Bookmarks (58)

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    How America’s Fastest Swimmers Use Math to Win Gold | Quanta Magazine

    Number theorist Ken Ono is teaching Olympians to swim more efficiently. The post How America’s Fastest...

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    What Is Machine Learning? | Quanta Magazine

    Neural networks and other forms of machine learning ultimately learn by trial and error, one improvement...

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    What Can Tiling Patterns Teach Us? | Quanta Magazine

    If you cover a surface with tiles, repetitive patterns always emerge — or do they? In...

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    Amateur Mathematicians Find Fifth ‘Busy Beaver’ Turing Machine | Quanta Magazine

    After decades of uncertainty, a motley team of programmers has proved precisely how complicated simple computer...

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    Tracing the Hidden Hand of Magnetism in the Galaxy | Quanta Magazine

    Susan Clark is helping to unravel the mysterious workings of the Milky Way’s magnetic field, a...

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    Why Is This Shape So Terrible to Pack? | Quanta Magazine

    Two mathematicians have proved a long-standing conjecture that is a step on the way toward finding...

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    How AI Revolutionized Protein Science, but Didn’t End It | Quanta Magazine

    Three years ago, Google’s AlphaFold pulled off the biggest artificial intelligence breakthrough in science to date,...

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    How the Square Root of 2 Became a Number | Quanta Magazine

    Useful mathematical concepts, like the number line, can linger for millennia before they are rigorously defined....

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    How Is Science Even Possible? | Quanta Magazine

    How are scientists able to crack fundamental questions about nature and life? How does math make...

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    Across a Continent, Trees Sync Their Fruiting to the Sun

    European beech trees more than 1,500 kilometers apart all drop their fruit at the same time...

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    The Enduring Mystery of How Water Freezes | Quanta Magazine

    Making ice requires more than subzero temperatures. The unpredictable process takes microscopic scaffolding, random jiggling and...

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    Can Psychedelics Improve Mental Health? | Quanta Magazine

    Research suggests that psychedelic drugs can reopen critical periods of brain development to create opportunities for...

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    Most Life on Earth is Dormant, After Pulling an ‘Emergency Brake’ | Quanta Magazine

    Many microbes and cells are in deep sleep, waiting for the right moment to activate. Biologists...

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    Cryptographers Discover a New Foundation for Quantum Secrecy | Quanta Magazine

    Researchers have proved that secure quantum encryption is possible in a world without hard problems. The...

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    Simple Equation Predicts the Shapes of Carbon-Capturing Wetlands | Quanta Magazine

    To calculate the amount of carbon stored inside peatlands, researchers developed a unified theory of “bog...

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    What Happens in the Brain to Cause Depression? | Quanta Magazine

    Drugs that target the neurotransmitter serotonin have long been prescribed to treat depression. Now the spotlight...

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    AI Needs Enormous Computing Power. Could Light-Based Chips Help? | Quanta Magazine

    Optical neural networks, which use photons instead of electrons, have advantages over traditional systems. They also...

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    Strangely Curved Shapes Break 50-Year-Old Geometry Conjecture | Quanta Magazine

    Mathematicians have disproved a major conjecture about the relationship between curvature and shape. The post Strangely...

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    How ‘Idle’ Egg Cells Defend Their DNA From Damage | Quanta Magazine

    How do immature egg cells maintain genetic quality for decades before they mature? Scientists find unusual...

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    Game Theory Can Make AI More Correct and Efficient | Quanta Magazine

    Researchers are drawing on ideas from game theory to improve large language models and make them...

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    New AI Tools Predict How Life’s Building Blocks Assemble | Quanta Magazine

    Google DeepMind’s AlphaFold3 and other deep learning algorithms can now predict the shapes of interacting complexes...

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    Dogged Dark Matter Hunters Find New Hiding Places to Check | Quanta Magazine

    Perhaps dark matter is made of an entirely different kind of particle than the ones physicists...

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    A Rosetta Stone for Mathematics | Quanta Magazine

    In 1940 André Weil wrote a letter to his sister, Simone, outlining his vision for translating...

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    The Mystery of the Missing Multicellular Prokaryotes | Quanta Magazine

    Why have bacteria never evolved complex multicellularity? A new hypothesis suggests that it could come down...

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    Scientists Find a Fast Way to Describe Quantum Systems | Quanta Magazine

    After years of false starts, a team of computer scientists has found a way to efficiently...

