Consciousness, our experience of being in the world, is one of the mind’s greatest mysteries, but as the neuroscientist Anil Seth explains to Steven Strogatz, research is making progress in understanding this elusive phenomenon.
Quanta Magazine | Science and Math News
Ian MacLellan for Quanta Magazine
An Explorer of Abyssal Depths Looks to Oceans on Other Worlds
The marine geochemist Chris German brings decades of experience studying seafloor hydrothermal vents to NASA’s preparations for visits to other ocean worlds in our solar system.
In New Paradox, Black Holes Appear to Evade Heat Death
The puzzling behavior of black hole interiors has led researchers to propose a new physical law: the second law of quantum complexity.
First-Year Graduate Student Finds Paradoxical Set
No two pairs have the same sum; add three numbers together, and you can get any whole number.
How Math Has Changed the Shape of Gerrymandering
New tools make it possible to detect hidden manipulation of maps.
Data Compression Drives the Internet. Here’s How It Works.
One student’s desire to get out of a final exam led to the ubiquitous algorithm that shrinks data without sacrificing information.
The Physicist Who Glues Together Universes
Renate Loll has helped pioneer a radically new approach to quantum gravity. She assumes that the fabric of space-time is a blend of all possible fabrics, and she has developed the computational tools needed to calculate the far-reaching implications of that assumption.
Is It Real or Imagined? How Your Brain Tells the Difference.
New experiments show that the brain distinguishes between perceived and imagined mental images by checking whether they cross a “reality threshold.”
Math Patterns That Go On Forever but Never Repeat
Simple math can help explain the complexities of the newly discovered aperiodic monotile.
The Joy of Why
Explore a universe of numbers and arithmetic in our new interactive math game, Hyperjumps!
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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.