Quanta1 min readMathematics
‘Entropy Bagels’ and Other Complex Structures Emerge From Simple Rules
Simple rules in simple settings continue to puzzle mathematicians, even as they devise intricate tools to analyze them. The post ‘Entropy Bagels’ and Other Complex Structures Emerge From Simple Rules first appeared on Quanta Magazine
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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 you measure them. The post How Quickly Do Large Language Models Learn Unexpected Skills? first appeared on Quanta Magazine
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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 confirmed, the approach could be used to reveal where cosmic magnetic fields come from. The post Radio Maps May Reveal the Universe
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What Your Brain Is Doing When You’re Not Doing Anything
When your mind is wandering, your brain’s “default mode” network is active. Its discovery 20 years ago inspired a raft of research into networks of brain regions and how they interact with each other. The post What Your Brain Is Doing When
Quanta1 min readMathematics
How to Build an Origami Computer
Two mathematicians have shown that origami can, in principle, be used to perform any possible computation. The post How to Build an Origami Computer first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Quanta1 min readMathematics
Researchers Approach New Speed Limit for Seminal Problem
Integer linear programming can help find the answer to a variety of real-world problems. Now researchers have found a much faster way to do it. The post Researchers Approach New Speed Limit for Seminal Problem first appeared on Quanta Maga
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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. The post The Best Neighborhoods for Starting a Life in the Galaxy first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Quanta1 min readMathematics
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 of every possible length. The post Math’s ‘Game of Life’ Reveals Long-Sought Repeating Patterns first appeared on Quanta Magazine
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How To Guarantee The Safety Of Autonomous Vehicles
As computer-driven cars and planes become more common, the key to preventing accidents, researchers show, is to know what you don’t know. The post How to Guarantee the Safety of Autonomous Vehicles first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Quanta1 min readChemistry
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’ spins to align. The post New Kind of Magnetism Spotted in an Engineered Material first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Quanta1 min readChemistry
Cells Across the Body Talk to Each Other About Aging
Biologists discovered that mitochondria in different tissues talk to each other to repair injured cells. When their signal fails, the biological clock starts winding down. The post Cells Across the Body Talk to Each Other About Aging first
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New Clues for What Will Happen When the Sun Eats the Earth
Recent observations of an aging, alien planetary system are helping to answer the question: What will happen to our planet when the sun dies? The post New Clues for What Will Happen When the Sun Eats the Earth first appeared on Quanta Maga
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How This Marine Worm Can Tell Moonglow From Sunbeams
For the first time, scientists have decoded the molecular structure of a protein that helps to sync a biological clock to the phases of the moon. The post How This Marine Worm Can Tell Moonglow From Sunbeams first appeared on Quanta Magazi
Quanta1 min readSecurity
Celebrated Cryptography Algorithm Gets an Upgrade
Two researchers have improved a well-known technique for lattice basis reduction, opening up new avenues for practical experiments in cryptography and mathematics. The post Celebrated Cryptography Algorithm Gets an Upgrade first appeared o
Quanta1 min readMathematics
A Triplet Tree Forms One of the Most Beautiful Structures in Math
The Markov numbers reveal the secrets of irrational numbers and the patterns of the Fibonacci sequence. But there’s one question about them that has resisted proof for over a century. The post A Triplet Tree Forms One of the Most Beautiful
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The (Often) Overlooked Experiment That Revealed the Quantum World
A century ago, the Stern-Gerlach experiment established the truth of quantum mechanics. Now it’s being used to probe the clash of quantum theory and gravity. The post The (Often) Overlooked Experiment That Revealed the Quantum World first
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Evolving Bacteria Can Evade Barriers to ‘Peak’ Fitness
Paradoxically, natural selection can sometimes seem to block organisms from evolving useful adaptations. But a new study of “fitness landscapes” and antibiotic resistance in bacteria shows that life still finds a way. The post Evolving Bac
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Researchers Refute a Widespread Belief About Online Algorithms
Three computer scientists have disproved a long-standing conjecture about a fundamental problem involving imperfect information. The post Researchers Refute a Widespread Belief About Online Algorithms first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Quanta1 min readMathematics
The Astonishing Behavior of Recursive Sequences
Some strange mathematical sequences are always whole numbers — until they’re not. The puzzling patterns have revealed ties to graph theory and prime numbers, awing mathematicians. The post The Astonishing Behavior of Recursive Sequences fi
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During Pregnancy, a Fake ‘Infection’ Protects the Fetus
Cells in the placenta have an unusual trick for activating gentle immune defenses and keeping them turned on when no infection is present. It involves crafting and deploying a fake virus. The post During Pregnancy, a Fake ‘Infection’ Prote
Quanta1 min readSecurity
Cryptographers Solve Decades-Old Privacy Problem
Three researchers have found a long-sought way to pull information from large databases secretly, moving us closer to fully private internet searches. The post Cryptographers Solve Decades-Old Privacy Problem first appeared on Quanta Magaz
Quanta1 min readMathematics
The Hidden Connection That Changed Number Theory
Quadratic reciprocity lurks around many corners in mathematics. By proving it, number theorists reimagined their whole field. The post The Hidden Connection That Changed Number Theory first appeared on Quanta Magazine
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Biophysicists Uncover Powerful Symmetries in Living Tissue
After identifying interlocking symmetries in mammalian cells, scientists can describe some tissues as liquid crystals — an observation that lays the groundwork for a fluid-dynamic theory of how tissues move. The post Biophysicists Uncover
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These Cells Spark Electricity in the Brain. They’re Not Neurons.
For decades, researchers have debated whether brain cells called astrocytes can signal like neurons. Researchers recently published the best evidence yet that some astrocytes are part of the electrical conversation. The post These Cells Sp
Quanta1 min readMathematics
The Mathematician Who Sculpted the Shape of Space
Eugenio Calabi, who died on September 25, conceived of novel geometric objects that later became fundamental to string theory. The post The Mathematician Who Sculpted the Shape of Space first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Quanta1 min readMathematics
The Deep Link Equating Math Proofs and Computer Programs
Mathematical logic and the code of computer programs are, in an exact way, mirror images of each other. The post The Deep Link Equating Math Proofs and Computer Programs first appeared on Quanta Magazine
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Invisible ‘Demon’ Discovered in Odd Superconductor
Physicists have long suspected that hunks of metal could vibrate in a peculiar way that would be all but invisible. Now physicists have spotted these “demon modes.” The post Invisible ‘Demon’ Discovered in Odd Superconductor first appeared
Quanta1 min readChemistry
Nobel Prize Honors Inventors of ‘Quantum Dot’ Nanoparticles
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to three researchers who harnessed the quantum behaviors of semiconductor nanocrystals. The post Nobel Prize Honors Inventors of ‘Quantum Dot’ Nanoparticles first appeared on Quanta Magazine
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Physicists Who Explored Tiny Glimpses of Time Win Nobel Prize
The development of attosecond pulses of light allowed researchers to explore the frame-by-frame movement of electrons. The post Physicists Who Explored Tiny Glimpses of Time Win Nobel Prize first appeared on Quanta Magazine
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Nobel Prize Awarded to mRNA Vaccine Scientists
Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman have been awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries leading to mRNA vaccines, such as those that protect against Covid-19. The post Nobel Prize Awarded to mRNA Vaccine Scientist
…Or Discover Something New