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    To Pack Spheres Tightly, Mathematicians Throw Them at Random | Quanta Magazine

    Four mathematicians broke a 75-year-old record by finding a denser way to pack high-dimensional spheres. The...

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    How a NASA Probe Solved a Scorching Solar Mystery | Quanta Magazine

    The outer layers of the sun’s atmosphere are a blistering million degrees hotter than its surface....

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    Does AI Know What an Apple Is? She Aims to Find Out. | Quanta Magazine

    The computer scientist Ellie Pavlick is translating philosophical concepts such as “meaning” into concrete, testable ideas....

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    What Does Milk Do for Babies? | Quanta Magazine

    Human nutrition begins with milk, but the wondrous biofluid does much more than feed babies. In...

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    Ecologists Struggle to Get a Grip on ‘Keystone Species’ | Quanta Magazine

    More than 50 years after Bob Paine’s experiment with starfish, hundreds of species have been pronounced...

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    AI Starts to Sift Through String Theory’s Near-Endless Possibilities | Quanta Magazine

    Using machine learning, string theorists are finally showing how microscopic configurations of extra dimensions translate into...

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    Mathematicians Marvel at ‘Crazy’ Cuts Through Four Dimensions | Quanta Magazine

    Topologists prove two new results that bring some order to the confoundingly difficult study of four-dimensional...

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    Insects and Other Animals Have Consciousness, Experts Declare | Quanta Magazine

    A group of prominent biologists and philosophers announced a new consensus: There’s “a realistic possibility” that...

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    Cryptography Tricks Make a Hard Problem a Little Easier | Quanta Magazine

    Researchers have shown how to find the simplest description of a data set faster than by...

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    Hopes of Big Bang Discoveries Ride on a Future Spacecraft | Quanta Magazine

    Physicists and cosmologists will have a new probe of primordial processes when Europe launches the Laser...

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    Pleasure or Pain? He Maps the Neural Circuits That Decide. | Quanta Magazine

    The work of the neuroscientist Ishmail Abdus-Saboor has opened up a world of insights into precisely...

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    Geometers Engineer New Tools to Wrangle Spacecraft Orbits | Quanta Magazine

    Mathematicians think abstract tools from a field called symplectic geometry might help with planning missions to...

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    How Do Machines ‘Grok’ Data? | Quanta Magazine

    By apparently overtraining them, researchers have seen neural networks discover novel solutions to problems. The post...

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    My Fantastic Voyage at Quanta Magazine | Quanta Magazine

    Founding editor-in-chief Thomas Lin looks back at a decade of Quanta journalism and forward to what’s...

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    Viruses Finally Reveal Their Complex Social Life | Quanta Magazine

    New research has uncovered a social world of viruses full of cheating, cooperation and other intrigues,...

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    Can Information Escape a Black Hole? | Quanta Magazine

    Black holes are inescapable traps for most of what falls into them — but there can...

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    Avi Wigderson, Complexity Theory Pioneer, Wins Turing Award | Quanta Magazine

    The prolific researcher found deep connections between randomness and computation and spent a career influencing cryptographers,...

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    Number of Distances Separating Points Has a New Bound | Quanta Magazine

    Mathematicians have struggled to prove Falconer’s Conjecture, a simple, but far-reaching, hypothesis about the distances between...

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    How the Ancient Art of Eclipse Prediction Became an Exact Science | Quanta Magazine

    The timing of the total eclipse on April 8, 2024, will be known to within a...

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    Dark Energy May Be Weakening, Major Astrophysics Study Finds | Quanta Magazine

    A generation of physicists has referred to the dark energy that permeates the universe as “the...

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    Overexposure Distorted the Science of Mirror Neurons | Quanta Magazine

    After a decade out of the spotlight, the brain cells once alleged to explain empathy, autism...

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    Merging Fields, Mathematicians Go the Distance on Old Problem | Quanta Magazine

    Mathematicians have illuminated what sets of points can look like if the distances between them are...

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    The Social Benefits of Getting Our Brains in Sync | Quanta Magazine

    Our brain waves can align when we work and play closely together. The phenomenon, known as...

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    How Is Flocking Like Computing? | Quanta Magazine

    Birds flock. Locusts swarm. Fish school. From chaotic assemblies of life, order somehow emerges. In this...

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    The Researcher Who Explores Computation by Conjuring New Worlds | Quanta Magazine

    Russell Impagliazzo studies hard problems, the limits of cryptography, the nature of randomness and more. The...