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Explore our surprisingly simple, absurdly ambitious and necessarily incomplete guide to the boundless mathematical universe.

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

String theorists elide a paradox about black holes by extinguishing the walls of fire feared to surround them.

A controversial new paper argues that universes with dark energy profiles like ours do not exist in the “landscape” of universes allowed by string theory.

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.

In an era when untestable ideas such as the multiverse hold sway, Michela Massimi defends science from those who think it hopelessly unmoored from physical reality.

Zeta values seem to connect distant geometric worlds. In a new proof, mathematicians finally explain why.

Decades after physicists happened upon a stunning mathematical coincidence, researchers are getting close to understanding the link between two seemingly unrelated geometric universes.

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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