Quanta Magazine | Science and Math News
Kristina Armitage/Quanta Magazine; source: Deutsches Museum; Niels Bohr Archive
The (Often) Overlooked Experiment That Revealed the Quantum World
A century ago, the Stern-Gerlach experiment established the truth of quantum mechanics. Now it’s being used to probe the clash of quantum theory and gravity.
An Easy-Sounding Problem Yields Numbers Too Big for Our Universe
Researchers prove that navigating certain systems of vectors is among the most complex computational problems.
A Century Later, New Math Smooths Out General Relativity
Mathematicians prove a theorem that illuminates the geometry of universes with tiny amounts of mass.
Evolving Bacteria Can Evade Barriers to ‘Peak’ Fitness
Paradoxically, natural selection can sometimes seem to block organisms from evolving useful adaptations. But a new study of “fitness landscapes” and antibiotic resistance in bacteria shows that life still finds a way.
Pierre de Fermat’s Link to a High School Student’s Prime Math Proof
How Fermat’s less famous “little theorem” got mathematicians young and old to play with prime-like Carmichael numbers.
In the Gut’s ‘Second Brain,’ Key Agents of Health Emerge
Sitting alongside the neurons in your enteric nervous system are underappreciated glial cells, which play key roles in digestion and disease that scientists are only just starting to understand.
Researchers Refute a Widespread Belief About Online Algorithms
Three computer scientists have disproved a long-standing conjecture about a fundamental problem involving imperfect information.
Quantum algorithms can find their way out of mazes exponentially faster than classical ones, at the cost of forgetting the path they took. A new result suggests that the trade-off may be inevitable.
Modular forms are one of the most beautiful and mysterious objects in mathematics. What are they?
The Joy of Why
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