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Edward Witten in his office at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

A Physicist’s Physicist Ponders the Nature of Reality

Edward Witten reflects on the meaning of dualities in physics and math, emergent space-time, and the pursuit of a complete description of nature.

Federico Ardila

A Mathematician Who Dances to the Joys and Sorrows of Discovery

Federico Ardila opens up about his journey as a mathematician, teacher, Colombian transplant, DJ and creator of mathematical spaces.

Rebecca Goldin

Why Math Is the Best Way to Make Sense of the World

To tell truth from fiction, start with quantitative thinking, argues the mathematician Rebecca Goldin.

Nigel Goldenfeld

Seeing Emergent Physics Behind Evolution

Nigel Goldenfeld applies the physics of condensed matter to understand how evolution sprinted for the earliest life — and then slowed down.

Neil Johnson

A Physicist Who Models ISIS and the Alt-Right

The rise of new extremist groups has served as both an impetus and test-case for Neil Johnson’s models of terrorism and insurgency.

Jay Pasachoff

Eclipse Hunter Reveals the Science That Can Only Be Done in the Dark

Even in the age of sun-observing satellites, astronomers like Jay Pasachoff still seek out total solar eclipses for the tales they can tell about our sun.

Andrea Ghez in Hawaii

Black-Hole Hunter Takes Aim at Einstein

The astrophysicist Andrea Ghez spent two decades proving that a supermassive black hole anchors the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Her new plan? Test what happens when things get too close.

Kaisa Matomäki

Kaisa Matomäki Dreams of Primes

Kaisa Matomäki has proved that properties of prime numbers over long intervals hold over short intervals as well. The techniques she uses have transformed the study of these elusive numbers.