12:23 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=53493 An eminent mathematician reveals that his advances in the study of millennia-old mathematical questions owe to concepts derived from physics. Secret Link Uncovered Between Pure Math and Physics Quanta Magazine clean 19:32 How Bacteria Help Regulate Blood Pressure https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-bacteria-help-regulate-blood-pressure-20171130/ Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:00:38 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=53373 Kidneys sniff out signals from gut bacteria for cues to lower blood pressure after meals. Our understanding of how the symbiotic microbes affect health is becoming much more molecular. Bacteria Blood Pressure Quanta Magazine clean 8:50 Choosy Eggs May Pick Sperm for Their Genes, Defying Mendel’s Law https://www.quantamagazine.org/choosy-eggs-may-pick-sperm-for-their-genes-defying-mendels-law-20171115/ Wed, 15 Nov 2017 21:10:37 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=53113 The oldest law of genetics says that gametes combine randomly, but experiments hint that sometimes eggs select sperm actively for their genetic assets. Choosy Eggs May Pick Sperm for Their Genes, Defying Mendel’s Law Quanta Magazine clean 15:25 A Zombie Gene Protects Elephants From Cancer https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-zombie-gene-protects-elephants-from-cancer-20171107/ Tue, 07 Nov 2017 17:10:42 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=52718 Elephants did not evolve to become huge animals until after they turned a bit of genetic junk into a unique defense against inevitable tumors. A Zombie Gene Protects Elephants From Cancer Quanta Magazine clean 10:25 Best-Ever Algorithm Found for Huge Streams of Data https://www.quantamagazine.org/best-ever-algorithm-found-for-huge-streams-of-data-20171024/ Tue, 24 Oct 2017 12:25:08 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=52240 To efficiently analyze a firehose of data, scientists first have to break big numbers into bits. Best-Ever Algorithm Quanta Magazine clean 15:30 Newfound Wormhole Allows Information to Escape Black Holes https://www.quantamagazine.org/newfound-wormhole-allows-information-to-escape-black-holes-20171023/ Mon, 23 Oct 2017 15:30:06 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=52182 Physicists theorize that a new “traversable” kind of wormhole could resolve a baffling paradox and rescue information that falls into black holes. Newfound Wormhole Allows Information to Escape Black Holes Quanta Magazine clean 16:12 New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning https://www.quantamagazine.org/new-theory-cracks-open-the-black-box-of-deep-learning-20170921/ Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:40:33 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=51246 A new idea is helping to explain the puzzling success of today’s artificial-intelligence algorithms — and might also explain how human brains learn. New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning Quanta Magazine clean 15:57 Clever Machines Learn How to Be Curious https://www.quantamagazine.org/clever-machines-learn-how-to-be-curious-20170919/ Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:00:23 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=51120 Computer scientists are finding ways to code curiosity into intelligent machines. Programming curiosity in AI Quanta Magazine clean 19:24 Interspecies Hybrids Play a Vital Role in Evolution https://www.quantamagazine.org/interspecies-hybrids-play-a-vital-role-in-evolution-20170824/ Thu, 24 Aug 2017 13:00:26 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=50327 Hybrids, once treated as biological misfits, play a vital role in the evolution of many animal species. Now conservationists are trying to reconcile that truth with policies. Hybrids play a surprising role in helping to create and preserve many species — a discovery that complicates some conservation efforts. Quanta Magazine clean 17:52 Mathematicians Tame Rogue Waves, Lighting Up Future of LEDs https://www.quantamagazine.org/mathematicians-tame-rogue-waves-lighting-up-future-of-leds-20170822/ Tue, 22 Aug 2017 12:30:37 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=50206 The mathematician Svitlana Mayboroda and collaborators have figured out how to predict the behavior of electrons — a mathematical discovery that could have immediate practical effects. The Future of LEDs Quanta Magazine clean 14:06 What Made the Moon? New Ideas Try to Rescue a Troubled Theory https://www.quantamagazine.org/what-made-the-moon-new-ideas-try-to-rescue-a-troubled-theory-20170802/ Wed, 02 Aug 2017 06:18:02 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=49579 Textbooks say that the moon was formed after a Mars-size mass smashed the young Earth. But new evidence has cast doubt on that story, leaving researchers to dream up new ways to get a giant rock into orbit. New evidence has researchers spinning new tales about the moon’s origin. Quanta Magazine clean 21:21 In Game Theory, No Clear Path to Equilibrium https://www.quantamagazine.org/in-game-theory-no-clear-path-to-equilibrium-20170718/ Tue, 18 Jul 2017 12:20:29 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=49110 John Nash’s notion of equilibrium is ubiquitous in economic theory, but a new study shows that it is often impossible to reach efficiently. All game players have a Nash equilibrium, but will they be able to reach it? Quanta Magazine clean 15:32 Pentagon Tiling Proof Solves Century-Old Math Problem https://www.quantamagazine.org/pentagon-tiling-proof-solves-century-old-math-problem-20170711/ Tue, 11 Jul 2017 16:25:08 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=48856 A French mathematician has completed the classification of all convex pentagons, and therefore all convex polygons, that tile the plane. A proof about pentagons has solved a 100-year-old math problem. Quanta Magazine clean 10:44 Can Microbes Encourage Altruism? https://www.quantamagazine.org/can-microbes-encourage-altruism-20170629/ Thu, 29 Jun 2017 14:09:52 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=48502 If gut bacteria can sway their hosts to be selfless, it could answer a riddle that goes back to Darwin. Can gut bacteria persuade their hosts to be selfless? Quanta Magazine clean 15:43 Dark Matter Recipe Calls for One Part Superfluid https://www.quantamagazine.org/dark-matter-recipe-calls-for-one-part-superfluid-20170613/ Tue, 13 Jun 2017 15:34:51 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=47622 A different kind of dark matter could help to resolve an old celestial conundrum. A different kind of dark matter could help solve a celestial conundrum. Quanta Magazine clean 14:38 A Puzzle of Clever Connections Nears a Happy End https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-puzzle-of-clever-connections-nears-a-happy-end-20170530/ Tue, 30 May 2017 15:01:20 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=46494 The three young friends who devised the “happy ending” problem would become some of the most influential mathematicians of the 20th century, but were never able to solve their own puzzle. Now it receives its first big breakthrough. Three young mathematicians created a puzzle they never solved. Quanta Magazine clean 11:33 The Thoughts of a Spiderweb https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-thoughts-of-a-spiderweb-20170523/ Tue, 23 May 2017 11:47:18 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=46332 Spiders appear to offload cognitive tasks to their webs, making them one of a number of species with a mind that isn’t fully confined within the head. A spider’s mind isn’t confined to its head — it extends to its web. Quanta Magazine clean 12:41 How to Quantify (and Fight) Gerrymandering https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-mathematics-behind-gerrymandering-20170404/ Tue, 04 Apr 2017 13:10:26 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=37677 Powerful new quantitative tools are now available to combat partisan bias in the drawing of voting districts. Powerful new mathematical tools can help identify biased voting districts. Quanta Magazine clean 16:54 A Long-Sought Proof, Found and Almost Lost https://www.quantamagazine.org/statistician-proves-gaussian-correlation-inequality-20170328/ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 13:26:34 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=37427 When a German retiree proved a famous long-standing mathematical conjecture, the response was underwhelming. A German retiree solved a long-standing problem — but no one noticed. Quanta Magazine clean 14:36 A New Blast May Have Forged Cosmic Gold https://www.quantamagazine.org/did-neutron-stars-or-supernovas-forge-the-universes-supply-of-gold-20170323/ Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:30:01 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=37210 For decades, researchers believed that violent supernovas forged gold and other heavy elements. But many now argue for a different cosmic quarry. Gravitational waves breathe new life into an old argument: How did the universe make gold? Quanta Magazine clean 12:07 Why Did Life Move to Land? For the View