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Physics

Reductionism breaks the world into elementary building blocks. Emergence finds the simple laws that arise out of complexity. These two complementary ways of viewing the universe come together in modern theories of quantum gravity.
Quantized Columns

To Solve the Biggest Mystery in Physics, Join Two Kinds of Law

Reductionism breaks the world into elementary building blocks. Emergence finds the simple laws that arise out of complexity. These two complementary ways of viewing the universe come together in modern theories of quantum gravity.

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.
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.

Even as the solar eclipse was mesmerizing millions, astronomers were training their space- and land-based telescopes on a far more violent astrophysical event.
Abstractions blog

For Astronomers, Neutron Star Merger Could Eclipse Eclipse

Even as the solar eclipse was mesmerizing millions, astronomers were training their space- and land-based telescopes on a far more violent astrophysical event.

The rise of new extremist groups has served as both an impetus and test-case for Neil Johnson’s models of terrorism and insurgency.
Q&A

A Physicist Who Models ISIS and the Alt-Right

The rise of new extremist groups has served as both an impetus and test-case for Neil Johnson’s models of terrorism and insurgency.

The mathematician Svitlana Mayboroda and collaborators have figured out how to predict the behavior of electrons — a mathematical discovery that could have immediate practical effects.
mathematical physics

Mathematicians Tame Rogue Waves, Lighting Up Future of LEDs

The mathematician Svitlana Mayboroda and collaborators have figured out how to predict the behavior of electrons — a mathematical discovery that could have immediate practical effects.

Even in the age of sun-observing satellites, astronomers like Jay Pasachoff still seek out total solar eclipses for the tales they can tell about our sun.
Q&A

Eclipse Hunter Reveals the Science That Can Only Be Done in the Dark

Even in the age of sun-observing satellites, astronomers like Jay Pasachoff still seek out total solar eclipses for the tales they can tell about our sun.

The first major results from the Dark Energy Survey signal the start of a new era of cosmology.
cosmology

Scientists Unveil New Inventory of Universe’s Dark Contents

The first major results from the Dark Energy Survey signal the start of a new era of cosmology.

Textbooks say that the moon was formed after a Mars-size mass smashed the young Earth. But new evidence has cast doubt on that story, leaving researchers to dream up new ways to get a giant rock into orbit.
planetary science

What Made the Moon? New Ideas Try to Rescue a Troubled Theory

Textbooks say that the moon was formed after a Mars-size mass smashed the young Earth. But new evidence has cast doubt on that story, leaving researchers to dream up new ways to get a giant rock into orbit.

Astronomers thought that all Type Ia supernovas shine with the same brightness, making them incredibly useful cosmic yardsticks. But uncertainty over what causes these explosions has led researchers to reconsider their assumptions.
Abstractions blog

Cookie-Cutter Supernovas Might Come in Different Flavors

Astronomers thought that all Type Ia supernovas shine with the same brightness, making them incredibly useful cosmic yardsticks. But uncertainty over what causes these explosions has led researchers to reconsider their assumptions.