Anil Ananthaswamy

Contributing Writer

Animation of a neuron that periodically alters its responses to stimuli when it is reset into a new state by another input.
neural networks

Artificial Neural Nets Finally Yield Clues to How Brains Learn

February 18, 2021

The learning algorithm that enables the runaway success of deep neural networks doesn’t work in biological brains, but researchers are finding alternatives that could.

A stylized atom surrounded by concentric shells of increasingly complex organisms.
quantum physics

A New Theorem Maps Out the Limits of Quantum Physics

December 3, 2020

The result highlights a fundamental tension: Either the rules of quantum mechanics don’t always apply, or at least one basic assumption about reality must be wrong.

Yarn models of a deep learning network and a brain.

Deep Neural Networks Help to Explain Living Brains

October 28, 2020

Deep neural networks, often criticized as “black boxes,” are helping neuroscientists understand the organization of living brains.

quantum information theory

How to Turn a Quantum Computer Into the Ultimate Randomness Generator

June 19, 2019

Pure, verifiable randomness is hard to come by. Two proposals show how to make quantum computers into randomness factories.

Art for "New Quantum Paradox Clarifies Where Reality Goes Wrong"
quantum physics

New Quantum Paradox Clarifies Where Our Views of Reality Go Wrong

December 3, 2018

The Frauchiger-Renner thought experiment has shaken up the world of quantum foundations.

quantum physics

Closed Loophole Confirms the Unreality of the Quantum World

July 25, 2018

A quickly closed loophole has proved that the “great smoky dragon” of quantum mechanics may forever elude capture.

About the author

Anil Ananthaswamy is a journalist and author. He is a 2019-20 MIT Knight Science Journalism fellow. His latest book, Through Two Doors at Once, is about quantum mechanics and the double-slit experiment. He is a former deputy news editor for New Scientist magazine and currently a freelance feature editor for PNAS’s Front Matter. Besides Quanta, he writes for New Scientist, Scientific American, Knowable and Undark, among others. He won the UK Institute of Physics’ Physics Journalism award and the British Association of Science Writers’ award for Best Investigative Journalism. His first book, The Edge of Physics, was voted book of the year in 2010 by Physics World, and his second book, The Man Who Wasn’t There, was long-listed for the 2016 Pen/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.