Archives: Quanta

Collaborations in progress between ethicists and biologists seek to head off challenges raised by lab-grown “organoids” as they become increasingly similar to human brain tissue.

A curious physicist has discovered an unexpected link between theoretical block collisions and a famed quantum search algorithm.

Arctic ice is disappearing — the question is how fast. Summer sea ice could endure 100 more years, or it could vanish later this decade, with disastrous consequences for the rest of the planet. To nail down the answer, an expedition to the top of the world has to untangle the knotty physics of ice.

The dendritic arms of some human neurons can perform logic operations that once seemed to require whole neural networks.

Snow crystals come in two main types. The “pope” of snowflake physics has a new theory that explains why.

Researchers have spent centuries looking for a scenario in which the Euler fluid equations fail. Now a mathematician has finally found one.

Giant blobs nestled deep in the Earth may influence everything from the structure of island chains to mass-extinction events.

A study challenged the evidence for the mysterious antigravitational force known as dark energy. Then cosmologists shot back.

Mathematicians regard the Collatz conjecture as a quagmire and warn each other to stay away. But now Terence Tao has made more progress than anyone in decades.

By considering simple symmetries, physicists working on the “bootstrap” have rederived the four known forces. “There’s just no freedom in the laws of physics,” said one.