James Round for Quanta Magazine

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Is It Turtles All the Way Down?’

While the age-old chicken-and-egg paradox is easily answered, the question of infinite regress in physics is far from resolved.

Paleontologist Pincelli Hull
Q&A

A Rapid End Strikes the Dinosaur Extinction Debate

The paleontologist Pincelli Hull has nailed down the timing and speed of the extinction that killed off the dinosaurs — details that carry ominous warnings for today.

An artist’s conception of how sensory signals from the eye are map onto the brain in a slightly distorted way.
Quantized Columns

The Brain Reshapes Our Malleable Senses to Fit the World

How does experience alter our perceptions? This adapted book excerpt from We Know It When We See It describes how the brain’s visual system rewires itself to make the best use of its neural resources.

A mother armadillo, lying on her side, nurses four baby armadillos.
developmental biology

Nature Versus Nurture? Add ‘Noise’ to the Debate.

We give our genes and our environment all the credit for making us who we are. But random noise during development might be just as important.

A man standing in the Arctic tundra holds up a large photo of a swamp.
geology

Sudden Ancient Global Warming Event Traced to Magma Flood

A study has cemented the link between an intense global warming episode 56 million years ago and volcanism in the North Atlantic, with implications for modern climate change.

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!

The Joy of x Podcast


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The mathematician Rebecca Goldin and the psychology researcher Brian Nosek speak with host Steven Strogatz about what it’s like to be the bearers of unpopular truths.

Photo of Ronald Rivest sitting in his office
Q&A

Cryptography Pioneer Seeks Secure Elections the Low-Tech Way

Ronald Rivest helped come up with the RSA algorithm, which safeguards online commerce. Now he’s hoping to make democratic elections more trustworthy.

A close-up of fossilized amber.
materials science

Ideal Glass Would Explain Why Glass Exists at All

Glass is anything that’s rigid like a crystal, yet made of disordered molecules like a liquid. To understand why it exists, researchers are attempting to create the perfect, still-hypothetical “ideal glass.”

Quantized Academy

How Rational Math Catches Slippery Irrational Numbers

Finding the best way to approximate the ever-elusive irrational numbers pits the infinitely large against the infinitely small.

Quanta Podcast


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chaos theory

The Hidden Heroines of Chaos

The story of the birth of chaos theory has left out two programming pioneers.

Multimedia


Multimedia

What Is the Geometry of the Universe?

In our mind’s eye, the universe seems to go on forever. But using geometry we can explore a variety of three-dimensional shapes that offer alternatives to “ordinary” infinite space.

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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