All Articles

condensed matter physics

Paradoxical Crystal Baffles Physicists

July 2, 2015

At super-low temperatures, a crystal called samarium hexaboride behaves in an unexplained, imagination-stretching way.

cosmology

Why the Big Bang’s Light May Have a Tilt

June 30, 2015

Scientists haven’t tested the Big Bang’s light for a revealing shift in 25 years. A new experiment aims to change that.

Q&A

Decoding the Remarkable Algorithms of Ants

June 25, 2015

The biologist Deborah Gordon has uncovered how ant colonies search efficiently without central organization, an insight that might improve computer networks.

Physics

The Fuzzball Fix for a Black Hole Paradox

June 23, 2015

By replacing black holes with fuzzballs — dense, star-like objects from string theory — researchers think they can avoid some knotty paradoxes at the edge of physics.

evolution

Biologists Invoke the Past in Modern Bacteria

June 18, 2015

By swapping ancient genes into modern E. coli, scientists hope to tease out the rules of evolution.

microbes

Below Our Feet, a World of Hidden Life

June 16, 2015

The soil teems with billions of hidden microbes. Researchers have begun to catalog how these organisms are changing the world.

Multimedia

The Nine Schoolgirls Challenge

June 9, 2015

Solve this variation of Thomas Kirkman’s famous 1850 puzzle by arranging girls in walking groups. And think fast — the clock is ticking.

Mathematics

A Design Dilemma Solved, Minus Designs

June 9, 2015

A 150-year-old conundrum about how to group people has been solved, but many puzzles remain.

Q&A

A Private View of Quantum Reality

June 4, 2015

Quantum theorist Christopher Fuchs explains how to solve the paradoxes of quantum mechanics. His price: physics gets personal.