Diagram showing blocks of different sizes colliding, along with different vectors

Lucy Reading-Ikkanda/Quanta Magazine

Abstractions blog

How Pi Connects Colliding Blocks to a Quantum Search Algorithm

A curious physicist has discovered an unexpected link between theoretical block collisions and a famed quantum search algorithm.

The Polarstern icebreaker in sea ice.
climate science

The Voyage to the End of Ice

Summer sea ice could vanish later this decade, with disastrous consequences. It all depends on the physics of ice.

Steven Strogatz listens to a podcast guest speak about many scientific and mathematical subjects.
Quantized Columns

Why I’m Hosting The Joy of x Podcast

The noted mathematician and author Steven Strogatz explains why he wanted to share intimate conversations with leading researchers from diverse fields in his new podcast.

Micrograph of a cortical neuron, showing its many dendrites.
neuroscience

Hidden Computational Power Found in the Arms of Neurons

The dendritic arms of some human neurons can perform logic operations that once seemed to require whole neural networks.

Illustration of a pair of lungs being scanned in three dimensions, with a status bar that reads “Scanning lung tissue: 60%.”
artificial intelligence

An Idea From Physics Helps AI See in Higher Dimensions

The laws of physics stay the same no matter one’s perspective. Now this idea is allowing computers to detect features in curved and higher-dimensional space.

The Prime Number Conspiracy - The Biggest Ideas in Math from Quanta – Available now!The Prime Number Conspiracy - The Biggest Ideas in Math from Quanta – Available now!The Prime Number Conspiracy - The Biggest Ideas in Math from Quanta – Available now!
insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Natural Law and Elegant Math’

While mathematics gives us elegant explanations for many physical phenomena, real-world situations often require us to scramble through dense numerical thickets.

Quantized Academy

How Simple Math Can Cover Even the Most Complex Holes

No one knows how to find the smallest shape that can cover all other shapes of a certain width. But high school geometry is getting us closer to an answer.

Spinning globe highlighting LLVSPs.
geophysics

Continents of the Underworld Come Into Focus

Giant blobs nestled deep in the Earth may influence everything from the structure of island chains to mass-extinction events.

Art for "Quanta’s Year in Physics (2019)"
2019 in Review

The Year in Physics

Physicists saw a black hole for the first time, debated the expansion rate of the universe, pondered the origin of time and modeled the end of clouds.

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machine learning

How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Science

The latest AI algorithms are probing the evolution of galaxies, calculating quantum wave functions, discovering new chemical compounds and more. Is there anything that scientists do that can’t be automated?

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.

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