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Puzzles

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Did the Chicken Come First or Is It Turtles All the Way Down?

February 6, 2020

The apparent paradox of the chicken and the egg smells like “turtles all the way down.” This puzzle shows how biology and physics can overcome infinite regress.

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Natural Law and Elegant Math’

January 17, 2020

While mathematics gives us elegant explanations for many physical phenomena, real-world situations often require us to scramble through dense numerical thickets.

insights puzzle

Does Natural Law Need Elegant Mathematics?

December 5, 2019

Many of us are drawn to beauty in mathematics. But is that the way nature really works?

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Randomness From Determinism’

November 22, 2019

Readers’ modifications of a bean machine showed how deterministic laws are capable of producing random-seeming behavior.

insights puzzle

How Randomness Can Arise From Determinism

Playing with a simple bean machine illustrates how deterministic laws can produce probabilistic, random-seeming behavior.

An illustration of a sunset beach scene turned into a puzzle.
insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Perfect Randomness’

September 27, 2019

Is nature inherently random or is perfect randomness just an illusion based on our ignorance?

An illustration of a sunset beach scene turned into a puzzle.
insights puzzle

The Puzzling Search for Perfect Randomness

August 20, 2019

Does objective, perfect randomness exist, or is randomness merely a product of our ignorance?

insights puzzle

Solution: Magic Moiré in Twisted Graphene

July 26, 2019

Answering these simple questions can give you an intuitive feel for the geometric properties behind the emergence of superconductivity in rotated graphene sheets.

insights puzzle

When Magic Is Seen in Twisted Graphene, That’s a Moiré

June 20, 2019

What do moiré patterns seen in optics, art, photography and color printing have to do with superconducting layers of graphene?