In Theory Playlist
What Are Feynman Diagrams?
The physicist Richard Feynman devised a system of line drawings that simplified calculations of particle interactions and helped rescue the field of quantum electrodynamics.
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What Is Turbulence?
What Is Emergence?
Albert Einstein, Holograms and Quantum Gravity
What Is Universality?
Journey to the Birth of the Solar System
How Does Life Come From Randomness?
Is That ‘Bump’ a New Particle?
Are We Alone in the Universe?
What Is a Species?
How Does Symmetry Shape Nature’s Laws?
How Did Life Begin on Earth?
Where Did the Universe Come From?
What Happens if You Fall Into a Black Hole?
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Can a New Law of Physics Explain a Black Hole Paradox?
Leonard Susskind and collaborators set out to understand why black hole interiors grow forever. They ended up proposing a new law of physics.
The Digital Quest for Quantum Gravity
Renate Loll describes her theory of causal dynamical triangulations and how it might unlock certain aspects of quantum gravity.
How a Computer Broke a 50-Year Math Record
DeepMind researchers trained an AI system called AlphaTensor to find new, faster algorithms for matrix multiplication. AlphaTensor quickly rediscovered — and surpassed, for some cases — the reigning algorithm discovered by German mathematician Volker Strassen in 1969.
She Tracks Wildlife eDNA on Everest and in the Andes
Tracie Seimon of the WCS’s Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory describes her biodiversity research, which is based on eDNA — DNA collected from the environment.
The Computer Scientist Taking on Big Tech: Privacy, Lies and AI
Narayanan discusses his work on de-anonymization and fairness and why it
Could One Physics Theory Unlock the Mysteries of the Brain?
The phenomenon of criticality can explain the sudden emergence of new properties in a wide range of complex systems, from avalanches to flocks of birds to stock market crashes. Neuroscientists are now seeking evidence that criticality is at work in the brain’s networks of neurons.
2022’s Biggest Breakthroughs in Math
In 2022, mathematicians solved a centuries-old geometry question, proved the best way to minimize the surface area of clusters of up to five bubbles and proved a sweeping statement about how structure emerges in random sets and graphs.
Wormhole in the Lab
Wormholes were first envisioned almost a century ago, but it would take a number of theoretical leaps and a “crazy” team of experimentalists to build one on a quantum computer.
The High Schooler Who Solved a Prime Number Theorem
Daniel Larsen wouldn’t let go of an old question about Carmichael numbers. “It was just stubbornness on my part,” he said.