Mathematician Proves Huge Result on ‘Dangerous’ Problem
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.
Why the Laws of Physics Are Inevitable
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.
How Microbiomes Affect Fear
New studies help to explain how microbes in the gut can shape a host’s fear responses.
Longevity Linked to Proteins That Calm Overexcited Neurons
New research makes a molecular connection between the brain and aging — and shows that overactive neurons can shorten life span.
Top Dark Matter Candidate Loses Ground to Tiniest Competitor
Physicists have long searched for hypothesized dark matter particles called WIMPs. Now, focus may be shifting to the axion — an ultra-lightweight particle whose existence would solve two mysteries at once.
Are Saturn’s Rings Really as Young as the Dinosaurs?
A surprisingly youthful estimate of the age of the rings has stirred a backlash. At stake is our best clue for understanding where the rings came from in the first place.
Playing Hide-and-Seek, Machines Invent New Tools
After millions of games, machine learning algorithms found creative solutions and unexpected new strategies that could transfer to the real world.
The Atomic Theory of Origami
By reimagining the kinks and folds of origami as atoms in a lattice, researchers are uncovering strange behavior hiding in simple structures.
Neutrinos Lead to Unexpected Discovery in Basic Math
Three physicists wanted to calculate how neutrinos change. They ended up discovering an unexpected relationship between some of the most ubiquitous objects in math.
‘Noise’ in the Brain Encodes Surprisingly Important Signals
Activity in the visual cortex and other sensory areas is dominated by signals about body movements, down to little tics and twitches. Scientists are now rethinking how they study and conceive of perception.