Can mathematics handle things that are essentially the same without being exactly equal? Category theorist Eugenia Cheng and host Steven Strogatz discuss the power and pleasures of abstraction.
Quanta Magazine | Science and Math News
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How a DNA ‘Parasite’ May Have Fragmented Our Genes
A novel type of “jumping gene” may explain why the genomes of complex cells aren’t all equally stuffed with noncoding sequences.
The Colorful Problem That Has Long Frustrated Mathematicians
The four-color problem is simple to explain, but its complex proof continues to be both celebrated and despised.
Astronomers Dig Up the Stars That Birthed the Milky Way
There once was a cosmic seed that sprouted the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers have discovered its last surviving remnants.
Emmy Murphy Is a Mathematician Who Finds Beauty in Flexibility
The prize-winning geometer feels most fulfilled when exploring the fertile ground where constraint meets creation.
The Symmetry That Makes Solving Math Equations Easy
Learn why the quadratic formula works and why quadratics are easier to solve than cubics.
Wormhole Experiment Called Into Question
Last fall, a team of physicists announced that they had teleported a qubit through a holographic wormhole in a quantum computer. Now another group suggests that’s not quite what happened.
Bob Metcalfe, Ethernet Pioneer, Wins Turing Award
The American researcher was recognized for his central role in inventing, standardizing and commercializing the ubiquitous networking technology.
Surprise Computer Science Proof Stuns Mathematicians
For decades, mathematicians have been inching forward on a problem about which sets contain evenly spaced patterns of three numbers. Last month, two computer scientists blew past all of those results.
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.