Dan Page for Quanta Magazine

insights puzzle

Does Natural Law Need Elegant Mathematics?

Many of us are drawn to beauty in mathematics. But is that the way nature really works?


How Microbiomes Affect Fear

New studies help to explain how microbes in the gut can shape a host’s fear responses.

Illustration of pathogens, vaccines, and other necessary factors for eradicating a disease.
Quantized Columns

How to Permanently End Diseases

Smallpox was eradicated relatively quickly, but other diseases have proved harder to eliminate. The reasons are a mix of biology and psychology.

A brain full of “explosive” activity may lead to an earlier death than one with steadier “candles” of activity.

Longevity Linked to Proteins That Calm Overexcited Neurons

New research makes a molecular connection between the brain and aging — and shows that overactive neurons can shorten life span.

An illustration of a woman sitting in a field embroidering a flower pattern. Around her grow wildflowers that appear to be randomly distributed but whose colors reveal a hidden pattern.
number theory

Mathematicians Catch a Pattern by Figuring Out How to Avoid It

We finally know how big a set of numbers can get before it has to contain a pattern known as a “polynomial progression.”

Lungs made from a collection of “tasting” tongues.
Saturn’s rings colored by particle size.
planetary science

Are Saturn’s Rings Really as Young as the Dinosaurs?

A surprisingly youthful estimate of the age of the rings has stirred a backlash.


The Architect of Modern Algorithms

Barbara Liskov pioneered the modern approach to writing code. She warns that the challenges facing computer science today can’t be overcome with good design alone.

Animation showing virtual players hiding and seeking in a digital arena
artificial intelligence

Playing Hide-and-Seek, Machines Invent New Tools

After millions of games, machine learning algorithms found creative solutions and unexpected new strategies that could transfer to the real world.

Latest Puzzle

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Randomness From Determinism’

Readers’ modifications of a bean machine showed how deterministic laws are capable of producing random-seeming behavior.

Latest Podcast

quantum computing

Milestone Experiment Proves Quantum Communication Really Is Faster

In a Paris lab, researchers have shown for the first time that quantum methods of transmitting information are superior to classical ones.

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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