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New Proof Distinguishes Mysterious and Powerful ‘Modular Forms’
Using “refreshingly old” tools, mathematicians resolved a 50-year-old conjecture about how to categorize important functions called modular forms, with consequences for number theory and theoretical physics.
Mathematicians Find an Infinity of Possible Black Hole Shapes
In three-dimensional space, the surface of a black hole must be a sphere. But a new result shows that in higher dimensions, an infinite number of configurations are possible.
Computer Proof ‘Blows Up’ Centuries-Old Fluid Equations
For more than 250 years, mathematicians have wondered if the Euler equations might sometimes fail to describe a fluid’s flow. A new computer-assisted proof marks a major breakthrough in that quest.
A Mathematician Who Fled to Freedom but Still Faces Doubts
Svetlana Jitomirskaya was born in Ukraine, but left the Soviet Union to escape sexism and antisemitism. Even though her work in mathematical physics has now been honored with one of the field’s top prizes, she finds herself still fighting old battles.
At Long Last, Mathematical Proof That Black Holes Are Stable
The solutions to Einstein’s equations that describe a spinning black hole won’t blow up, even when poked or prodded.
Mass and Angular Momentum, Left Ambiguous by Einstein, Get Defined
Surprising as it may sound, 107 years after the introduction of general relativity, the meanings of basic concepts are still being worked out.
Wheel Made of ‘Odd Matter’ Spontaneously Rolls Uphill
Physicists have solved a key problem of robotic locomotion by revising the usual rules of interaction between simple component parts.
Mathematicians Coax Fluid Equations Into Nonphysical Solutions
The famed Navier-Stokes equations can lead to cases where more than one result is possible, but only in an extremely narrow set of situations.