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Does Nothingness Exist?
Even empty space bubbles with energy, according to quantum mechanics — and that fact affects almost every facet of physical reality. The theoretical physicist Isabel Garcia Garcia explains to Steven Strogatz why it’s so important in modern physics to understand what a true vacuum is.
How (Nearly) Nothing Might Solve Cosmology’s Biggest Questions
By measuring the universe’s emptiest spaces, scientists can study how matter clumps together and how fast it flies apart.
To Move Fast, Quantum Maze Solvers Must Forget the Past
Quantum algorithms can find their way out of mazes exponentially faster than classical ones, at the cost of forgetting the path they took. A new result suggests that the trade-off may be inevitable.
How Quantum Physicists Explained Earth's Weather Patterns
By treating Earth as a topological insulator — a state of quantum matter — physicists found a powerful explanation for the movements of the planet’s air and seas.
The Physicist Who’s Challenging the Quantum Orthodoxy
For decades, physicists have struggled to develop a quantum theory of gravity. But what if gravity — and space-time — are fundamentally classical?
A New Map of the Universe, Painted With Cosmic Neutrinos
Physicists finally know where at least some of these high-energy particles come from, which helps make the neutrinos useful for exploring fundamental physics.
An Enormous Gravity ‘Hum’ Moves Through the Universe
Astronomers have found a background din of exceptionally long-wavelength gravitational waves pervading the cosmos.
What Can Jellyfish Teach Us About Fluid Dynamics?
Jellyfish and other aquatic creatures embody solutions to diverse problems in engineering, medicine and mathematics. John Dabiri, a fluid dynamics expert, talks with Steven Strogatz about what jellyfish can teach us about going with the flow.
The Simple Geometry That Predicts Molecular Mosaics
By treating molecules as geometric tessellations, scientists devised a new way to forecast how 2D materials might self-assemble.