# Archive

## Latest Articles

### New Proof Shows That ‘Expander’ Graphs Synchronize

The proof establishes new conditions that cause connected oscillators to sway in sync.

### Math That Lets You Think Locally but Act Globally

Knowing a little about the local connections on flight maps and other networks can reveal a lot about a system’s global structure.

### To Move Fast, Quantum Maze Solvers Must Forget the Past

Quantum algorithms can find their way out of mazes exponentially faster than classical ones, at the cost of forgetting the path they took. A new result suggests that the trade-off may be inevitable.

### Mathematicians Solve Long-Standing Coloring Problem

A new result shows how much of the plane can be colored by points that are never exactly one unit apart.

### How Quantum Physicists Explained Earth's Weather Patterns

By treating Earth as a topological insulator — a state of quantum matter — physicists found a powerful explanation for the movements of the planet’s air and seas.

### Underground Cells Make ‘Dark Oxygen’ Without Light

In some deep subterranean aquifers, cells have a chemical trick for making oxygen that could sustain whole underground ecosystems.

### How to Build a Big Prime Number

A new algorithm brings together the advantages of randomness and deterministic processes to reliably construct large prime numbers.

### Can Math and Physics Save an Arrhythmic Heart?

Abnormal waves of electrical activity can cause a heart’s muscle cells to beat out of sync. In this episode, Flavio Fenton, an expert in cardiac dynamics, talks with Steve Strogatz about ways to treat heart arrhythmias without resorting to painful defibrillators.

### In a Fierce Desert, Microbe ‘Crusts’ Show How Life Tamed the Land

Extreme microorganisms carpeting the Atacama Desert in Chile illuminate how life might have first taken hold on Earth’s surface.