The mathematician Federico Ardila takes a creative approach to the search for useful answers hiding among inconceivably huge numbers of possible ones.

Olena Shmahalo/Quanta Magazine

The accelerating effort to understand the mathematics of quantum field theory will have profound consequences for both math and physics.

The discovery of a gene shared by two unrelated species of fish is the latest evidence that horizontal gene transfers occur surprisingly often in vertebrates.

To understand what quantum computers can do — and what they can’t — avoid falling for overly simple explanations.

Scientists have long struggled to understand how common planets form. A new supercomputer simulation shows that the missing ingredient may be magnetism.

A new proof establishes the boundary at which a shape becomes so corrugated, it can be crushed.

Scientists have begun to decipher the subtle signs that reveal how explosive a volcanic eruption is going to be.

Jordan Ellenberg enjoys studying — and writing about — the mathematics underlying everyday phenomena.

Groundbreaking results show that neutron stars of different masses may have the same size — upending astrophysical models.

The mathematician Federico Ardila takes a creative approach to the search for useful answers hiding among inconceivably huge numbers of possible ones.

Playing with numbers can lead to deep mathematical and scientific insights.

*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.