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Abstractions blog

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.

LHC Collision Events - Visualization
Abstractions blog

The Math That’s Too Difficult for Physics

November 18, 2016

How do physicists reconstruct what really happened in a particle collision? Through calculations that are so challenging that, in some cases, they simply can’t be done. Yet.

Illustration by Lucy Reading-Ikkanda for Quanta Magazine
Abstractions blog

The Devil in the Polling Data

November 11, 2016

The same problem that caused the 2007 financial crisis also tripped up the polling data ahead of this year’s presidential election.

Neutron-scattering image of a “spin ice” material created in 2009 that contains particles analogous to magnetic monopoles.
Abstractions blog

Can Analogies Reveal the Laws of Physics?

November 10, 2016

So-called “analogue experiments” are becoming increasingly common in physics, but do they teach or mislead?

Abstractions blog

Why (Almost) Everyone Was Wrong

November 9, 2016

The results of this year’s presidential election made a mockery of analytical election forecast modelers.

A petri dish with an array of mutant yeast strains.
Abstractions blog

Why Some Genetic Miscues Are Helpful

November 3, 2016

A new look at the reasons why organisms missing pairs of genes sometimes do much better than normal.

Abstractions blog

The Cell’s Backup Genetic Instructions

October 28, 2016

The cell is equipped with multiple redundancies in case something goes wrong. Researchers have begun to map these systems.

Abstractions blog

Science Evolves. Will Science Education?

October 12, 2016

Science is a constantly changing, self-correcting process. Why do we teach it as a collection of old, settled facts?