# Archive

## Latest Articles

### 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.

### New Proof Threads the Needle on a Sticky Geometry Problem

A new proof marks major progress toward solving the Kakeya conjecture, a deceptively simple question that underpins a tower of conjectures.

### The Physicist Who’s Challenging the Quantum Orthodoxy

For decades, physicists have struggled to develop a quantum theory of gravity. But what if gravity — and space-time — are fundamentally classical?

### The Lawlessness of Large Numbers

Mathematicians can often figure out what happens as quantities grow infinitely large. What about when they are just a little big?

### Elliptic Curves Yield Their Secrets in a New Number System

Ana Caraiani and James Newton have extended an important result in number theory to the imaginary realm.

### Microbes Gained Photosynthesis Superpowers From a ‘Proton Pump’

New research reveals how marine microbes use an extra membrane that once had digestive functions to boost their yield from photosynthesis.