~quantamagazine  Bookmarks (38)

How Simple Math Moves the Needle  Quanta Magazine
The spatial intuition behind a threepoint turn offers an onramp to a centuryold geometry problem. The...

Mathematicians Cross the Line to Get to the Point  Quanta Magazine
A new paper establishes a longconjectured bound about the size of the overlap between sets of...

The Experimental Cosmologist Hunting for the First Sunrise  Quanta Magazine
To catch even a whiff of the universe’s earliest epochs — an age of darkness, and...

What Makes Life Tick? Mitochondria May Keep Time for Cells  Quanta Magazine
Every species develops at its own unique tempo, leaving scientists to wonder what governs their timing....

‘Species Repulsion’ Enables High Biodiversity in Tropical Trees  Quanta Magazine
Because tree seedlings don’t grow as well when close to their parents, more tree species can...

A Tower of Conjectures That Rests Upon a Needle
On its surface, the Kakeya conjecture is a simple statement about rotating needles. But it underlies...

The Biggest Smallest Triangle Just Got Smaller  Quanta Magazine
A new proof breaks a decadeslong drought of progress on the problem of estimating the size...

Magnetism May Have Given Life Its Molecular Asymmetry
The preferred “handedness” of biomolecules could have emerged from biased interactions between electrons and magnetic surfaces,...

Alan Turing and the Power of Negative Thinking
Mathematical proofs based on a technique called diagonalization can be relentlessly contrarian, but they help reveal...

Why Mathematical Proof Is a Social Compact  Quanta Magazine
Number theorist Andrew Granville on what mathematics really is — and why objectivity is never quite...

The Hidden Brain Connections Between Our Hands and Tongues  Quanta Magazine
Sticking out your tongue while doing delicate work with your hands reveals a history of evolutionary...

New Codes Could Make Quantum Computing 10 Times More Efficient  Quanta Magazine
Quantum computing is still really, really hard. But the rise of a powerful class of errorcorrecting...

What a Contest of Consciousness Theories Really Proved  Quanta Magazine
A fiveyear “adversarial collaboration” of consciousness theorists led to a stagy showdown in front of an...

An Old Conjecture Falls, Making Spheres a Lot More Complicated  Quanta Magazine
The telescope conjecture gave mathematicians a handle on ways to map one sphere to another. Now...

Quaking Giants Might Solve the Mysteries of Stellar Magnetism
In their jiggles and shakes, red giant stars encode a record of the magnetic fields near...

Andreas Wagner Pursues the Secrets to Evolutionary Success
Why did mammals, grasses and some other groups of organisms explode in diversity only after millions...

Risky Giant Steps Can Solve Optimization Problems Faster  Quanta Magazine
New results break with decades of conventional wisdom for the gradient descent algorithm. The post Risky...

Two Students Unravel a Widely Believed Math Conjecture  Quanta Magazine
Mathematicians thought they were on the cusp of proving a conjecture about the ancient structures known...

Even Synthetic Life Forms With a Tiny Genome Can Evolve  Quanta Magazine
By watching “minimal” cells regain the fitness they lost, researchers are testing whether a genome can...

Exoplanets Could Help Us Learn How Planets Make Magnetism  Quanta Magazine
New observations of a faraway rocky world that might have its own magnetic field could help...

Selfish, VirusLike DNA Can Carry Genes Between Species
Genetic elements called Mavericks that have some viral features could be responsible for the largescale smuggling...

New Calculations Show How to Escape Hawking’s Black Hole Paradox  Quanta Magazine
Inside of a black hole, the two theoretical pillars of 20thcentury physics appear to clash. Now...

Ninth Dedekind Number Found by Two Independent Groups
The numbers count a variety of seemingly unrelated mathematical structures. The post Ninth Dedekind Number Found...

The Cryptographer Who Ensures We Can Trust Our Computers
Yael Tauman Kalai’s breakthroughs secure our digital world, from cloud computing to our quantum future. The...