All Articles

animated gif of a fractal tunnel
theoretical physics

Physicists Uncover Geometric ‘Theory Space’

February 23, 2017

A decades-old method called the “bootstrap” is enabling new discoveries about the geometry underlying all quantum theories.

Sylvia Serfaty, Stefan Falke for Quanta Magazine
Q&A

In Mathematics, ‘You Cannot Be Lied To’

February 21, 2017

For Sylvia Serfaty, mathematics is all about truth and beauty and building scientific and human connections.

Clock
Abstractions blog

How Circadian Clocks Differ From Sleep

February 17, 2017

The circadian clock is in nearly every cell, and researchers have untangled many of its secrets. But sleep has been harder to pin down.

Illustration: balloon modelling as a metaphor for entanglement
insights puzzle

How to Tame Quantum Weirdness

February 16, 2017

Can balloon animals help blunt uneasy feelings about “spooky action at a distance”?

Photo of a sleeping rat with a teddy bear
chronobiology

Researchers Tap a Sleep Switch in the Brain

February 14, 2017

Powerful new experiments have uncovered some of the molecular underpinnings of sleep.

Mobius strip illustration
Abstractions blog

The Hidden Twist to Making a Möbius Strip

February 9, 2017

The simple Möbius strip illustrates a deep mathematical challenge that has long tormented the field of symplectic geometry.

geometry

A Fight to Fix Geometry’s Foundations

February 9, 2017

When two mathematicians raised pointed questions about a classic proof that no one really understood, they ignited a years-long debate about how much could be trusted in a new kind of geometry.

Particle measurement GIF illustration
quantum physics

Experiment Reaffirms Quantum Weirdness

February 7, 2017

Physicists are closing the door on an intriguing loophole around the quantum phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.”

Francis Su
Q&A

To Live Your Best Life, Do Mathematics

February 2, 2017

The ancient Greeks argued that the best life was filled with beauty, truth, justice, play and love. The mathematician Francis Su knows just where to find them.