Archives: Scientific American

Fear of mortality might underlie physicists’ fondness for the anthropic principle, multiverses, superdeterminism and other shaky ideas

Mathematicians have expanded category theory into infinite dimensions, revealing new connections among mathematical concepts

Although our sun is considered a quiet star, it is now thought to have repeatedly pelted our planet with enormous eruptions in the not too distant past. Could another occur in the near future?

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Members of the profession study such tragic events to try and ensure that something similar won’t happen again

The NASA mission used seismic waves from marsquakes to perform a core-to-crust survey of the planet’s subsurface

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In mathematics, as in many fields, who you know matters. An analysis of mathematicians’ “ancestors” (their graduate school advisers) as well as their descendants (the students they advised) shows that elite researchers tend to produce elites. Mathematicians Feng Fu of Dartmouth College and Ho-Chun Herbert Chang of the University of Southern California analyzed connections among 240,000 mathematicians and found that winners of math’s highest honor, the Fields Medal, were concentrated among just a few mathematical families. “If you want to win a Fields Medal, you want to study with a Fields Medalist,” Fu says.

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Scientists achieved a record level of visual detail with an imaging technique that could help develop future electronics and better batteries

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Researchers have begun to crack the code of protein structure, allowing them to remake, well, everything

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We are more dependent on water than many other mammals and have developed a host of clever strategies for obtaining it

Standard treatments such as steroids, as well as illnesses such as diabetes, make the fungal infection worse