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Lauren Williams has charted an adventurous mathematical career out of the pieces of a fundamental object called the positive Grassmannian.
Physicists plan to leave no stone unturned, checking whether dark matter tickles different types of detectors, nudges starlight, warms planetary cores or even lodges in rocks.
It has been thought of as many things: a pointlike object, an excitation of a field, a speck of pure math that has cut into reality. But never has physicists’ conception of a particle changed more than it is changing now.
Renormalization has become perhaps the single most important advance in theoretical physics in 50 years.
Physicists have identified an algebraic structure underlying the messy mathematics of particle collisions. Some hope it will lead to a more elegant theory of the natural world.
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