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Quanta Writers and Editors Discuss Trends in Science and Math

On November 16, 2018, more than 200 readers joined writers and editors from Quanta Magazine for a wide-ranging panel discussion that examined the newest ideas in fundamental physics, biology and mathematics research.

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chaos theory

Machine Learning’s ‘Amazing’ Ability to Predict Chaos

In new computer experiments, artificial-intelligence algorithms can tell the future of chaotic systems.

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graph theory

Decades-Old Graph Problem Yields to Amateur Mathematician

By making the first progress on the “chromatic number of the plane” problem in over 60 years, an anti-aging pundit has achieved mathematical immortality.

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developmental biology

Brainless Embryos Suggest Bioelectricity Guides Growth

Researchers are building a case that long before the nervous system works, the brain sends crucial bioelectric signals to guide the growth of embryonic tissues.

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mathematical physics

To Test Einstein’s Equations, Poke a Black Hole

Two teams of researchers have made significant progress toward proving the black hole stability conjecture, a critical mathematical test of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

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evolution

Oxygen and Stem Cells May Have Reshaped Early Complex Animals

An unlikely team offers a controversial hypothesis about what enabled animal life to get more complex during the Cambrian explosion.

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quantum gravity

Physicists Find a Way to See the ‘Grin’ of Quantum Gravity

A recently proposed experiment would confirm that gravity is a quantum force.

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mathematical biology

Why Don’t Patients Get Sick in Sync? Modelers Find Statistical Clues

The long, variable times that some diseases incubate after infection defies simple explanation. An idealized model of tumor growth offers a statistical solution.

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artificial intelligence

Why Artificial Intelligence Like AlphaZero Has Trouble With the Real World

The latest artificial intelligence systems start from zero knowledge of a game and grow to world-beating in a matter of hours. But researchers are struggling to apply these systems beyond the arcade.