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symmetry

To begin to understand what mathematicians and physicists see in the abstract structures of symmetries, let’s start with a familiar shape.
Quantized Columns

Symmetry, Algebra and the Monster

To begin to understand what mathematicians and physicists see in the abstract structures of symmetries, let’s start with a familiar shape.

The two physicists who introduced Peccei-Quinn symmetry came up with their idea on and around Stanford University’s campus 40 years ago.
Thinking Places

Roberto Peccei and Helen Quinn, Driving Around Stanford in a Clunky Jeep

The two physicists who introduced Peccei-Quinn symmetry came up with their idea on and around Stanford University’s campus 40 years ago.

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.
number theory

New Number Systems Seek Their Lost Primes

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.

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.
Pencils Down: Experiments in Education

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.

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

Neutrinos Hint of Matter-Antimatter Rift

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

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.
Abstractions blog

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.

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

The Universe Is Not a Snowflake

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

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

Sphere Packing Solved in Higher Dimensions

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

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

Time’s (Almost) Reversible Arrow

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