Is Perpetual Motion Possible at the Quantum Level?
A new phase of matter called a “time crystal” plays with our expectations of thermodynamics. The physicist Vedika Khemani talks with Steven Strogatz about its surprising quantum behavior.
How a Human Smell Receptor Works Is Finally Revealed
After decades of frustration, researchers have determined how an airborne scent molecule links to a human smell receptor.
The Computer Scientist Peering Inside AI’s Black Boxes
Cynthia Rudin wants machine learning models, responsible for increasingly important decisions, to show their work.
Why Mathematicians Re-Prove What They Already Know
It’s been known for thousands of years that the primes go on forever, but new proofs give fresh insights into how theorems depend on one another.
How Pools of Genetic Diversity Affect a Species’ Fate
A new, deeper understanding of how the breeding structure of species affects their genetic diversity is giving conservationists better tools for saving animals.
Tiny Jets on the Sun Power the Colossal Solar Wind
A new analysis argues that ubiquitous eruptions in the sun’s corona explain the vast flow of charged particles seen streaming out through the solar system.