All Articles

Blanco telescope.
Q&A

Finding Dark Energy in the Details

The astrophysicist Joshua Frieman seeks to pinpoint the mysterious substance driving the accelerating expansion of the universe.

Yeast
evolution

Evolution’s Random Paths Lead to One Place

A massive statistical study suggests that even though genetic changes happen at random, the final evolutionary outcome — fitness — is predictable.

ecology

The Thermodynamic Theory of Ecology

Nature’s large-scale patterns emerge from incomplete surveys that borrow ideas from information theory.

particle physics

Quark Quartet Fuels Quantum Feud

Newly discovered particles are forcing physicists to extend their simple picture of subatomic interactions or replace it with a more nuanced understanding.

Biology

I Contain Multitudes

Our bodies are a genetic patchwork, possessing variation from cell to cell. Is that a good thing?

theoretical physics

At Multiverse Impasse, a New Theory of Scale

Physicists have begun to explore the idea that mass and length may not be fundamental properties of nature. The hypothesis could help to avoid the conclusion that our world is just a weird bubble in an endlessly foaming multiverse.

2014 Fields Medal and Nevanlinna Prize Winners

A Grand Vision for the Impossible

Subhash Khot’s bold conjecture is helping mathematicians explore the precise limits of computation.

2014 Fields Medal and Nevanlinna Prize Winners

In Noisy Equations, One Who Heard Music

Martin Hairer was named a 2014 Fields medalist for an epic masterpiece in stochastic analysis that colleagues say “created a whole world.”

2014 Fields Medal and Nevanlinna Prize Winners

A Tenacious Explorer of Abstract Surfaces

Maryam Mirzakhani, who became the first woman Fields medalist for drawing deep connections between topology, geometry and dynamical systems, has died of cancer at the age of 40. This is our 2014 profile of her life and work.