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physics

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network science

Scant Evidence of Power Laws Found in Real-World Networks

A new study challenges one of the most celebrated and controversial ideas in network science.

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nuclear physics

Neutron Lifetime Puzzle Deepens, but No Dark Matter Seen

Two methods of measuring the neutron’s longevity give different answers, creating uncertainty in cosmological models. But no one has a clue what the problem is.

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The Future of Quantum Computing

Quantum Algorithms Struggle Against Old Foe: Clever Computers

The quest for “quantum supremacy” – unambiguous proof that a quantum computer does something faster than an ordinary computer – has paradoxically led to a boom in quasi-quantum classical algorithms.

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cosmology

How the Universe Got Its Bounce Back

Cosmologists have shown that it’s theoretically possible for a contracting universe to bounce and expand. The new work resuscitates an old idea that directly challenges the Big Bang theory of cosmic origins.

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insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Triangulation and Motion Sickness’

A method for estimating distances in sailing and astrophysics helps explain why riding on buses and boats can make us nauseous.

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The Future of Quantum Computing

Job One for Quantum Computers: Boost Artificial Intelligence

The fusion of quantum computing and machine learning has become a booming research area. Can it possibly live up to its high expectations?

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The Future of Quantum Computing

The Era of Quantum Computing Is Here. Outlook: Cloudy

Quantum computers should soon be able to beat classical computers at certain basic tasks. But before they’re truly powerful, researchers have to overcome a number of fundamental roadblocks.

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geophysics

Fossil Discoveries Challenge Ideas About Earth’s Start

A series of fossil finds suggests that life on Earth started earlier than anyone thought, calling into question a widely held theory of the solar system’s beginnings.

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Abstractions blog

What Makes the Hardest Equations in Physics So Difficult?

The Navier-Stokes equations describe simple, everyday phenomena, like water flowing from a garden hose, yet they provide a million-dollar mathematical challenge.