Natalie Wolchover

Senior Writer

Daily bike rides, serendipitous interactions and long periods of solo thinking inspire this string cosmologist.
Thinking Places

Eva Silverstein’s Spirals and Strings

Daily bike rides, serendipitous interactions and long periods of solo thinking inspire this string cosmologist.

A California housewife who in the 1970s discovered four new types of tessellating pentagons is dead at 94.
Abstractions blog

Marjorie Rice’s Secret Pentagons

A California housewife who in the 1970s discovered four new types of tessellating pentagons is dead at 94.

A French mathematician has completed the classification of all convex pentagons, and therefore all convex polygons, that tile the plane.
geometry

Pentagon Tiling Proof Solves Century-Old Math Problem

A French mathematician has completed the classification of all convex pentagons, and therefore all convex polygons, that tile the plane.

Breathless media coverage notwithstanding, the cases for and against a hypothetical Planet Nine in the outskirts of the solar system remain inconclusive.
Abstractions blog

Planet Nine Is Put on Trial in Absentia

Breathless media coverage notwithstanding, the cases for and against a hypothetical Planet Nine in the outskirts of the solar system remain inconclusive.

One of the world’s preeminent theoretical physicists seeks a quiet place to think.
Thinking Places

Juan Maldacena, Pondering Quantum Gravity by the Pond

One of the world’s preeminent theoretical physicists seeks a quiet place to think.

Recent calculations tie together two conjectures about gravity, potentially revealing new truths about its elusive quantum nature.
quantum gravity

Where Gravity Is Weak and Naked Singularities Are Verboten

Recent calculations tie together two conjectures about gravity, potentially revealing new truths about its elusive quantum nature.

The physicist who designed the LIGO experiment that detected gravitational waves still holes up in a small basement lab surrounded by electronics and optical instruments.
Thinking Places

Rainer Weiss, Remembering the Little Room in the Plywood Palace

The physicist who designed the LIGO experiment that detected gravitational waves still holes up in a small basement lab surrounded by electronics and optical instruments.

New math shows how, contrary to conventional scientific wisdom, conscious beings and other macroscopic entities might have greater influence over the future than do the sum of their microscopic components.
consciousness

A Theory of Reality as More Than the Sum of Its Parts

New math shows how, contrary to conventional scientific wisdom, conscious beings and other macroscopic entities might have greater influence over the future than do the sum of their microscopic components.

The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory’s third detection further compounds the mystery of why black holes collide.
Abstractions blog

Latest Black Hole Collision Comes With a Twist

The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory’s third detection further compounds the mystery of why black holes collide.