https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-did-life-move-to-land-for-the-view-20170307/ Tue, 07 Mar 2017 19:00:51 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=36636 The ancient creatures who first crawled onto land may have been lured by the informational benefit that comes from seeing through air. The ancient creatures who first crawled onto land may have been lured by the informational benefit that comes from seeing through air. Quanta Magazine clean New Number Systems Seek Their Lost Primes https://www.quantamagazine.org/ideal-numbers-seek-their-lost-primes-20170302/ Thu, 02 Mar 2017 14:09:37 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=36368 For centuries, mathematicians tried to solve problems by adding new values to the usual numbers. Now they’re investigating the unintended consequences of that tinkering. For centuries, mathematicians tried to solve problems by adding new values to the usual numbers. Now they’re investigating the unintended consequences of that tinkering. Quanta Magazine clean Researchers Tap a Sleep Switch in the Brain https://www.quantamagazine.org/researchers-tap-a-sleep-switch-in-the-brain-20170214/ Tue, 14 Feb 2017 14:02:28 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=35845 Powerful new experiments have uncovered some of the molecular underpinnings of sleep. Powerful new experiments have uncovered some of the molecular underpinnings of sleep. Quanta Magazine clean Experiment Reaffirms Quantum Weirdness https://www.quantamagazine.org/physicists-are-closing-the-bell-test-loophole-20170207/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 15:22:50 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=35584 Physicists are closing the door on an intriguing loophole around the quantum phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.” Physicists are closing the door on an intriguing loophole around the quantum phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.” Quanta Magazine clean To Live Your Best Life, Do Mathematics https://www.quantamagazine.org/math-and-the-best-life-an-interview-with-francis-su-20170202/ Thu, 02 Feb 2017 15:04:53 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=35475 The ancient Greeks argued that the best life was filled with beauty, truth, justice, play and love. The mathematician Francis Su knows just where to find them. The ancient Greeks argued that the best life was filled with beauty, truth, justice, play and love. The mathematician Francis Su knows just where to find them. Quanta Magazine clean Dividing Droplets Could Explain Life’s Origin https://www.quantamagazine.org/dividing-droplets-could-explain-origin-of-life-20170119/ Thu, 19 Jan 2017 20:07:50 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=35036 Researchers have discovered that simple “chemically active” droplets grow to the size of cells and spontaneously divide, suggesting they might have evolved into the first living cells. Researchers have discovered that simple “chemically active” droplets grow to the size of cells and spontaneously divide, suggesting they might have evolved into the first living cells. Quanta Magazine clean Infant Brains Reveal How the Mind Gets Built https://www.quantamagazine.org/infant-brains-reveal-how-the-mind-gets-built-20170110/ Tue, 10 Jan 2017 16:00:23 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=34720 Is the brain a blank slate, or is it wired from birth to understand the world? Is the brain a blank slate, or is it wired from birth to understand the world? Quanta Magazine clean 3-D Fractals Offer Clues to Complex Systems https://www.quantamagazine.org/3-d-fractals-offer-clues-to-complex-systems-20170103/ Tue, 03 Jan 2017 16:45:54 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=34239 By folding fractals into 3-D objects, a mathematical duo hopes to gain new insight into simple equations. By folding fractals into 3-D objects, a mathematical duo hopes to gain new insight into simple equations. Quanta Magazine clean Grand Unification Dream Kept at Bay https://www.quantamagazine.org/no-proton-decay-means-grand-unification-must-wait-20161215/ Thu, 15 Dec 2016 18:17:52 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=33583 Physicists have failed to find disintegrating protons, throwing into limbo the beloved theory that the forces of nature were unified at the beginning of time. Physicists have failed to find disintegrating protons, throwing into limbo the beloved theory that the forces of nature were unified at the beginning of time. Quanta Magazine clean The Case Against Dark Matter https://www.quantamagazine.org/erik-verlindes-gravity-minus-dark-matter-20161129/ Tue, 29 Nov 2016 17:43:05 