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Puzzles

GIF illustration: changing genes
insights puzzle

A Ticking Evolutionary Clock

How quickly will a gene’s rate of evolution slow to a crawl?

Illustration: balloon modelling as a metaphor for entanglement
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Solution: ‘Taming Quantum Weirdness’

A simple analogue could offer insights into one of the most astonishing results of quantum mechanics.

Illustration: balloon modelling as a metaphor for entanglement
insights puzzle

How to Tame Quantum Weirdness

Can balloon animals help blunt uneasy feelings about “spooky action at a distance”?

Illustration: bucket half-full of amoebas.
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Solution: ‘How Many Half-Lives?’

When do negative results from a half-life experiment mean a theory is dead?

Illustration: bucket half-full of amoebas.
insights puzzle

How Many Half-Lives Do You Have?

Gaining an intuition about half-life requires some unintuitive thinking.

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Solution: ‘Hanging Far Out Over the Edge’

A simple and elegant way to stack identical flat objects so that they project over an edge as far as possible.

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How to Hang Far Out Over the Edge

What formula describes the farthest you can stack flat blocks over the edge of a table to form a seemingly gravity-defying half-bridge to nowhere?

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Solution: ‘Which Forecasts Are True?’

Aside from potential clues gleaned from a fluke result, it would take hundreds of U.S. presidential elections to definitely conclude that one election forecasting model is superior to another.

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How Can We Tell Which Forecasts Are True?

Presidential election forecasts are historically successful and appear to be highly precise. Yet they’re often contradictory. What would it take to trust them?