Graph Isomorphism Vanquished — Again
On January 4, László Babai, a professor at the University of Chicago, sent shock waves through the community by retracting a claim which, back in November 2015, researchers had hailed as the theoretical computer science advance of the decade. Then on January 9, Babai announced that he had fixed the flaw in his proof. And today, the mathematician who first spotted the error in Babai’s work — Harald Helfgott, of the University of Göttingen in Germany and France’s National Center for Scientific Research — publicly confirmed that the fix is correct, in a talk in Paris at the Bourbaki seminar, one of mathematics’ preeminent lecture series.
Infant Brains Reveal How the Mind Gets Built
Is the brain a blank slate, or is it wired from birth to understand the world? An ambitious new study put infants into an MRI machine to reveal a neural organization similar to that of adults.
3-D Fractals Offer Clues to Complex Systems
By folding fractals into 3-D objects, a mathematical duo hopes to gain new insight into simple equations.
Explorers Find Passage to Earth’s Dark Age
Geochemical signals from deep inside Earth are beginning to shed light on the planet’s first 50 million years, a formative period long viewed as inaccessible to science.
In the Deep, a Drive to Find Dark Matter
Elena Aprile now leads the world’s most sensitive dark-matter search. But before she could build her first detector, she had to make herself out of titanium.
Grand Unification Dream Kept at Bay
Physicists have failed to find disintegrating protons, throwing into limbo the beloved theory that the forces of nature were unified at the beginning of time.
On a Hunt for a Ghost of a Particle
Janet Conrad has a plan to catch the sterile neutrino — an elusive particle, possibly glimpsed by a number of experiments, that would upend what we know about the subatomic world.
The Case Against Dark Matter
A proposed theory of gravity does away with dark matter, even as new astrophysical findings challenge the need for galaxies full of the invisible mystery particles.
Scientists Seek to Update Evolution
Recent discoveries have led some researchers to argue that the modern evolutionary synthesis needs to be amended.