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insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Natural Law and Elegant Math’

January 17, 2020

While mathematics gives us elegant explanations for many physical phenomena, real-world situations often require us to scramble through dense numerical thickets.

The Polarstern icebreaker in sea ice.
climate science

The Voyage to the End of Ice

January 16, 2020

Summer sea ice could vanish later this decade, with disastrous consequences. It all depends on the physics of ice.

Steven Strogatz listens to a podcast guest speak about many scientific and mathematical subjects.
Quantized Columns

Why I’m Hosting The Joy of x Podcast

January 15, 2020

The noted mathematician and author Steven Strogatz explains why he wanted to share intimate conversations with leading researchers from diverse fields in his new podcast.

The Joy of x Podcast

Podcast Preview: Introducing The Joy of x

Hosted by Steven Strogatz, The Joy of x podcast opens a window into the inner worlds of top-tier scientists and mathematicians while shining light on universal themes like creativity, collaboration or navigating professional challenges.

Micrograph of a cortical neuron, showing its many dendrites.

Hidden Computational Power Found in the Arms of Neurons

The dendritic arms of some human neurons can perform logic operations that once seemed to require whole neural networks.

Abstractions blog

For Fluid Equations, a Steady Flow of Progress

January 13, 2020

A startling experimental discovery about how fluids behave started a wave of important mathematical proofs.

Illustration of a pair of lungs being scanned in three dimensions, with a status bar that reads “Scanning lung tissue: 60%.”
artificial intelligence

An Idea From Physics Helps AI See in Higher Dimensions

January 9, 2020

The laws of physics stay the same no matter one’s perspective. Now this idea is allowing computers to detect features in curved and higher-dimensional space.

Quantized Academy

How Simple Math Can Cover Even the Most Complex Holes

January 8, 2020

No one knows how to find the smallest shape that can cover all other shapes of a certain width. But high school geometry is getting us closer to an answer.

Spinning globe highlighting LLVSPs.

Continents of the Underworld Come Into Focus

January 7, 2020

Giant blobs nestled deep in the Earth may influence everything from the structure of island chains to mass-extinction events.