Art for "How to Find Simple Treasures in Complex Numbers"

Dan Page for Quanta Magazine

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘How to Find Simple Treasures in Complex Numbers’

Puzzle solvers used “imaginary” numbers to solve a real world problem: finding long-lost treasure.

Q&A

She Finds Clues to Future Sustainability in Old Food Webs

By reconstructing prehistoric food webs and analyzing the diverse interactions of humans with other species, the ecologist Jennifer Dunne is developing a new understanding of sustainability through network science.

quantum physics

Quantum Machine Appears to Defy Universe’s Push for Disorder

One of the first quantum simulators has produced a puzzling phenomenon: a row of atoms that repeatedly pops back into place.

Art for "Mitochondria Direct the Fate of Stem Cells by Shape-Shifting"
developmental biology

Biologists Discover Unknown Powers in Mighty Mitochondria

Mitochondria are most famous as sources of metabolic energy. But by splitting and combining, they can also release chemical signals to regulate cell activities, including the generation of neurons.

Art for "Where Proof, Evidence and Imagination Intersect"
Quantized Academy

Where Proof, Evidence and Imagination Intersect

In mathematics, where proofs are everything, evidence is important too. But evidence is only as good as the model, and modeling can be dangerous business. So how much evidence is enough?

Art for "Karen Uhlenbeck, Uniter of Geometry and Analysis, Wins Abel Prize"
Art for "The Math That Tells Cells What They Are"
mathematical biology

The Math That Tells Cells What They Are

During development, cells seem to decode their fate through optimal information processing, which could hint at a more general principle of life.

geometry

Math Duo Maps the Infinite Terrain of Minimal Surfaces

A pair of mathematicians has built on an obscure, 30-year-old mathematical theory to show that soap-filmlike minimal surfaces appear abundantly in a wide range of shapes.

machine learning

How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Science

The latest AI algorithms are probing the evolution of galaxies, calculating quantum wave functions, discovering new chemical compounds and more. Is there anything that scientists do that can’t be automated?

Latest Podcast


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planetary science

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.

Latest Puzzle


Art for "How to Find Simple Treasures in Complex Numbers"
insights puzzle

How to Find Simple Treasures in Complex Numbers

In spite of their name, “imaginary” numbers are as real as any other numbers, especially when it comes to hunting for lost treasure.

Latest Multimedia


Art for "The Trouble With Turbulence"
In Theory

The Trouble With Turbulence

Turbulence is everywhere, yet it is one of the most difficult concepts for physicists to understand.

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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