One of the world’s preeminent theoretical physicists seeks a quiet place to think.

Sasha Maslov for Quanta Magazine

Thinking Places

Juan Maldacena, Pondering Quantum Gravity by the Pond

One of the world’s preeminent theoretical physicists seeks a quiet place to think.

An unexpected mechanism allows wasps to rapidly co-opt genes for new toxic functions.
evolution

Moonlighting Genes Evolve for a Venomous Job

An unexpected mechanism allows wasps to rapidly co-opt genes for new toxic functions.

Recent calculations tie together two conjectures about gravity, potentially revealing new truths about its elusive quantum nature.
quantum gravity

Where Gravity Is Weak and Naked Singularities Are Verboten

Recent calculations tie together two conjectures about gravity, potentially revealing new truths about its elusive quantum nature.

A definitive explanation for why plants evolved spines remains elusive, and human biases compound the problem.
evolution

The Thorny Truth About Spine Evolution

A definitive explanation for why plants evolved spines remains elusive, and human biases compound the problem.

A different kind of dark matter could help to resolve an old celestial conundrum.
dark matter

Dark Matter Recipe Calls for One Part Superfluid

A different kind of dark matter could help to resolve an old celestial conundrum.

Latest Puzzle


For your frustration, joy and entertainment, our puzzle challenges you to find general patterns or rules based on seemingly random, specific examples.
insights puzzle

Bongard Problems and Scientific Discovery

For your frustration, joy and entertainment, our puzzle challenges you to find general patterns or rules based on seemingly random, specific examples.

Latest Interactive


The two physicists who introduced Peccei-Quinn symmetry came up with their idea on and around Stanford University’s campus 40 years ago.
Thinking Places

Roberto Peccei and Helen Quinn, Driving Around Stanford in a Clunky Jeep

The two physicists who introduced Peccei-Quinn symmetry came up with their idea on and around Stanford University’s campus 40 years ago.

Latest Podcast


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statistics

A Long-Sought Proof, Found and Almost Lost

When a German retiree proved a famous long-standing mathematical conjecture, the response was underwhelming.

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Illuminating basic science and math research through public service journalism.

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