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=32987 A proposed theory of gravity does away with dark matter, even as new astrophysical findings challenge the need for galaxies full of the invisible mystery particles. A proposed theory of gravity does away with dark matter, even as new astrophysical findings challenge the need for galaxies full of the invisible mystery particles. Quanta Magazine clean What Sonic Black Holes Say About Real Ones https://www.quantamagazine.org/what-sonic-black-holes-say-about-real-ones-20161108/ Tue, 08 Nov 2016 17:48:33 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=32115 Can a fluid analogue of a black hole point physicists toward the theory of quantum gravity, or is it a red herring? Can a fluid analogue of a black hole point physicists toward the theory of quantum gravity, or is it a red herring? Quanta Magazine clean Giant Genetic Map Shows Life’s Hidden Links https://www.quantamagazine.org/giant-genetic-map-reveals-lifes-hidden-links-20161025/ Tue, 25 Oct 2016 14:46:10 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=31448 In a monumental set of experiments, spread out over nearly two decades, biologists removed genes two at a time to uncover the secret workings of the cell. In a monumental set of experiments, spread out over nearly two decades, biologists removed genes two at a time to uncover the secret workings of the cell. Quanta Magazine clean The Art of Teaching Math and Science https://www.quantamagazine.org/math-and-science-teachers-pencils-down-20161011/ Tue, 11 Oct 2016 15:00:32 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=30600 The impasse in math and science instruction runs deeper than test scores or the latest educational theory. What can we learn from the best teachers on the front lines? The impasse in math and science instruction runs deeper than test scores or the latest educational theory. What can we learn from the best teachers on the front lines? Quanta Magazine clean How to Cut Cake Fairly and Finally Eat It Too https://www.quantamagazine.org/new-algorithm-solves-cake-cutting-problem-20161006/ Thu, 06 Oct 2016 16:56:26 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=30685 Computer scientists have come up with a bounded algorithm that can fairly divide a cake among any number of people. Computer scientists have come up with a bounded algorithm that can fairly divide a cake among any number of people. Quanta Magazine clean Strange Dark Galaxy Puzzles Astrophysicists https://www.quantamagazine.org/massive-galaxy-made-of-dark-matter-puzzles-astrophysicists-20160927/ Tue, 27 Sep 2016 17:07:17 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=30193 The surprising discovery of a massive, Milky Way–size galaxy that is made of 99.99 percent dark matter has astronomers dreaming up new ideas about how galaxies form. The surprising discovery of a massive, Milky Way–size galaxy that is made of 99.99 percent dark matter has astronomers dreaming up new ideas about how galaxies form. Quanta Magazine clean Hacker-Proof Code Confirmed https://www.quantamagazine.org/formal-verification-creates-hacker-proof-code-20160920/ Tue, 20 Sep 2016 16:06:38 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=29937 Computer scientists can prove certain programs to be error-free with the same certainty that mathematicians prove theorems. Computer scientists can prove certain programs to be error-free with the same certainty that mathematicians prove theorems. Quanta Magazine clean Colliding Black Holes Tell New Story of Stars https://www.quantamagazine.org/colliding-black-holes-tell-new-story-of-stars-20160906/ Tue, 06 Sep 2016 16:23:09 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=29395 <span style="font-weight: 400;">Just months after their discovery, gravitational waves coming from the mergers of black holes are shaking up astrophysics.</span> Just months after their discovery, gravitational waves coming from the mergers of black holes are shaking up astrophysics. Quanta Magazine clean The Neuroscience Behind Bad Decisions https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-neuroscience-behind-bad-decisions-20160823/ Tue, 23 Aug 2016 14:34:21 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=28945 Irrationality may be a consequence of the brain’s ravenous energy needs. Irrationality may be a consequence of the brain’s ravenous energy needs. Quanta Magazine clean What No New Particles Means for Physics https://www.quantamagazine.org/what-no-new-particles-means-for-physics-20160809/ Tue, 09 Aug 2016 16:10:04 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=28430 Physicists are confronting their “nightmare scenario.” What