What's up in
How Nature Solves Problems Through Computation
The evolutionary biologist Jessica Flack seeks the computational rules that groups of organisms use to solve problems.
A Theory of Reality as More Than the Sum of Its Parts
New math shows how, contrary to conventional scientific wisdom, conscious beings and other macroscopic entities might have greater influence over the future than do the sum of their microscopic components.
The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution
As physicists extend the 19th-century laws of thermodynamics to the quantum realm, they’re rewriting the relationships among energy, entropy and information.
How to Use a Sphere to Talk to Mars
To avoid garbled messages, mathematicians might translate them into geometric form.
How Life (and Death) Spring From Disorder
Life was long thought to obey its own set of rules. But as simple systems show signs of lifelike behavior, scientists are arguing about whether this apparent complexity is all a consequence of thermodynamics.
The Information Theory of Life
The polymath Christoph Adami is investigating life’s origins by reimagining life as self-perpetuating information strings.
The Thermodynamic Theory of Ecology
Nature’s large-scale patterns emerge from incomplete surveys that borrow ideas from information theory.
A New Tool to Help Mathematicians Pack
Improvements in how densely spheres and other shapes can be packed together could lead to advances in materials science, deep space communication and theoretical physics.