An illustration of a demon’s face.

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explainers

How Maxwell’s Demon Continues to Startle Scientists

The thorny thought experiment has been turned into a real experiment — one that physicists use to probe the physics of information.

Photo of Rafflesia arnoldii growing on vines in Indonesian forest.
genomics

DNA of Giant ‘Corpse Flower’ Parasite Surprises Biologists

The bizarre genome of the world’s most mysterious flowering plants shows how far parasites will go in stealing, deleting and duplicating DNA.

An illustration showing pink and purple particles flowing around a geometric computer chip.
artificial intelligence

Latest Neural Nets Solve World’s Hardest Equations Faster Than Ever Before

Two new approaches allow deep neural networks to solve entire families of partial differential equations, making it easier to model complicated systems and to do so orders of magnitude faster.

A drawing of a mouse, with lines representing sensory data rotating 90 degrees to become lines of memory data.
neuroscience

The Brain ‘Rotates’ Memories to Save Them From New Sensations

Some populations of neurons simultaneously process sensations and memories. New work shows how the brain rotates those representations to prevent interference.

Photo of radio telescopes at the Allen Telescope Array with a starry sky featuring the Milky Way in the background.
Quantized Columns

How Radio Astronomy Reveals the Universe

Radio waves, longer and less energetic than visible light, give astronomers access to some of the most obscure physics in the cosmos.

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Insights puzzle

The Puzzling Power of Simple Arithmetic

Playing with arithmetic can lead us to unexpected and profound discoveries that point toward deeper mathematics and sometimes even deeper science.

3D illustration of Gardam's crystallographic group
group theory

Mathematician Disproves 80-Year-Old Algebra Conjecture

Inside the symmetries of a crystal shape, a postdoctoral researcher has unearthed a counterexample to a basic conjecture about multiplicative inverses.

Illustration of a placenta that is a mosaic of different colors, with a connected fetus that is all one color.
genomics

New Genomic Study of Placenta Finds Deep Links to Cancer

A patchwork of genomic differences in the placenta may explain the organ’s “live fast, die young” strategy and its connections to cancer.

A sphere swirling with many small orbs around it.
particle physics

‘Last Hope’ Experiment Finds Evidence for Unknown Particles

Today’s long-anticipated announcement by Fermilab’s Muon g-2 team appears to solidify a tantalizing conflict between nature and theory. But a separate calculation, published at the same time, has clouded the picture.

The Joy of x Podcast


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To build a general artificial intelligence, we may need to know more about our own minds, argues the computer scientist Melanie Mitchell.

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polynomials

Mathematicians Resurrect Hilbert’s 13th Problem

Long considered solved, David Hilbert’s question about seventh-degree polynomials is leading researchers to a new web of mathematical connections.

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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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