does the absence of new particles suggest about how nature works? Physicists are confronting their “nightmare scenario.” What does the absence of new particles suggest about how nature works? Quanta Magazine clean Neutrinos Hint of Matter-Antimatter Rift https://www.quantamagazine.org/do-neutrinos-explain-matter-antimatter-asymmetry-20160728/ Thu, 28 Jul 2016 16:05:16 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=27397 A hint that neutrinos behave differently than antineutrinos suggests an answer to one the biggest questions in physics. A hint that neutrinos behave differently than antineutrinos suggests an answer to one the biggest questions in physics. Quanta Magazine clean Biologists Search for New Model Organisms https://www.quantamagazine.org/biologys-search-for-new-model-organisms-20160726/ Tue, 26 Jul 2016 16:17:40 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=27169 The bulk of biological research is centered on a handful of species. Are we missing a huge chunk of interesting biology? The bulk of biological research is centered on a handful of species. Are we missing a huge chunk of interesting biology? Quanta Magazine clean A Debate Over the Physics of Time https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-debate-over-the-physics-of-time-20160719/ Tue, 19 Jul 2016 16:35:12 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=27008 According to our best theories of physics, the universe is a fixed block where time only appears to pass. According to our best theories of physics, the universe is a fixed block where time only appears to pass. Quanta Magazine clean A Bird’s-Eye View of Nature’s Hidden Order https://www.quantamagazine.org/hyperuniformity-found-in-birds-math-and-physics-20160712/ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 13:25:42 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=26785 <span style="font-weight: 400;">Scientists are exploring a mysterious pattern, found in birds’ eyes, boxes of marbles and other surprising places, that is neither regular nor random. </span> Scientists are exploring a mysterious pattern, found in birds’ eyes, boxes of marbles and other surprising places, that is neither regular nor random. Quanta Magazine clean How Feynman Diagrams Almost Saved Space https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-feynman-diagrams-are-so-important-20160705/ Tue, 05 Jul 2016 20:00:55 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=26357 Richard Feynman's famous diagrams weren’t just a way to do calculations. They represented a deep shift in thinking about how the universe is put together. Richard Feynman's famous diagrams weren’t just a way to do calculations. They represented a deep shift in thinking about how the universe is put together. Quanta Magazine clean The Oracle of Arithmetic https://www.quantamagazine.org/peter-scholze-and-the-future-of-arithmetic-geometry-20160628/ Tue, 28 Jun 2016 15:30:10 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=26121 At 28, Peter Scholze is uncovering deep connections between number theory and geometry. At 28, Peter Scholze is uncovering deep connections between number theory and geometry. Quanta Magazine clean New Life Found That Lives Off Electricity https://www.quantamagazine.org/electron-eating-microbes-found-in-odd-places-20160621/ Tue, 21 Jun 2016 15:51:50 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=25752 Scientists have figured out how microbes can suck energy from rocks. Such lifeforms might be more widespread than anyone anticipated. Scientists have figured out how microbes can suck energy from rocks. Such lifeforms might be more widespread than anyone anticipated. Quanta Magazine clean Computing’s Search for Quantum Questions https://www.quantamagazine.org/computings-search-for-the-best-quantum-questions-20160602/ Thu, 02 Jun 2016 16:18:52 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=25082 Recent tests show that quantum computers made by D-Wave systems should solve some problems faster than ordinary computers. Researchers have begun to map out exactly which queries might benefit from these quantum machines. Are we asking quantum computers the right questions? Quanta Magazine clean 11:36 Simple Set Game Proof Stuns Mathematicians https://www.quantamagazine.org/set-proof-stuns-mathematicians-20160531/ Tue, 31 May 2016 17:13:16 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=24966 A new series of papers has settled a long-standing question related to the popular game in which players seek patterned sets of three cards. A new series of papers has settled a long-standing question related to the popular game in which players