A stylized atom surrounded by concentric shells of increasingly complex organisms.

Corinne Reid for Quanta Magazine

quantum physics

A New Theorem Maps Out the Limits of Quantum Physics

The result highlights a fundamental tension: Either the rules of quantum mechanics don’t always apply, or at least one basic assumption about reality must be wrong.

Concentric rings of light seen through crosshairs of a Fabry-Pérot interferometer.
Abstractions blog

Physicists Nail Down the ‘Magic Number’ That Shapes the Universe

A team in Paris has made the most precise measurement yet of the fine-structure constant, killing hopes for a new force of nature.

Looping video that shows transformations between African cichlid species.
Abstractions blog

New Fish Data Reveal How Evolutionary Bursts Create Species

In three bursts of adaptive change, one species of cichlid fish in Lake Tanganyika gave rise to hundreds.

Photo of Ashwin Sah standing in front of a sculpture in a park
Abstractions blog

Undergraduate Math Student Pushes Frontier of Graph Theory

At 21, Ashwin Sah has produced a body of work that senior mathematicians say is nearly unprecedented for a college student.

Electron micrograph showing a viral factory and new viral particles inside a cell.
evolution

Did Viruses Create the Nucleus? The Answer May Be Near.

An unorthodox symbiotic theory about the origin of eukaryotes’ defining characteristic may soon be put to the test.

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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cosmology

The Hidden Magnetic Universe Begins to Come Into View

Astronomers are discovering that magnetic fields permeate much of the cosmos. If these fields date back to the Big Bang, they could solve a major cosmological mystery.

Illustration showing orange building blocks outside a doorway that opens onto blue towers made up of similar building blocks.
Infographic showing the ranges of possible masses of WIMPs, axions, ultralight dark matter, sub-GeV dark matter and primordial black holes, which are five different candidates for dark matter.
Abstractions blog

The Search for Dark Matter Is Dramatically Expanding

Physicists plan to leave no stone unturned, checking whether dark matter tickles different types of detectors, nudges starlight, warms planetary cores or even lodges in rocks.

Graphical model of a cubic earth.
geophysics

Scientists Uncover the Universal Geometry of Geology

An exercise in pure mathematics has led to a wide-ranging theory of how the world comes together.

Quantized Academy

Some Math Problems Seem Impossible. That Can Be a Good Thing.

Struggling with math problems that can’t be solved helps us better understand the ones we can.

insights puzzle

How to Solve Our Three John Conway-Inspired Puzzles

A numerical puzzle, a geometric puzzle and a game of random patterns — all with connections to the legendary mathematician — elicited an enthusiastic response from readers.

Multimedia


Hidden Structure

A New Map of All the Particles and Forces

We’ve created a new way to explore the fundamental constituents 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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