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symmetry

Jennifer Balakrishnan and Sachi Hashimoto, plotted using SageMath
Abstractions blog

Mathematicians Crack the Cursed Curve

December 7, 2017

A famously difficult mathematical problem resisted solution for over 40 years. Mathematicians have finally resolved it by following an intuition that links number theory to physics.

Minhyong Kim in front of a whiteboard
number theory

Secret Link Uncovered Between Pure Math and Physics

December 1, 2017

An eminent mathematician reveals that his advances in the study of millennia-old mathematical questions owe to concepts derived from physics.

Pariah moonshine
number theory

Mathematicians Find Moonshine Link for Pariah Symmetries

September 22, 2017

A type of symmetry so unusual that it was called a “pariah” turns out to have deep connections to number theory.

fidget spinners
Quantized Academy

Symmetry, Algebra and the Monster

August 17, 2017

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

Helen Quinn and Roberto Peccei at Stanford University
Thinking Places

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

June 15, 2017

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

Colorful illustration of 5 plants with their roots exposed. Each plant forms the shape of a number,
number theory

New Number Systems Seek Their Lost Primes

March 2, 2017

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.

animated gif of a fractal tunnel
theoretical physics

Physicists Uncover Geometric ‘Theory Space’

February 23, 2017

A decades-old method called the “bootstrap” is enabling new discoveries about the geometry underlying all quantum theories.

Pencils Down: Experiments in Education

A Wormhole Between Physics and Education

October 18, 2016

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.

As neutrinos change “flavors” they may illuminate the differences between matter and antimatter.
particle physics

Neutrinos Hint of Matter-Antimatter Rift

July 28, 2016

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