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symmetry

The Simple Idea Behind Einstein’s Greatest Discoveries

Lurking behind Einstein’s theory of gravity and our modern understanding of particle physics is the deceptively simple idea of symmetry. But physicists are beginning to question whether focusing on symmetry is still as productive as it once was.

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Art for "What’s in a Name? Taxonomy Problems Vex Biologists"
taxonomy

What’s in a Name? Taxonomy Problems Vex Biologists

Researchers struggle to incorporate ongoing evolutionary discoveries into an animal classification scheme older than Darwin.

quantum information theory

How to Turn a Quantum Computer Into the Ultimate Randomness Generator

Pure, verifiable randomness is hard to come by. Two proposals show how to make quantum computers into randomness factories.

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graph theory

A 53-Year-Old Network Coloring Conjecture Is Disproved

In just three pages, a Russian mathematician has presented a better way to color certain types of networks than many experts thought possible.

Q&A

A Mathematician Whose Only Constant Is Change

Amie Wilkinson searches for exotic examples of the mathematical structures that describe change.

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insights puzzle

When Magic Is Seen in Twisted Graphene, That’s a Moiré

What do moiré patterns seen in optics, art, photography and color printing have to do with superconducting layers of graphene?

Art for "Bacterial Complexity Revises Ideas About ‘Which Came First?’"
cell biology

Bacterial Complexity Revises Ideas About ‘Which Came First?’

Contrary to popular belief, bacteria have organelles too. Scientists are now studying them for insights into how complex cells evolved.

cosmology

Physicists Debate Hawking’s Idea That the Universe Had No Beginning

A recent challenge to Stephen Hawking’s biggest idea — about how the universe might have come from nothing — has cosmologists choosing sides.

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quantum physics

Quantum Leaps, Long Assumed to Be Instantaneous, Take Time

An experiment caught a quantum system in the middle of a jump — something the originators of quantum mechanics assumed was impossible.

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quantum physics

Closed Loophole Confirms the Unreality of the Quantum World

A quickly closed loophole has proved that the “great smoky dragon” of quantum mechanics may forever elude capture.

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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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