Archives: Quanta

Has physics reached the limits of what we can discover — or are the possibilities only just beginning?

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Physicists plan to leave no stone unturned, checking whether dark matter tickles different types of detectors, nudges starlight, warms planetary cores or even lodges in rocks.

An exercise in pure mathematics has led to a wide-ranging theory of how the world comes together.

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Even genes essential for life can be caught in an evolutionary arms race that forces them to change or be replaced.

It has been thought of as many things: a pointlike object, an excitation of a field, a speck of pure math that has cut into reality. But never has physicists’ conception of a particle changed more than it is changing now.

A cryptographic master tool called indistinguishability obfuscation has for years seemed too good to be true. Three researchers have figured out that it can work.

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For almost a century, the anonymous members of Nicolas Bourbaki have written books intended as pure expressions of mathematical thought.

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David Conlon and Asaf Ferber have raised the lower bound for multicolor “Ramsey numbers,” which quantify how big graphs can get before patterns inevitably emerge.

Researchers see structural changes in genetic material that allow memories to strengthen when remembered.

In a landmark series of calculations, physicists have proved that black holes can shed information, which seems impossible by definition. The work appears to resolve a paradox that Stephen Hawking first described five decades ago.