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The result highlights a fundamental tension: Either the rules of quantum mechanics don’t always apply, or at least one basic assumption about reality must be wrong.

It has been thought of as many things: a pointlike object, an excitation of a field, a speck of pure math that has cut into reality. But never has physicists’ conception of a particle changed more than it is changing now.

In a landmark series of calculations, physicists have proved that black holes can shed information.

We’ve created a new way to explore the fundamental constituents of the universe.

Recent experiments show that particles should be able to go faster than light when they quantum mechanically “tunnel” through walls.

Physicists have identified an algebraic structure underlying the messy mathematics of particle collisions. Some hope it will lead to a more elegant theory of the natural world.

We asked four physicists why gravity stands out among the forces of nature. We got four different answers.

Anyons don’t fit into either of the two known particle kingdoms. To find them, physicists had to erase the third dimension.

Two ways of approximating the ultra-complicated math that governs quark particles have recently come into conflict, leaving physicists unsure what their decades-old theory predicts.