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Illustration of 826-vertex graph for "Decades-Old Graph Problem Yields to Amateur Mathematician"
graph theory

Decades-Old Graph Problem Yields to Amateur Mathematician

By making the first progress on the “chromatic number of the plane” problem in over 60 years, an anti-aging pundit has achieved mathematical immortality.

Illustration for "Ultra-Accurate Clocks Lead Search for New Laws of Physics"
experimental physics

Ultra-Accurate Clocks Lead Search for New Laws of Physics

Atomic clocks are letting physicists tighten the lasso around elusive phenomena such as dark matter.

Illustration for "Trouble Detected in Infamous Dark Matter Signal"
dark matter

Trouble Detected in Infamous Dark Matter Signal

Independent scientists have cast serious doubt on a claimed detection of dark matter.

Photo of mathematician Donald Richards sitting in a Pennsylvania State University classroom.
Q&A

A Revealer of Secrets in the Data of Life and the Universe

The statistician Donald Richards lives to uncover subtle patterns hiding in real-world data.

Photo of ants holding larvae.
evolution

The Elusive Calculus of Insects’ Altruism and Kin Selection

How the ultra-cooperative behavior of ants, bees and other social insects could have evolved continues to challenge formal analysis. But a new theory about hedging bets against nature’s unpredictability may change the math and shift the debate.

Illustration for "Mathematicians Explore Mirror Link Between Two Geometric Worlds"
geometry

Mathematicians Explore Mirror Link Between Two Geometric Worlds

Decades after physicists happened upon a stunning mathematical coincidence, researchers are getting close to understanding the link between two seemingly unrelated geometric universes.

Illustration for "How the DNA Computer Program Makes You and Me"
insights puzzle

How the DNA Computer Program Makes You and Me

Can a set of simple instructions produce complex, three-dimensional living structures?

Illustration for mapping the cortex
neuroscience

New Brain Maps With Unmatched Detail May Change Neuroscience

A technique based on genetic bar codes can easily map the connections of individual brain cells in unprecedented numbers. Unexpected complexity in the visual system is only the first secret it has revealed.

Illustration for thermodynamics
Abstractions blog

Quantum Correlations Reverse Thermodynamic Arrow of Time

A recent experiment shows how quantum mechanics can make heat flow from a cold body to a hot one, an apparent (though not real) violation of the second law of thermodynamics.