For centuries, mathematicians tried to solve problems by adding new values to the usual numbers. Now they’re investigating the unintended consequences of that tinkering.

# Articles tagged symmetry

### A Wormhole Between Physics and Education

The theoretical particle physicist Helen Quinn has blazed a singular path from the early days of the Standard Model to the latest overhaul of science education in the United States.

### Neutrinos Hint of Matter-Antimatter Rift

A hint that neutrinos behave differently than antineutrinos suggests an answer to one the biggest questions in physics.

### A Quasicrystal’s Shocking Origin

By blasting a stack of minerals with a four-meter-long gun, scientists have found a new clue about the backstory of a very strange rock.

### The Universe Is Not a Snowflake

Nature’s laws are beautiful because they strike a compromise between boring symmetry and confusing asymmetry, physicists say.

### Sphere Packing Solved in Higher Dimensions

The Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Viazovska has solved the centuries-old sphere-packing problem in dimensions eight and 24.

### Time’s (Almost) Reversible Arrow

The irreversibility of time may be a clue as to what makes up the universe’s dark matter.

### Hope Rekindled for Perplexing Proof

Three years ago, a solitary mathematician released an impenetrable proof of the famous *abc* conjecture. At a recent conference dedicated to the work, optimism mixed with bafflement.

### Solution: ‘Creating Art With Mathematics’

The solution to this month’s puzzle explains the artful mathematics behind symmetrical patterns.

### How to Create Art With Mathematics

Can you generate aesthetically pleasing, symmetrical curves with two numbers and a simple mathematical function?