Archivo: Quanta

Long considered solved, David Hilbert’s question about seventh-degree polynomials is leading researchers to a new web of mathematical connections.

Imagine if we lived on a cube-shaped Earth. How would you find the shortest path around the world?

Two teams found different ways for quantum computers to process nonlinear systems by first disguising them as linear ones.

Mistletoes have all but shut down the powerhouses of their cells. Scientists are still trying to understand the plants’ unorthodox survival strategy.

Today’s information age is only possible thanks to the groundbreaking work of a lone genius.

We don’t know why the universe appears to be expanding faster than it should. New ultra-precise distance measurements have only intensified the problem.


Over the past two years, astronomers have rewritten the story of our galaxy.


The goal of the “busy beaver” game is to find the longest-running computer program. Its pursuit has surprising connections to some of the most profound questions and concepts in mathematics.


Mathematicians have long pondered the reach of a grazing goat tied to a fence, only finding approximate answers until now.

The simple insight that most changes are random had a profound effect on genetics, evolution and ecology.