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How to Think About Relativity
Albert Einstein’s ideas about space-time aren’t exactly intuitive, and they aren’t exactly Einstein’s, either.
Why Mathematicians Study Knots
Far from being an abstract mathematical curiosity, knot theory has driven many findings in math and beyond.
What We Know About Monkeypox
Even though we’ve learned a lot about this relative of smallpox, some mysteries remain due to a lack of political will.
How Big Is Infinity?
Of all the endless questions children and mathematicians have asked about infinity, one of the biggest has to do with its size.
How Isaac Newton Discovered the Binomial Power Series
Rethinking questions and chasing patterns led Newton to find the connection between curves and infinite sums.
Neuronal Scaffolding Plays Unexpected Role in Pain
Perineuronal nets, rigid structures that hold certain neurons in place, affect a surprising amount of brain activity, including some associated with chronic pain.
How Can Infinitely Many Primes Be Infinitely Far Apart?
Mathematicians have been studying the distribution of prime numbers for thousands of years. Recent results about a curious kind of prime offer a new take on how spread out they can be.
The Sordid Past of the Cubic Formula
The quest to solve cubic equations led to duels, betrayals — and modern mathematics.
What Is the Langlands Program?
The Langlands program provides a beautifully intricate set of connections between various areas of mathematics, pointing the way toward novel solutions for old problems.