Philip Ball

Contributing Writer

520 px illustration of a quantum computer producing errors
The Future of Quantum Computing

The Era of Quantum Computing Is Here. Outlook: Cloudy

Quantum computers should soon be able to beat classical computers at certain basic tasks. But before they’re truly powerful, researchers have to overcome a number of fundamental roadblocks.

Quantum reconstruction
quantum mechanics

Quantum Theory Rebuilt From Simple Physical Principles

Physicists are trying to rewrite the axioms of quantum theory from scratch in an effort to understand what it all means. The problem? They’ve been almost too successful.

Illustration: life as a computation efficiently storing & using predictive info
information theory

How Life (and Death) Spring From Disorder

Life was long thought to obey its own set of rules. But as simple systems show signs of lifelike behavior, scientists are arguing about whether this apparent complexity is all a consequence of thermodynamics.

About the author

Philip Ball is a science writer and author based in London who contributes frequently to Nature, New Scientist, Prospect, Nautilus and The Atlantic, among other publications. His books include Bright Earth, Invisible and most recently, The Water Kingdom.