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.
The Number 15 Describes the Secret Limit of an Infinite Grid
The “packing coloring” problem asks how many numbers are needed to fill an infinite grid so that identical numbers never get too close to one another. A new computer-assisted proof finds a surprisingly straightforward answer.
Why the Brain’s Connections to the Body Are Crisscrossed
In all bilaterally symmetrical animals, from humans down to simple worms, nerves cross from one side of the body to the opposite side of the brain. Geometry may explain why.
How Can Some Infinities Be Bigger Than Others?
All infinities go on forever, so how is it possible for some infinities to be larger than others? The mathematician Justin Moore discusses the mysteries of infinity with Steven Strogatz.
A New Symmetry Shakes Up Physics
So-called “higher symmetries” are illuminating everything from particle decays to the behavior of complex quantum systems.
She Tracks the DNA of Elusive Species That Hide in Harsh Places
On Mount Everest and in the Peruvian Andes, Tracie Seimon uses DNA to study how species and ecosystems respond to climate change, pathogens and other influences.
A New Approach to Computation Reimagines Artificial Intelligence
By imbuing enormous vectors with semantic meaning, we can get machines to reason more abstractly — and efficiently — than before.
Mathematicians Find Hidden Structure in a Common Type of Space
In 50 years of searching, mathematicians found only one example of a “subspace design” in a vector space. A new proof reveals that there are infinitely more out there.
Primitive Asgard Cells Show Life on the Brink of Complexity
As researchers race to cultivate more of the intriguing cells from the deep seafloor, the few cells now growing in labs are giving us our best glimpses of the forerunners of all complex life.