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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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There Are No Laws of Physics. There’s Only the Landscape.

June 4, 2018

Scientists seek a single description of reality. But modern physics allows for many different descriptions, many equivalent to one another, connected through a vast landscape of mathematical possibility.

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Why Winning in Rock-Paper-Scissors (and in Life) Isn’t Everything

April 2, 2018

What does John Nash’s game theory equilibrium concept look like in Rock-Paper-Scissors?

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Black Hole Echoes Would Reveal Break With Einstein’s Theory

March 22, 2018

Gravitational waves have opened up new ways to test the properties of black holes — and Einstein’s theory of gravity along with them.