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Controversy Continues Over Whether Hot Water Freezes Faster Than Cold
Decades after a Tanzanian teenager initiated study of the “Mpemba effect,” the effort to confirm or refute it is leading physicists toward new theories about how substances relax to equilibrium.
The Spooky Quantum Phenomenon You’ve Never Heard Of
Quantum computers may derive their power from the “magical” way that properties of particles change depending on the context.
Wheel Made of ‘Odd Matter’ Spontaneously Rolls Uphill
Physicists have solved a key problem of robotic locomotion by revising the usual rules of interaction between simple component parts.
Astronomers Reimagine the Making of the Planets
Observations of faraway planets have forced a near-total rewrite of the story of how our solar system came to be.
How to Make the Universe Think for Us
Physicists are building neural networks out of vibrations, voltages and lasers, arguing that the future of computing lies in exploiting the universe’s complex physical behaviors.
Physicists Rewrite the Fundamental Law That Leads to Disorder
The second law of thermodynamics is among the most sacred in all of science, but it has always rested on 19th century arguments about probability. New arguments trace its true source to the flows of quantum information.
Will the James Webb Space Telescope Reveal Another Earth?
The space telescope is one of the most ambitious scientific projects ever undertaken. Marcia Rieke and Nikole Lewis, two of the scientists leading JWST investigations, talk to Steven Strogatz about how it may transform our understanding of the universe.
Puzzling Quantum Scenario Appears Not to Conserve Energy
By resolving a paradox about light in a box, researchers hope to clarify the concept of energy in quantum theory.
Black Hole Image Reveals the Beast Inside the Milky Way’s Heart
In 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope released a historic image of a supermassive black hole in another galaxy. The follow-up — an image of Sagittarius A* — shows it shimmering at the center of our own.