seek patterned sets of three cards. Quanta Magazine clean How Neanderthal DNA Helps Humanity https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-neanderthal-dna-helps-humanity-20160526/ Thu, 26 May 2016 14:23:40 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=24823 Neanderthals and Denisovans may have endowed modern humans with genetic variants that helped them thrive in new environments<strong>. </strong> Neanderthals and Denisovans may have endowed modern humans with genetic variants that helped them thrive in new environments. Quanta Magazine clean New Support for Alternative Quantum View https://www.quantamagazine.org/pilot-wave-theory-gains-experimental-support-20160516/ Mon, 16 May 2016 21:08:33 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=24445 An experiment claims to have invalidated a decades-old criticism against pilot-wave theory, an alternative formulation of quantum mechanics that eliminates the most baffling features of the subatomic universe. An experiment claims to have invalidated a decades-old criticism against pilot-wave theory, an alternative formulation of quantum mechanics that eliminates the most baffling features of the subatomic universe. Quanta Magazine clean New Evidence for the Necessity of Loneliness https://www.quantamagazine.org/new-evidence-for-the-necessity-of-loneliness-20160510/ Tue, 10 May 2016 15:09:06 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=24138 A specific set of neurons deep in the brain may motivate us to seek company, holding social species together. A specific set of neurons deep in the brain may motivate us to seek company, holding social species together. Quanta Magazine clean Tiny Tests Seek the Universe’s Big Mysteries https://www.quantamagazine.org/tabletop-searches-for-extra-dimensions-and-dark-matter-20160503/ Tue, 03 May 2016 14:18:21 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=23785 The search for exotic new physical phenomena is being led by huge experiments like the Large Hadron Collider. But at the other end of the spectrum lie tabletop experiments — small-scale probes of hidden dimensions, dark matter and dark energy. The search for exotic new physical phenomena is being led by huge experiments like the Large Hadron Collider. But at the other end of the spectrum lie tabletop experiments — small-scale probes of hidden dimensions, dark matter and dark energy. Quanta Magazine clean A Secret Flexibility Found in Life’s Blueprints https://www.quantamagazine.org/one-gene-many-proteins-20160426/ Tue, 26 Apr 2016 15:57:57 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=23588 A new study reveals that individual genes can create many different versions of the molecular machinery that powers the cell. A new study reveals that individual genes can create many different versions of the molecular machinery that powers the cell. Quanta Magazine clean Physicists Hunt for the Big Bang’s Triangles https://www.quantamagazine.org/physicists-hunt-for-the-big-bangs-triangles-20160419/ Tue, 19 Apr 2016 16:24:42 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=23215 The story of the universe’s birth — and evidence for string theory — could be found in triangles and myriad other shapes in the sky. The story of the universe’s birth — and evidence for string theory — could be found in triangles and myriad other shapes in the sky. Quanta Magazine clean Debate Intensifies Over Dark Disk Theory https://www.quantamagazine.org/debate-intensifies-over-dark-disk-theory-20160412/ Tue, 12 Apr 2016 15:24:55 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=22987 In the new, free-for-all era of dark matter research, the controversial idea that dark matter is concentrated in thin disks is being rescued from scientific oblivion. In the new, free-for-all era of dark matter research, the controversial idea that dark matter is concentrated in thin disks is being rescued from scientific oblivion. Quanta Magazine clean Mapping the Brain to Build Better Machines https://www.quantamagazine.org/mapping-the-brain-to-build-better-machines-20160406/ Wed, 06 Apr 2016 17:06:50 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=22873 A project to decipher the brain’s learning rules could revolutionize machine learning. A project to decipher the brain’s learning rules could revolutionize machine learning. Quanta Magazine clean Sphere Packing Solved in Higher Dimensions https://www.quantamagazine.org/sphere-packing-solved-in-higher-dimensions-20160330/ Wed, 30 Mar 2016 16:15:57 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=22705 The Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Viazovska has solved the centuries-old sphere-packing problem in dimensions eight and 24. The Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Viazovska has solved the centuries-old sphere-packing problem in dimensions eight and 24. Quanta Magazine clean The Beasts That Keep the Beat https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-beasts-that-keep-the-beat-20160322/ Tue, 22 Mar 2016 15:35:31 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=22302 <span style="font-weight: 400;">New insights from neuroscience — aided by a small zoo’s worth of dancing animals — are revealing the biological origins of rhythm.