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symmetry

Illustration of a pair of lungs being scanned in three dimensions, with a status bar that reads “Scanning lung tissue: 60%.”
artificial intelligence

An Idea From Physics Helps AI See in Higher Dimensions

January 9, 2020

The laws of physics stay the same no matter one’s perspective. Now this idea is allowing computers to detect features in curved and higher-dimensional space.

A domino, a two of clubs, and a clock face.
Abstractions blog

Why the Laws of Physics Are Inevitable

December 9, 2019

By considering simple symmetries, physicists working on the “bootstrap” can rediscover the basic form of the known forces that shape the universe.

An interactive illustration of shapes hiding clocks.
cosmology

Cosmic Triangles Open a Window to the Origin of Time

October 29, 2019

A close look at fundamental symmetries has exposed hidden patterns in the universe. Physicists think that those same symmetries may also reveal time’s original secret.

Abstractions blog

How (Relatively) Simple Symmetries Underlie Our Expanding Universe

July 15, 2019

Although Einstein’s theory of space-time seems more complicated than Newtonian physics, it greatly simplified the mathematical description of the universe.

symmetry

The Simple Idea Behind Einstein’s Greatest Discoveries

June 26, 2019

Lurking behind Einstein’s theory of gravity and our modern understanding of particle physics is the deceptively simple idea of symmetry. But physicists are beginning to question whether focusing on symmetry is still as productive as it once was.

Art for "How Feynman Diagrams Revolutionized Physics"
sphere packing

Out of a Magic Math Function, One Solution to Rule Them All

May 13, 2019

Mathematicians used “magic functions” to prove that two highly symmetric lattices solve a myriad of problems in eight- and 24-dimensional space.

Art for "Scientists Discover Exotic New Patterns of Synchronization"
patterns

Scientists Discover Exotic New Patterns of Synchronization

April 4, 2019

In a world seemingly filled with chaos, physicists have discovered new forms of synchronization and are learning how to predict and control them.

Art for "A Proof About Where Symmetries Can’t Exist"
geometry

A Proof About Where Symmetries Can’t Exist

October 23, 2018

In a major mathematical achievement, a small team of researchers has proven Zimmer’s conjecture.

Art for "Three Decades Later, Mystery Numbers Explained"
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.