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Photo of AlphaGo board by dreamdream | Quanta Magazine
Abstractions blog

Artificial Intelligence Learns to Learn Entirely on Its Own

A new version of AlphaGo needed no human instruction to figure out how to clobber the best Go player in the world — itself.

Vladimir Voevodsky
Abstractions blog

Visionary Mathematician Vladimir Voevodsky Dies at 51

Voevodsky’s friends remember him as constitutionally unable to compromise on the truth — a quality that led him to produce some of the most important mathematics of the 20th century.

Very Large Array, Socorro, NM
Abstractions blog

Ultra-Powerful Radio Bursts May Be Getting a Cosmic Boost

Repeating radio bursts are among the most mysterious phenomena in the universe. A new theory explores how some of their puzzling properties can be explained by galactic lenses made of plasma.

Abstractions blog

One-Way Salesman Finds Fast Path Home

The real-world version of the famous “traveling salesman problem” finally gets a good-enough solution.

Cryo-electron microscopy
Abstractions blog

Supercool Protein Imaging Gets the Nobel Prize

This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to researchers who made it possible to see proteins and other biomolecules at an atomic level of detail.

Abstractions blog

LIGO Architects Win Nobel Prize in Physics

The American physicists Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish were honored for dreaming up and realizing the experiment that confirmed the existence of gravitational waves.

Abstractions blog

Nobel Prize Awarded for Biological Clock Discoveries

Three U.S. biologists share the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their research into the molecular mechanism that drives circadian rhythm.

Lucy Reading-Ikkanda/Quanta Magazine
Abstractions blog

The Math That Promises to Make the World Brighter

The color of LED lights is controlled by a clumsy process. A new mathematical discovery may make it easier for us to get the hues we want.

Neurons and astrocytes
Abstractions blog

The Oldest Mini-Brains Have Lifelike Young Cells

“Organoid” brain tissue models grown in a lab for two years can help scientists study a critical period of development just before and after birth.