Stylized illustration of a supernova

Ashley Mackenzie for Quanta Magazine

astrophysics

Long-Lived Stellar Blast Kindles Hope of a Supernova We’ve Never Seen Before

A giant star’s death throes may offer the first evidence of a pair-instability supernova, and a glimpse of the first stars in the universe.

Cichlid fish of diverse colors and shapes swim together.
evolution

New Hybrid Species Remix Old Genes Creatively

Clues from fish diversity suggest that interbreeding between species could be a major mechanism of fast speciation.

An illustration of a pink hand reaching for quantum dice.
Quantized Columns

Where Quantum Probability Comes From

There are many different ways to think about probability. Quantum mechanics embodies them all.

Craig Callender holding a paddleboard at the beach.
Q&A

Are We All Wrong About Black Holes?

Since the 1970s, physicists have described black holes using borrowed versions of the laws of thermodynamics. But are black holes really thermodynamic systems? Craig Callender worries that the analogy has been stretched too far.

cell biology

Bacterial Clones Show Surprising Individuality

Genetically identical bacteria should all be the same, but in fact, the cells are stubbornly varied individuals.

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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geometry

Amateur Mathematician Finds Smallest Universal Cover

Through exacting geometric calculations, Philip Gibbs has found the smallest known cover for any possible shape.

An illustration of a chaotic scene of spheres representing quarks and gluons.
3D illustration of three human skulls, split into left and right halves and nested one inside the next.
evolution

Fossil DNA Reveals New Twists in Modern Human Origins

Modern humans and more ancient hominins interbred many times throughout Eurasia and Africa, and the genetic flow went both ways.

Root glowing green against black background. Small spheres and threadlike filaments surround it.
ecology

Soil’s Microbial Market Shows the Ruthless Side of Forests

In the “underground economy” for soil nutrients, fungi strike hard bargains and punish plants that won’t meet their price.

The researcher Iyad Rahwan sitting at his desk.
Q&A

The Anthropologist of Artificial Intelligence

Iyad Rahwan’s radical idea: The best way to understand algorithms is to observe their behavior in the wild.

Latest Puzzle


An illustration of a sunset beach scene turned into a puzzle.
insights puzzle

The Puzzling Search for Perfect Randomness

Does objective, perfect randomness exist, or is randomness merely a product of our ignorance?

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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