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Art for "What the Sight of a Black Hole Means to a Black Hole Physicist"
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What the Sight of a Black Hole Means to a Black Hole Physicist

April 10, 2019

The astrophysicist Janna Levin reflects on the newly unveiled, first-ever photograph of a black hole.

Art for "Usain Bolt’s Split Times and the Power of Calculus"
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Usain Bolt’s Split Times and the Power of Calculus

April 3, 2019

Just how fast can the fastest human run? This adapted book excerpt from Infinite Powers reveals how calculus helps us investigate the nature of motion and change.

Art for "Where Proof, Evidence and Imagination Intersect"
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Where Proof, Evidence and Imagination Intersect

March 14, 2019

In mathematics, where proofs are everything, evidence is important too. But evidence is only as good as the model, and modeling can be dangerous business. So how much evidence is enough?

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The Double Life of Black Holes

January 29, 2019

Perfect black holes are versatile mathematical tools. Just don’t mistake them for the real thing.

Art for "Unscrambling the Hidden Secrets of Superpermutations"
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Unscrambling the Hidden Secrets of Superpermutations

January 16, 2019

A science fiction novelist and an internet commenter made breakthroughs on a longstanding problem about the number of ways you can arrange a set of items. What did they discover?

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The (Imaginary) Numbers at the Edge of Reality

October 25, 2018

Odd enough to potentially model the strangeness of the physical world, complex numbers with “imaginary” components are rooted in the familiar.

Art for "How Network Math Can Help You Make Friends"
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The End of Theoretical Physics As We Know It

August 27, 2018

Computer simulations and custom-built quantum analogues are changing what it means to search for the laws of nature.

Art for "How Network Math Can Help You Make Friends"
Quantized Academy

How Network Math Can Help You Make Friends

August 20, 2018

Studying the structure of existing friendships in your community can help you forge the best connections when forming a new circle of friends.

Illustration for "Four Is Not Enough"
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Four Is Not Enough

June 18, 2018

How many colors do you need to color an infinite plane so that no points 1 unit apart are the same color?