Illustration of three black holes on a starry background

Photo illustration by Lucy Reading-Ikkanda/Quanta Magazine. Image Source: Pexels

Abstractions blog

To Make Two Black Holes Collide, Try Three

How do black holes merge and make gravitational waves? Maybe with a little help from their friends.

A dartboard with pi at its center.
number theory

New Proof Settles How to Approximate Numbers Like Pi

The ancient Greeks wondered when “irrational” numbers can be approximated by fractions. By proving the longstanding Duffin-Schaeffer conjecture, two mathematicians have provided a complete answer.

Art for "Color Me Polynomial"
Quantized Academy

Color Me Polynomial

Polynomials aren’t just exercises in abstraction. They’re good at illuminating structure in surprising places.

An illustration of a machine with two mechanical arms sorts cells by size into processing lines marked “Asymmetric Division” and “Symmetric Division.”
developmental biology

For Embryo’s Cells, Size Can Determine Fate

Modeling suggests that many embryonic cells commit to a developmental fate when they become too small to divide unevenly anymore.

An illustration of the cosmologists Wendy Freedman and Adam Riess debating the expansion rate of the universe at a recent meeting at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California.
cosmology

Cosmologists Debate How Fast the Universe Is Expanding

New measurements could upend the standard theory of the cosmos that has reigned since the discovery of dark energy 21 years ago.

Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire - The Biggest Ideas in Science from Quanta – Available now!Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire - The Biggest Ideas in Science from Quanta – Available now!Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire - The Biggest Ideas in Science from Quanta – Available now!

Latest Podcast


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artificial intelligence

Machine Learning Confronts the Elephant in the Room

A visual prank exposes an Achilles’ heel of computer vision systems: Unlike humans, they can’t do a double take.

Carlo Rubbia giving a lecture with a colorful PowerPoint slide on the screen behind him.
Q&A

A Call for Courage as Physicists Confront Collider Dilemma

Carlo Rubbia, leader of the bold collider experiment that in 1983 discovered the W and Z bosons, thinks particle physicists should now smash muons together in an innovative “Higgs factory.”

universality

The Universal Law That Aims Time’s Arrow

A new look at a ubiquitous phenomenon has uncovered unexpected fractal behavior that could give us clues about the early universe and the arrow of time.

Art for "Bubble Experiment Finds Universal Laws"
universality

Bubble Experiment Finds Universal Laws

Physicists have found examples of “universality” in a system of confined bubbles. The work could help researchers understand the strange behavior of singularities.

Latest Puzzle


insights puzzle

Solution: Magic Moiré in Twisted Graphene

Answering these simple questions can give you an intuitive feel for the geometric properties behind the emergence of superconductivity in rotated graphene sheets.

Latest Multimedia


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.

About Quanta Magazine

Illuminating basic science and math research through public service journalism.

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Quanta Magazine is committed to in-depth, accurate journalism that serves the public interest. Each article braids the complexities of science with the malleable art of storytelling and is meticulously reported, edited and fact-checked. Launched and funded by the Simons Foundation, Quanta is editorially independent — our articles do not reflect or represent the views of the foundation.

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