All Articles

insights puzzle

A Hat Trick of Hat Puzzles

In three new variations of a famous logic puzzle, what are the best strategies for guessing the color of the hat on your head?

Q&A

Michael Atiyah’s Imaginative State of Mind

At 86, Britain’s preeminent mathematical matchmaker is still tackling the big questions and dreaming of a union between the quantum and the gravitational forces.

astrophysics

After Black Holes Collide, a Puzzling Flash

A satellite spotted a burst of light just as gravitational waves rolled in from the collision of two black holes. Was the flash a cosmic coincidence, or do astrophysicists need to rethink what black holes can do?

Quantized Columns

Deep Secrets and the Thrill of Discovery

The biologist Sean B. Carroll rediscovers the scientific thrill of an unexpected revelation.

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘The Problem With Dancing Shapes’

Assigning elements from a large collection to one of two categories can yield almost “magical” predictions about highly complicated problems without actually solving them.

condensed matter physics

The Quantum Secret to Superconductivity

In a virtuoso experiment, physicists have revealed details of a “quantum critical point” that underlies high-temperature superconductivity.

Q&A

From Einstein’s Theory to Gravity’s Chirp

The path from a revolutionary set of equations to the detection of gravitational waves was strewn with obstacles and controversy, explains the physicist Daniel Kennefick — and the struggle continues.

origins of life

How to Build Life in a Pre-Darwinian World

Perhaps chemistry played a more instrumental role in the origin of life than scientists thought.

astrophysics

Gravitational Waves Discovered at Long Last

Ripples in space-time have been detected a century after Einstein predicted them, launching a new era in astronomy.