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To Boldly Go Where No Internet Protocol Has Gone Before

October 21, 2020

Vinton Cerf helped create the internet 40 years ago, and he’s still working to connect people around the world — and off it.

Particle going through a barrier
quantum physics

Quantum Tunnels Show How Particles Can Break the Speed of Light

October 20, 2020

Recent experiments show that particles should be able to go faster than light when they quantum mechanically “tunnel” through walls.

A visualization of the tower formed by the 3-adic numbers
Abstractions blog

An Infinite Universe of Number Systems

October 19, 2020

The p-adics form an infinite collection of number systems based on prime numbers. They’re at the heart of modern number theory.

insights puzzle

Celebrating the Playful Magic of John Horton Conway

October 15, 2020

Have fun exploring a numerical puzzle, a geometric puzzle and a game of random patterns, all inspired by the playful genius of the legendary mathematician.


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A pair of diamonds press from opposite directions against a black metal gasket containing a hydrogen-carbon-sulfur compound.
Abstractions blog

Room-Temperature Superconductivity Achieved for the First Time

Physicists have reached a long-sought goal. The catch is that their room-temperature superconductor requires crushing pressures to keep from falling apart.


A Physicist’s Approach to Biology Brings Ecological Insights

October 13, 2020

The physicist Jeff Gore tests theories about microbe communities experimentally and finds new rules governing ecological stability.

Illustration that depicts two types of simple molecules reacting in water on the early Earth.
origins of life

New Clues to Chemical Origins of Metabolism at Dawn of Life

October 12, 2020

The ingredients for reactions ancestral to metabolism could have formed very easily in the primordial soup, new work suggests.

An illustration of computer scientists looking down a new road that breaks open a traveling salesperson route.

Computer Scientists Break Traveling Salesperson Record

October 8, 2020

After 44 years, there’s finally a better way to find approximate solutions to the notoriously difficult traveling salesperson problem.

Cells being injected with a microneedle.
Abstractions blog

Nobel Chemistry Prize Awarded for CRISPR ‘Genetic Scissors’

October 7, 2020

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their development of CRISPR/Cas9 genetic editing.