Quanta Magazine

Quanta Magazine


Big ideas in science and math. Because you want to know more. Launched by @SimonsFdn. Newsletter: https://t.co/5deBBPd39A

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ICYMI: How many of our active genes typically influence a complex trait or disease? Maybe all of them, according to one controversial proposal.

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Crank up the temperature to trillions of degrees, and particles deep inside atoms start to shift into new, non-atomic configurations. Physicists are now getting a look at this “quark matter,” which naturally forms during the cosmos’s most intense moments.

ICYMI: Is our cosmos the product of rapid inflation or a slow cycle of contraction and expansion? New research suggests that the answer could be lurking in the way quantum ripples have been preserved across our universe.

ICYMI: Neural networks can be as unpredictable as they are powerful. Now mathematicians are beginning to reveal how a neural network’s form will influence its function.

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ICYMI: Could future robots have human-like levels of intuition or even exhibit free will? Judea Pearl thinks the answer is yes, but achieving this goal will require fundamental changes to the field of AI research.

ICYMI: “Everybody thinks basically that the method you learn in school in the best one, but in fact it’s an active area of research.” — study coauthor Joris Van Der Hoeven

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Thermalization — the tendency of energy to spread until it’s evenly distributed — leads to tepid coffee and the eventual heat death of the universe. Now researchers are uncovering the universal, fractal-like pattern by which the process begins.

ICYMI: Last summer’s detection of a neutron star collision told us that gravitational waves move at the speed of light. That’s bad news for some theories trying to take down general relativity.

Olfactory and taste receptors are being found throughout the body, from the kidneys to the lung’s airways, and they aren’t there by mistake. An avalanche of studies is finding that these receptors serve important and often vital functions.

ICYMI: One researcher called the small fish named a cleaner wrasse “an incredibly intelligent animal, and highly social.” But do its responses to a mirror test mean that it’s also self-aware? Even he has doubts.

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BREAKING: A new simulation has revealed that global warming could cause stratocumulus clouds to disappear in as little as a century, which would add 8°C (14°F) of extra warming.

Particle physicists have stumbled across a previously hidden connection between two ubiquitous objects in math.

Quantum supremacy may have been achieved. Google’s quantum computing project claims they've gotten a quantum computer to perform a task no classical computer could reasonably hope to complete.

A recent study suggests that a spider web is an extension of the spider’s cognitive system. :

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Two women programmers who helped uncover the phenomenon of strange attractors have been left out of the story of chaos theory, until now.

Mathematicians Caucher Birkar, Alessio Figalli, Peter Scholze and Akshay Venkatesh have just been awarded the Fields Medal. Computer scientist Constantinos Daskalakis won the Nevanlinna Prize. Read our exclusive, in-depth profiles of all five winners.

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A graduate student has solved a fundamental question in quantum computation: How can a non-quantum observer verify the work of a quantum computer?

Karen Uhlenbeck’s research helped establish the field of geometric analysis and “inspired a generation of mathematicians.” Today she became the first woman to win the Abel Prize.

Elephants failed the mirror test for self-awareness — until researchers made the mirrors big enough for elephants to see themselves alongside other elephants.

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A stunningly simple proof has settled a nearly 30-year-old conjecture about the structure of the fundamental building blocks of computer circuits.

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