Kevin Hartnett

Senior Writer

Q&A

Taming Superconductors With String Theory

January 21, 2016

The physicist Subir Sachdev borrows tools from string theory to understand the puzzling behavior of high-temperature superconductors.

Mathematics

Hope Rekindled for Perplexing Proof

December 21, 2015

Three years ago, a solitary mathematician released an impenetrable proof of the famous abc conjecture. At a recent conference dedicated to the work, optimism mixed with bafflement.

Mathematics

Math Quartet Joins Forces on Unified Theory

December 8, 2015

A new breakthrough that bridges number theory and geometry is just the latest triumph for a close-knit group of mathematicians.

Q&A

The Information Theory of Life

November 19, 2015

The polymath Christoph Adami is investigating life’s origins by reimagining life as self-perpetuating information strings.

Computer Science

A New Design for Cryptography’s Black Box

September 2, 2015

A recent cryptographic breakthrough has proven difficult to put into practice. But new advances show how near-perfect computer security might be surprisingly close at hand.

Biology

At Tiny Scales, a Giant Burst on Tree of Life

July 28, 2015

A new technique for finding and characterizing microbes has boosted the number of known bacteria by almost 50 percent, revealing a hidden world all around us.

foundations of mathematics

Will Computers Redefine the Roots of Math?

May 19, 2015

The Fields medalist Vladimir Voevodsky has died at 51. This 2015 article describes his computer-aided quest to eliminate human error and rewrite the century-old rules underlying all of mathematics.

Mathematics

A Proof That Some Spaces Can’t Be Cut

January 13, 2015

Mathematicians have solved the century-old triangulation conjecture, a major problem in topology that asks whether all spaces can be subdivided into smaller units.