What's up in
New Proof Finds the ‘Ultimate Instability’ in a Solar System Model
For the first time, mathematicians have proved that planetary orbits in a solar system will always be unstable.
A New Idea for How to Assemble Life
If we want to understand complex constructions, such as ourselves, assembly theory says we must account for the entire history of how such entities came to be.
Mathematicians Complete Quest to Build ‘Spherical Cubes’
Is it possible to fill space “cubically” with shapes that act like spheres? A proof at the intersection of geometry and theoretical computer science says yes.
Computer Scientists Prove That Certain Problems Are Truly Hard
Finding out whether a question is too difficult to ever solve efficiently depends on figuring out just how hard it is. Researchers have now shown how to do that for a major class of problems.
Which Computational Universe Do We Live In?
Cryptographers want to know which of five possible worlds we inhabit, which will reveal whether truly secure cryptography is even possible.
Researchers Identify ‘Master Problem’ Underlying All Cryptography
The existence of secure cryptography depends on one of the oldest questions in computational complexity.
Work on Earth’s Climate and Other Complex Systems Earns Nobel Prize in Physics
Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann have been honored for their work that led to reliable predictions of the effects of climate change. They will share the Nobel with Giorgio Parisi, who has made pioneering studies of chaotic physical systems.
The Year in Biology
While the study of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was the most urgent priority, biologists also learned more about how brains process information, how to define individuality and why sleep deprivation kills.
Complexity Scientist Beats Traffic Jams Through Adaptation
To tame urban traffic, the computer scientist Carlos Gershenson finds that letting transportation systems adapt and self-organize often works better than trying to predict and control them.