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Crystal diffraction art for "A Chemist Shines Light on a Surprising Prime Number Pattern"
prime numbers

A Chemist Shines Light on a Surprising Prime Number Pattern

When a crystallographer treated prime numbers as a system of particles, the resulting diffraction pattern created a new view of existing conjectures in number theory.

Illustration of pentagon tiling
Quantized Academy

The (Math) Problem With Pentagons

Triangles fit effortlessly together, as do squares. When it comes to pentagons, what gives?

Marjorie Rice
Abstractions blog

Marjorie Rice’s Secret Pentagons

A California housewife who in the 1970s discovered four new types of tessellating pentagons is dead at 94.

15 pentagon tessellations

Pentagon Tiling Proof Solves Century-Old Math Problem

A French mathematician has completed the classification of all convex pentagons, and therefore all convex polygons, that tile the plane.

Bongard puzzle stars
insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Bongard Problems and Scientific Discovery’

Like scientific puzzles, Bongard problems can lead you through a frustrating blind search until you find that simple, elegant rule that fits a seemingly random pattern.

Bongard stars
insights puzzle

Bongard Problems and Scientific Discovery

For your frustration, joy and entertainment, our puzzle challenges you to find general patterns or rules based on seemingly random, specific examples.


Biologists Home in on Turing Patterns

New research has prompted a resurgence of interest in the patterning mechanisms Alan Turing proposed 60 years ago.


How to Make Impossible Wallpaper

A new collection of arresting wallpaper designs seems to defy the crystallographic restriction.


In Mysterious Pattern, Math and Nature Converge

All complex correlated systems, from Arctic melt ponds to the Internet, appear to be governed by the same math as a random matrix.