George M. Bergman; source: Archives of the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach

Quantized Columns

Isadore Singer Transcended Mathematical Boundaries

A former graduate student reflects on how Isadore Singer, who died on February 11, brought together mathematicians, physicists and anyone else interested in the deeper connections between diverse fields.

A house of cards propped up by a letter i, the unit of imaginary numbers.
quantum physics

Imaginary Numbers May Be Essential for Describing Reality

A new thought experiment indicates that quantum mechanics doesn’t work without strange numbers that turn negative when squared.

An illustration showing Steven Strogatz at a microphone, surrounded by a swirl of icons representing different subjects.
The Joy of x

New Season of The Joy of x Podcast Explores Scientists’ Inner Lives

In a second season of enlightened conversations, Steven Strogatz and leading researchers nourish our pandemic-starved minds.


Statistics Postdoc Tames Decades-Old Geometry Problem

To the surprise of experts in the field, a postdoctoral statistician has solved one of the most important problems in high-dimensional convex geometry.

A video in which a proton seems to be composed of three particles, but on zooming in, it turns out to be a swirling miasma.
quantum physics

Decades-Long Quest Reveals Details of the Proton’s Inner Antimatter

Twenty years ago, physicists set out to investigate a mysterious asymmetry in the proton’s interior. Their results, published today, show how antimatter helps stabilize every atom’s core.

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


The New History of the Milky Way

Over the past two years, astronomers have rewritten the story of our galaxy.

Photograph showing cirrus clouds in a blue sky above an expanse of flat, snow-covered ice.
Abstractions blog

Cloud-Making Aerosol Could Devastate Polar Sea Ice

An overlooked but powerful driver of cloud formation could accelerate the loss of polar sea ice.

An illustration of a doughnut-shaped elliptic curve intertwined with the Julia set.
number theory

Mathematicians Set Numbers in Motion to Unlock Their Secrets

A new proof demonstrates the power of arithmetic dynamics, an emerging discipline that combines insights from number theory and dynamical systems.

Animation of a neuron that periodically alters its responses to stimuli when it is reset into a new state by another input.
neural networks

Artificial Neural Nets Finally Yield Clues to How Brains Learn

The learning algorithm that enables the runaway success of deep neural networks doesn’t work in biological brains, but researchers are finding alternatives that could.

The Joy of x Podcast


The paleontologist Neil Shubin talks with host Steven Strogatz about hunting for a 375 million-year-old fossil and finding novel traits that evolved many times.

Insights puzzle

Zen and the Art of Puzzle Solving

Sometimes the act of solving a puzzle can itself reveal hidden insights.

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