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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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Abstractions blog

Black Hole Firewalls Could Be Too Tepid to Burn

August 22, 2018

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

Art for "Dark Energy May Be Incompatible With String Theory"
theoretical physics

Dark Energy May Be Incompatible With String Theory

August 9, 2018

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.

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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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Q&A

Questioning Truth, Reality and the Role of Science

May 24, 2018

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.

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Abstractions blog

Three Decades Later, Mystery Numbers Explained

May 3, 2018

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

Illustration for "Mathematicians Explore Mirror Link Between Two Geometric Worlds"
geometry

Mathematicians Explore Mirror Link Between Two Geometric Worlds

April 9, 2018

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

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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.

M theory and its six components
Abstractions blog

Why Is M-Theory the Leading Candidate for Theory of Everything?

December 18, 2017

The mother of all string theories passes a litmus test that, so far, no other candidate theory of quantum gravity has been able to match.