All Articles

BICEP2 graphic.
cosmology

‘Big Bang Signal’ Could All Be Dust

September 21, 2014

Cosmic dust in the high latitudes of the Milky Way could account for the entire swirl pattern that had been presented as proof of a leading Big Bang theory, according to a new data analysis from the Planck satellite.

Blanco telescope.
Q&A

Finding Dark Energy in the Details

September 18, 2014

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

September 11, 2014

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

September 3, 2014

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

particle physics

Quark Quartet Fuels Quantum Feud

August 27, 2014

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

August 21, 2014

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

August 18, 2014

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

A Grand Vision for the Impossible

August 12, 2014

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

2014 Fields Medal and Nevanlinna Prize

In Noisy Equations, One Who Heard Music

August 12, 2014

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