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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.

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Physicists Mourn Joe Polchinski, Developer of Deep Ideas and Paradoxes

February 20, 2018

The theoretical physicist Joe Polchinski, who died Feb. 2, left a tremendous professional and personal legacy, says a friend and collaborator.

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How Math (and Vaccines) Keep You Safe From the Flu

February 5, 2018

Simple math shows how widespread vaccination can disrupt the exponential spread of disease and prevent epidemics.

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Why an Old Theory of Everything Is Gaining New Life

January 8, 2018

For decades, physicists have struggled to create a quantum theory of gravity. Now an approach that dates to the 1970s is attracting newfound attention.

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The (Math) Problem With Pentagons

December 11, 2017

Triangles fit effortlessly together, as do squares. When it comes to pentagons, what gives?

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What Bacteria Can Tell Us About Human Evolution

December 5, 2017

To discover our species’ deep history and to shape its future health, we should learn from the microbes that accompanied us on our evolutionary journey.

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The Unforgiving Math That Stops Epidemics

October 26, 2017

If you didn’t get a flu shot, you are endangering more than just your own health. Calculations of herd immunity against common diseases don’t make exceptions.