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Abstractions blog

Exoplanet Puzzle Cracked by Jazz Musicians

A system of seven Earth-like exoplanets appeared to be unstable. Now their orbits have been rewritten in the music of the spheres.

Abstractions blog

A Simple Visual Proof of a Powerful Idea

Ramsey’s theorem predicts a surprising (and useful) consistency in the organization of graphs. Here’s a simple visual proof of how it works.

Abstractions blog

Physicists Attack Math’s $1,000,000 Question

Physicists are attempting to map the distribution of the prime numbers to the energy levels of a particular quantum system.

Illustration: Yves Meyer and his wavelet
Abstractions blog

Yves Meyer, Wavelet Expert, Wins Abel Prize

The French mathematician was cited “for his pivotal role in the development of the mathematical theory of wavelets.”

Abstractions blog

19 Women Leading Math and Physics

Top women in mathematics and physics discuss how they got to where they are — and why there aren’t more of them.

Abstractions blog

The Almost-Proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem

19th-century mathematicians thought the “roots of unity” were the key to solving Fermat’s Last Theorem. Then they discovered a fatal flaw.

Abstractions blog

How Circadian Clocks Differ From Sleep

The circadian clock is in nearly every cell, and researchers have untangled many of its secrets. But sleep has been harder to pin down.

Mobius strip illustration
Abstractions blog

The Hidden Twist to Making a Möbius Strip

The simple Möbius strip illustrates a deep mathematical challenge that has long tormented the field of symplectic geometry.