</span> New insights from neuroscience — aided by a small zoo’s worth of dancing animals — are revealing the biological origins of rhythm. Quanta Magazine clean Mathematicians Discover Prime Conspiracy https://www.quantamagazine.org/mathematicians-discover-prime-conspiracy-20160313/ Mon, 14 Mar 2016 02:17:20 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=21385 A previously unnoticed property of prime numbers seems to violate a long-standing assumption about how they behave. A previously unnoticed property of prime numbers seems to violate a long-standing assumption about how they behave. Quanta Magazine clean After Black Holes Collide, a Puzzling Flash https://www.quantamagazine.org/after-black-holes-collide-a-puzzling-flash-20160302/ Wed, 02 Mar 2016 11:30:24 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=21296 A satellite spotted a burst of light just as gravitational waves rolled in from the collision of two black holes. Was the flash a cosmic coincidence, or do astrophysicists need to rethink what black holes can do? A satellite spotted a burst of light just as gravitational waves rolled in from the collision of two black holes. Was the flash a cosmic coincidence, or do astrophysicists need to rethink what black holes can do? Quanta Magazine clean The Quantum Secret to Superconductivity https://www.quantamagazine.org/mega-magnet-reveals-superconductor-secret-20160222/ Mon, 22 Feb 2016 16:00:04 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=21148 <span style="font-weight: 400;">In a virtuoso experiment, physicists have revealed details of a “quantum critical point” that underlies high-temperature superconductivity.</span> In a virtuoso experiment, physicists have revealed details of a “quantum critical point” that underlies high-temperature superconductivity. Quanta Magazine clean How to Build Life in a Pre-Darwinian World https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-to-build-life-in-a-pre-darwinian-world-20160216/ Tue, 16 Feb 2016 16:44:25 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=21054 Perhaps chemistry played a more instrumental role in the origin of life than scientists thought. Perhaps chemistry played a more instrumental role in the origin of life than scientists thought. Quanta Magazine clean Gravitational Waves Discovered at Long Last https://www.quantamagazine.org/gravitational-waves-discovered-at-long-last-20160211/ Thu, 11 Feb 2016 15:30:57 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=20943 Ripples in space-time have been detected a century after Einstein predicted them, launching a new era in astronomy. This week: Long sought-after gravitational waves are found and a proposed fuzzball fix for a black hole paradox. Quanta Magazine clean 34:47 Scientists Debate Signatures of Alien Life https://www.quantamagazine.org/scientists-debate-signatures-of-alien-life-20160202/ Tue, 02 Feb 2016 17:08:39 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=20738 Searching for signs of life on faraway planets, astrobiologists must decide which telltale biosignature gases to target. Searching for signs of life on faraway planets, astrobiologists must decide which telltale biosignature gases to target. Quanta Magazine clean New Clues to How the Brain Maps Time https://www.quantamagazine.org/new-clues-to-how-the-brain-maps-time-20160126/ Tue, 26 Jan 2016 15:18:03 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=20646 The same brain cells that track location in space appear to also count beats in time. The research suggests that our thoughts may take place on a mental space-time canvas. The same brain cells that track location in space appear to also count beats in time. The research suggests that our thoughts may take place on a mental space-time canvas. Quanta Magazine clean Quantum Weirdness Now a Matter of Time https://www.quantamagazine.org/time-entanglement-raises-quantum-mysteries-20160119/ Tue, 19 Jan 2016 18:44:17 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=20574 Bizarre quantum bonds connect distinct moments in time, suggesting that