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

Samuel Velasco/Quanta Magazine

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.

Q&A

The New Historian of the Smash That Made the Himalayas

About 60 million years ago, India plowed into Eurasia and pushed up the Himalayas. But when Lucía Pérez-Díaz reconstructed the event in detail, she found that its central mystery depended on a broken geological clock.

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.

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.

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!

Quanta Podcast


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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.

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.

Side-by-side illustrations of the same linear hypergraph. The edges of the hypergraph are colored in the illustration on the right, but not in the illustration on the left.
combinatorics

Mathematicians Settle Erdős Coloring Conjecture

Fifty years ago, Paul Erdős and two other mathematicians came up with a graph theory problem that they thought they might solve on the spot. A team of mathematicians has finally settled it.

A close-up, head-on portrait of computer scientist Rediet Abebe.
Q&A

A Computer Scientist Who Tackles Inequality Through Algorithms

Rediet Abebe uses the tools of theoretical computer science to understand pressing social problems — and try to fix them.

The Joy of x Podcast


00:00/00:00

Quantitative models built by the mathematical biologist Trachette Jackson can make cancer therapies safer and more effective.

Multimedia


Multimedia

Arrows of Time

The human mind has long grappled with the elusive nature of time: what it is, how to record it, how it regulates life, and whether it exists as a fundamental building block of the universe.

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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