The theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek explained what holds atomic nuclei together, and he is still pushing at the limits of what the standard model can tell us.

Samuel Velasco/Quanta Magazine

The unexpected discovery of the double-charm tetraquark has given physicists a new tool with which to hone their understanding of the strongest of nature’s fundamental forces.

Solutions to the simplest polynomial equations — called “roots of unity” — have an elegant structure that mathematicians still use to study some of math’s greatest open questions.

Researchers have discovered that environments favoring clumpy growth are all that’s needed to quickly transform single-celled yeast into complex multicellular organisms.

The *n*-queens problem is about finding how many different ways queens can be placed on a chessboard so that none attack each other. A mathematician has now all but solved it.

The molecular signaling systems of complex cells are nothing like simple electronic circuits. The logic governing their operation is riotously complex — but it has advantages.

Deep in the mantle, a branching plume of intensely hot material appears to be the engine powering vast volcanic activity.

Legend says the Chinese military once used a mathematical ruse to conceal its troop numbers. The technique relates to many deep areas of modern math research.

The concept of dimension seems simple enough, but mathematicians struggled for centuries to precisely define and understand it.

The DNA of some viruses doesn’t use the same four nucleotide bases found in all other life. New work shows how this exception is possible and hints that it could be more common than we think.

How readers used their geometry skills to survive a dangerous puzzle.

The theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek explained what holds atomic nuclei together, and he is still pushing at the limits of what the standard model can tell us.

*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.