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Puzzles

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How to Solve Our Three John Conway-Inspired Puzzles

November 20, 2020

A numerical puzzle, a geometric puzzle and a game of random patterns — all with connections to the legendary mathematician — elicited an enthusiastic response from readers.

insights puzzle

Celebrating the Playful Magic of John Horton Conway

October 15, 2020

Have fun exploring a numerical puzzle, a geometric puzzle and a game of random patterns, all inspired by the playful genius of the legendary mathematician.

insights puzzle

How to Assess Risks During the Coronavirus Pandemic

September 25, 2020

The medical research scientist and Quanta puzzle columnist Pradeep Mutalik explores how to make sense of COVID-19 data while managing your personal risk.

insights puzzle

COVID-19 Is Raging. How Safe Is Your Backyard Party?

August 6, 2020

Awash in coronavirus data, misinformation and tremendous uncertainty, we need to put our risk analysis skills to the ultimate test.

insights puzzle

How to Design (or at Least Model) Mixed Dog Breeds

Readers simulated the genetics of dog breeding to solve a puzzle about mixed breed percentages and sexual reproduction.

insights puzzle

How to Breed a Pomsky and Other Questions About Dogs and Sex

June 18, 2020

Solve a puzzle about mixed dog breeds, sexual reproduction and the COVID-19 pandemic.

insights puzzle

Why Our Perpetual Energy Puzzle Fails

May 22, 2020

Readers poked holes in our paradoxical April Fools’ Day claims about perpetual energy and whether this puzzle solution would ever be published.

insights puzzle

How to Design a Perpetual Energy Machine

April 1, 2020

This April, find the fatal flaws in two paradoxical claims — one about a perpetual source of energy and the other about whether you will ever see the solution to these puzzles.

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Solution: ‘Is It Turtles All the Way Down?’

March 27, 2020

While the age-old chicken-and-egg paradox is easily answered, the question of infinite regress in physics is far from resolved.