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# Abstractions blog

## Latest Articles

### Physicists Create a Bizarre ‘Wigner Crystal’ Made Purely of Electrons

The unambiguous discovery of a Wigner crystal relied on a novel technique for probing the insides of complex materials.

### Turing Patterns Turn Up in a Tiny Crystal

The mechanism behind leopard spots and zebra stripes also appears to explain the patterned growth of a bismuth crystal, extending Alan Turing’s 1952 idea to the atomic scale.

### Neither Star nor Planet: A Strange Brown Dwarf Puzzles Astronomers

Brown dwarfs such as “The Accident” are illuminating the murky borderlands that separate planets from stars.

### Galois Groups and the Symmetries of Polynomials

By focusing on relationships between solutions to polynomial equations, rather than the exact solutions themselves, Évariste Galois changed the course of modern mathematics.

### Proof Assistant Makes Jump to Big-League Math

Mathematicians using the computer program Lean have verified the accuracy of a difficult theorem at the cutting edge of research mathematics.

### The ‘Weirdest’ Matter, Made of Partial Particles, Defies Description

Theorists are in a frenzy over “fractons,” bizarre, but potentially useful, hypothetical particles that can only move in combination with one another.

### Plasmid, Virus or Other? DNA ‘Borgs’ Blur Boundaries.

Scientists have reported large DNA structures in some archaea that defy easy categorization.

### How Bell’s Theorem Proved ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’ Is Real

The root of today’s quantum revolution was John Stewart Bell’s 1964 theorem showing that quantum mechanics really permits instantaneous connections between far-apart locations.

### DNA Has Four Bases. Some Viruses Swap in a Fifth.

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.