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history of science
The Journey to Define Dimension
The concept of dimension seems simple enough, but mathematicians struggled for centuries to precisely define and understand it.
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.
How Radio Astronomy Reveals the Universe
Radio waves, longer and less energetic than visible light, give astronomers access to some of the most obscure physics in the cosmos.
Topology 101: The Hole Truth
The relationships among the properties of flexible shapes have fascinated mathematicians for centuries.
The NASA Engineer Who’s a Mathematician at Heart
Christine Darden worked at NASA for 40 years, helping make supersonic planes quieter and forging a path for women to follow in her footsteps.
How Claude Shannon Invented the Future
Today’s information age is only possible thanks to the groundbreaking work of a lone genius.
Inside the Secret Math Society Known Simply as Nicolas Bourbaki
For almost a century, the anonymous members of Nicolas Bourbaki have written books intended as pure expressions of mathematical thought.
How Mathematical ‘Hocus-Pocus’ Saved Particle Physics
Renormalization has become perhaps the single most important advance in theoretical physics in 50 years.
When Math Gets Impossibly Hard
Mathematicians have long grappled with the reality that some problems just don’t have solutions.