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To tame urban traffic, the computer scientist Carlos Gershenson finds that letting transportation systems adapt and self-organize often works better than trying to predict and control them.
At the molecular level, glass looks like a liquid. But an artificial neural network has picked up on hidden structure in its molecules that may explain why glass is rigid like a solid.
One hundred years after it was proposed, the Ising model is used to understand everything from magnets to brains.
While studying materials made from DNA-coated nanoparticles, researchers found a new form of this matter: lattices in which smaller particles roam like electrons in metallic bonds.
Two teams of physicists have created the “Higgs mode” – a link between particle physics and the physics of matter. The work could help researchers understand the strange behavior of deeply quantum systems.
A complete classification could lead to a wealth of new materials and technologies. But some exotic phases continue to resist understanding.
The new experiments suggest that simple models can explain the behavior of thousands of interacting organisms.