quantum links — not space-time — constitute the fundamental structure of the universe. Bizarre quantum bonds connect distinct moments in time, suggesting that quantum links — not space-time — constitute the fundamental structure of the universe. Quanta Magazine clean String Theory Meets Loop Quantum Gravity https://www.quantamagazine.org/string-theory-meets-loop-quantum-gravity-20160112/ Tue, 12 Jan 2016 15:51:13 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=20500 Two leading candidates for a “theory of everything,” long thought to be incompatible, may be two sides of the same coin. Two leading candidates for a “theory of everything,” long thought to be incompatible, may be two sides of the same coin. Quanta Magazine clean Landmark Algorithm Breaks 30-Year Impasse https://www.quantamagazine.org/algorithm-solves-graph-isomorphism-in-record-time-20151214/ Mon, 14 Dec 2015 12:40:32 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=19788 Computer scientists are abuzz over a fast new algorithm for solving one of the central problems in the field. Computer scientists are abuzz over a fast new algorithm for solving one of the central problems in the field. Quanta Magazine clean Math Quartet Joins Forces on Unified Theory https://www.quantamagazine.org/math-quartet-joins-forces-on-unified-theory-20151208/ Tue, 08 Dec 2015 22:00:56 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=19908 A new breakthrough that bridges number theory and geometry is just the latest triumph for a close-knit group of mathematicians. A new breakthrough that bridges number theory and geometry is just the latest triumph for a close-knit group of mathematicians. Quanta Magazine clean The Incredible Shrinking Sex Chromosome https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-incredible-shrinking-sex-chromosome-20151201/ Tue, 01 Dec 2015 17:39:00 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=19818 Nature offers species a panoply of ways to determine an organism’s sex. That flexibility suggests we need not be concerned about losing sex chromosomes, but it raises the question of why such a fundamental property is so variable. Nature offers species a panoply of ways to determine an organism’s sex. That flexibility suggests we need not be concerned about losing sex chromosomes, but it raises the question of why such a fundamental property is so variable. Quanta Magazine clean Nature’s Critical Warning System https://www.quantamagazine.org/critical-slowing-warns-of-looming-disasters-20151118/ Wed, 18 Nov 2015 15:00:12 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=19675 Scientists are homing in on a warning signal that arises in complex systems like ecological food webs, the brain and the Earth’s climate. Could it help prevent future catastrophes? Scientists are homing in on a warning signal that arises in complex systems like ecological food webs, the brain and the Earth’s climate. Could it help prevent future catastrophes? Quanta Magazine clean How Humans Evolved Supersize Brains https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-humans-evolved-supersize-brains-20151110/ Tue, 10 Nov 2015 19:00:26 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=19550 Scientists have begun to identify the symphony of biological triggers that powered the extraordinary expansion of the human brain. Scientists have begun to identify the symphony of biological triggers that powered the extraordinary expansion of the human brain. Quanta Magazine clean Mongrel Microbe Tests Story of Complex Life https://www.quantamagazine.org/lokiarchaeota-and-the-origin-of-complex-life-20151029/ Thu, 29 Oct 2015 13:59:17 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=19340 A newly discovered class of microbe could help to resolve one of the biggest and most controversial mysteries in evolution — how simple microbes transformed into the complex cells that produced animals, plants and fungi. A newly discovered class of microbe could help to resolve one of the biggest and most controversial mysteries in evolution — how simple microbes transformed into the complex cells that produced animals, plants and fungi. Quanta Magazine clean Theorists Draw Closer to Perfect Coloring https://www.quantamagazine.org/mathematicians-closer-to-perfect-graph-coloring-theorem-20151020/ Tue, 20 Oct 2015 16:52:57 +0000 https://www.quantamagazine.org/?p=19172 A theorem for coloring a large class of “perfect” mathematical networks could ease the way for a long-sought general coloring proof. A theorem for coloring a large class of “perfect” mathematical networks could ease the way for a long-sought general coloring proof. Quanta Magazine clean