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# explainers

## Latest Articles

### How Maxwell’s Demon Continues to Startle Scientists

The thorny thought experiment has been turned into a real experiment — one that physicists use to probe the physics of information.

### Mathematicians Find a New Class of Digitally Delicate Primes

Despite finding no specific examples, researchers have proved the existence of a pervasive kind of prime number so delicate that changing any of its infinite digits renders it composite.

### The Near-Magical Mystery of Quasiparticles

The zoo of spontaneously emerging particlelike entities known as quasiparticles has grown quickly and become more and more exotic. Here are a few of the most curious and potentially useful examples.

### Matrix Multiplication Inches Closer to Mythic Goal

A recent paper set the fastest record for multiplying two matrices. But it also marks the end of the line for a method researchers have relied on for decades to make improvements.

### How to Understand COVID-19 Variants and Their Effects on Vaccines

Researchers are tracking the different strains of SARS-CoV-2 and studying how they spread through our population and our bodies.

### Topology 101: The Hole Truth

The relationships among the properties of flexible shapes have fascinated mathematicians for centuries.

### How Claude Shannon Invented the Future

Today’s information age is only possible thanks to the groundbreaking work of a lone genius.

### An Infinite Universe of Number Systems

The p-adics form an infinite collection of number systems based on prime numbers. They’re at the heart of modern number theory.

### How Mathematical ‘Hocus-Pocus’ Saved Particle Physics

Renormalization has become perhaps the single most important advance in theoretical physics in 50 years.