Kevin Hartnett

Senior Writer

A satellite spotted a burst of light just as gravitational waves rolled in from the collision of two black holes. Was the flash a cosmic coincidence, or do astrophysicists need to rethink what black holes can do?
astrophysics

After Black Holes Collide, a Puzzling Flash

A satellite spotted a burst of light just as gravitational waves rolled in from the collision of two black holes. Was the flash a cosmic coincidence, or do astrophysicists need to rethink what black holes can do?

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

Taming Superconductors With String Theory

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

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

Hope Rekindled for Perplexing Proof

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.

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

Math Quartet Joins Forces on Unified Theory

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

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

The Information Theory of Life

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

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.
Computer Science

A New Design for Cryptography’s Black Box

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.

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.
Biology

At Tiny Scales, a Giant Burst on Tree of Life

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.

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.
foundations of mathematics

Will Computers Redefine the Roots of Math?

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.

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

A Proof That Some Spaces Can’t Be Cut

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