Physicists Pin Down How Quantum Uncertainty Sharpens Measurements
Throwing out data seems to make measurements of distances and angles more precise. The reason why has been traced to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.
Mathematicians Coax Fluid Equations Into Nonphysical Solutions
The famed Navier-Stokes equations can lead to cases where more than one result is possible, but only in an extremely narrow set of situations.
Secrets of the Moon’s Permanent Shadows Are Coming to Light
Robots are about to venture into the sunless depths of lunar craters to investigate ancient water ice trapped there, while remote studies find hints about how water arrives on rocky worlds.
Ancient Genes for Symbiosis Hint at Mitochondria’s Origins
Was the addition of mitochondria a first step in the formation of complex cells or one of the last? A new study of bacteria tries to answer this contentious question in evolutionary biology.
Elegant Six-Page Proof Reveals the Emergence of Random Structure
Two young mathematicians have astonished their colleagues with a full proof of the Kahn-Kalai conjecture — a sweeping statement about how structure emerges in random sets and graphs.
New Proof Illuminates the Hidden Structure of Common Equations
Van der Waerden’s conjecture mystified mathematicians for 85 years. Its solution shows how polynomial roots relate to one another.
Pondering the Bits That Build Space-Time and Brains
Vijay Balasubramanian investigates whether the fabric of the universe might be built from information, and what it means that physicists can even ask such a question.