## How Do Machines ‘Grok’ Data? | Quanta Magazine

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

## 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...

## 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,...

## 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,...

## 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...

## 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...

## 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...

## 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...

## 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...

## 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...

## How Is Flocking Like Computing? | Quanta Magazine

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

## 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...

## Topologists Tackle the Trouble With Poll Placement | Quanta Magazine

Mathematicians are using topological abstractions to find places where it’s hard to vote. The post Topologists...

## The Best Qubits for Quantum Computing Might Just Be Atoms | Quanta Magazine

In the search for the most scalable hardware to use for quantum computers, qubits made of...

## Math That Connects Where We’re Going to Where We’ve Been | Quanta Magazine

Recursion builds bridges between ideas from across different math classes and illustrates the power of creative...

## How Chain-of-Thought Reasoning Helps Neural Networks Compute | Quanta Magazine

Large language models do better at solving problems when they show their work. Researchers are beginning...

## Michel Talagrand Wins Abel Prize for Work Wrangling Randomness | Quanta Magazine

The French mathematician spent decades developing a set of tools now widely used for taming random...

## Doubts Grow About the Biosignature Approach to Alien-Hunting | Quanta Magazine

Recent controversies bode ill for the effort to detect life on other planets by analyzing the...

## Brain’s ‘Background Noise’ May Explain Value of Shock Therapy | Quanta Magazine

Electroconvulsive therapy is highly effective in treating major depressive disorder, but no one knows why it...

## Swirling Forces, Crushing Pressures Measured in the Proton | Quanta Magazine

Long-anticipated experiments that use light to mimic gravity are revealing the distribution of energies, forces and...

## What Is Quantum Teleportation? | Quanta Magazine

Teleporting people through space is still science fiction. But quantum teleportation is dramatically different and entirely...

## A Mathematician On Creativity, Art, Logic and Language | Quanta Magazine

The recipient of the 2024 Crafoord Prize in Mathematics discusses math as art, math as language,...

## Mollusk Eyes Reveal How Future Evolution Depends on the Past

The visual systems of an obscure group of mollusks provide a rare natural example of path-dependent...

## What Is the Nature of Time? | Quanta Magazine

Time is all around us: in the language we use, in the memories we revisit and...

## ‘Entropy Bagels’ and Other Complex Structures Emerge From Simple Rules | Quanta Magazine

Simple rules in simple settings continue to puzzle mathematicians, even as they devise intricate tools to...

## A Quantum Trick Implied Eternal Stability. Now the Idea May Be Falling Apart.

A series of advances seemed to promise the impossible: the existence of quantum states that would...

## Never-Repeating Tiles Can Safeguard Quantum Information | Quanta Magazine

Two researchers have proved that Penrose tilings, famous patterns that never repeat, are mathematically equivalent to...

## Hyperjumps Math Game | Quanta Magazine

Play Quanta Magazine’s daily interactive math game, Hyperjumps! The post Hyperjumps Math Game first appeared on...

## The Mysterious Math of Billiards Tables | Quanta Magazine

The surprisingly subtle geometry of a familiar game shows how quickly math gets complicated. The post...

## A ‘Lobby’ Where a Molecule Mob Tells Genes What to Do

Highly repetitive regions of junk DNA may be the key to a newly discovered mechanism for...

## How Quickly Do Large Language Models Learn Unexpected Skills?

A new study suggests that so-called emergent abilities actually develop gradually and predictably, depending on how...

## To See Black Holes in Detail, She Uses ‘Echoes’ Like a Bat | Quanta Magazine

The astrophysicist Erin Kara measures time lags in black holes’ X-ray glows, which reveal the complexity...

## Scientists Find Optimal Balance of Data Storage and Time

Seventy years after the invention of a data structure called a hash table, theoreticians have found...

## Radio Maps May Reveal the Universe’s Biggest Magnetic Fields

A controversial technique has produced detailed maps of the magnetic fields in colossal galaxy clusters. If...

## What Your Brain Is Doing When You’re Not Doing Anything | Quanta Magazine

When your mind is wandering, your brain’s “default mode” network is active. Its discovery 20 years...

## In a ‘Dark Dimension,’ Physicists Search for Missing Matter | Quanta Magazine

An idea derived from string theory suggests that dark matter is hiding in a (relatively) large...

## What Makes for ‘Good’ Mathematics? | Quanta Magazine

Terence Tao, who has been called the “Mozart of Mathematics,” wrote an essay in 2007 about...

## The Quest to Decode the Mandelbrot Set, Math’s Famed Fractal | Quanta Magazine

For decades, a small group of mathematicians has patiently unraveled the mystery of what was once...

## The Best Neighborhoods for Starting a Life in the Galaxy

Some neighborhoods in the Milky Way may be better suited for making habitable planets than others....

## New Theory Suggests Chatbots Can Understand Text | Quanta Magazine

Far from being “stochastic parrots,” the biggest large language models seem to learn enough skills to...

## Clashing Cosmic Numbers Challenge Our Best Theory of the Universe | Quanta Magazine

As measurements of distant stars and galaxies become more precise, cosmologists are struggling to make sense...

## Math’s ‘Game of Life’ Reveals Long-Sought Repeating Patterns

John Conway’s Game of Life, a famous cellular automaton, has been found to have periodic patterns...

## The Quest for Simple Rules to Build a Microbial Community | Quanta Magazine

Microbiologists are searching for a universal theory of how bacteria form communities based not on their...

## New Kind of Magnetism Spotted in an Engineered Material

In an atomically thin stack of semiconductors, a mechanism unseen in any natural substance causes electrons’...

## ‘Magical’ Error Correction Scheme Proved Inherently Inefficient | Quanta Magazine

Locally correctable codes need barely any information to fix errors, but they’re extremely long. Now we...

## Cells Across the Body Talk to Each Other About Aging | Quanta Magazine

Biologists discovered that mitochondria in different tissues talk to each other to repair injured cells. When...

## Evolution: Fast or Slow? Lizards Help Resolve a Paradox. | Quanta Magazine

Why does natural selection appear to happen slowly on long timescales and quickly on short ones?...

## The Year in Math

Landmark results in Ramsey theory and a remarkably simple aperiodic tile capped a year of mathematical...

## The Year in Physics

From the smallest scales to the largest, the physical world provided no shortage of surprises this...

## The Biggest Discoveries in Computer Science in 2023 | Quanta Magazine

Artificial intelligence learned how to generate text and art better than ever before, while computer scientists...