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Abstractions blog

Mobius strip illustration
Abstractions blog

The Hidden Twist to Making a Möbius Strip

February 9, 2017

The simple Möbius strip illustrates a deep mathematical challenge that has long tormented the field of symplectic geometry.

Abstractions blog

How Viruses May Have Led to Complex Life

January 24, 2017

Without viruses, we might never have evolved.

Photo of raindrops on a window by Philip Kraaijenbrink
Abstractions blog

Droplets That ‘Come to Life’

January 20, 2017

Life might have originated in droplets that behave surprisingly like living cells.

Illustration: boxing gloves
Abstractions blog

Graph Isomorphism Vanquished — Again

January 14, 2017

Just five days after posting a retraction, László Babai announced that he had fixed the error in his landmark graph isomorphism algorithm.

Hyperbolic Crochet
Abstractions blog

How Curvature Makes a Shape a Shape

January 9, 2017

The ancient study of an object’s curvature is guiding mathematicians toward a new understanding of simple equations.

Illustration: boxing glove & graph
Abstractions blog

Complexity Theory Problem Strikes Back

January 5, 2017

The legendary graph isomorphism problem may be harder than a 2015 result seemed to suggest.

Julia Set Contest
Abstractions blog

Test Your Mathematical Sculpting Skills

January 5, 2017

Can you turn a two-dimensional fractal into a 3-D object? Break out your scissors and tape for a chance to win a 3-D printed sculpture.

Abstractions blog

On the Moon’s Far Side, Clues to a Cataclysm?

December 22, 2016

A mission to collect samples from the far side of the moon could answer questions about a barrage of asteroids nearly 4 billion years ago.

Warped time. Olena Shmahalo/Quanta Magazine
Abstractions blog

Quantum Gravity’s Time Problem

December 1, 2016

The effort to unify quantum mechanics and general relativity means reconciling totally different notions of time.