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An Italian Cosmologist Who Wanders in Dante’s Dark Wood
A scientist and programmer with a literary bent, Valeria Pettorino thinks multiple angles and diverse points of view are needed to unriddle the nature of dark matter and dark energy.
The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature
New findings are fueling an old suspicion that fundamental particles and forces spring from strange eight-part numbers called “octonions.”
Mathematicians Disprove Conjecture Made to Save Black Holes
Mathematicians have disproved the strong cosmic censorship conjecture. Their work answers one of the most important questions in the study of general relativity and changes the way we think about space-time.
Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity
New observations of extreme astrophysical systems have “brutally and pitilessly murdered” attempts to replace Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
Why Stephen Hawking’s Black Hole Puzzle Keeps Puzzling
The renowned British physicist, who died at 76, left behind a riddle that could eventually lead his successors to the theory of quantum gravity.
How Einstein Lost His Bearings, and With Them, General Relativity
By 1913, Albert Einstein had nearly completed general relativity. But a simple mistake set him on a tortured, two-year reconsideration of his theory. Today, mathematicians still grapple with the issues he confronted.