A Hint of Dark Matter Sends Physicists Looking to the Skies
After a search of neutron stars finds preliminary evidence for hypothetical dark matter particles called axions, astrophysicists are devising new ways to spot them.
Neuron Bursts Can Mimic Famous AI Learning Strategy
A new model of learning centers on bursts of neural activity that act as teaching signals — approximating backpropagation, the algorithm behind learning in AI.
How Animals Map 3D Spaces Surprises Brain Researchers
When animals move through 3D spaces, the neat system of grid cell activity they use for navigating on flat surfaces gets more disorderly. That has implications for some ideas about memory and other processes.
A New Link to an Old Model Could Crack the Mystery of Deep Learning
To help them explain the shocking success of deep neural networks, researchers are turning to older but better-understood models of machine learning.
Mathematicians Prove Melting Ice Stays Smooth
After decades of effort, mathematicians now have a complete understanding of the complicated equations that model the motion of free boundaries, like the one between ice and water.
Major Quantum Computing Strategy Suffers Serious Setbacks
So-called topological quantum computing would avoid many of the problems that stand in the way of full-scale quantum computers. But high-profile missteps have led some experts to question whether the field is fooling itself.
‘Impossible’ Particle Discovery Adds Key Piece to the Strong Force Puzzle
The unexpected discovery of the double-charm tetraquark has given physicists a new tool with which to hone their understanding of the strongest of nature’s fundamental forces.
The Simple Math Behind the Mighty Roots of Unity
Solutions to the simplest polynomial equations — called “roots of unity” — have an elegant structure that mathematicians still use to study some of math’s greatest open questions.
Mathematician Answers Chess Problem About Attacking Queens
The n-queens problem is about finding how many different ways queens can be placed on a chessboard so that none attack each other. A mathematician has now all but solved it.
Mathematical Analysis of Fruit Fly Wings Hints at Evolution’s Limits
A painstaking study of wing morphology shows both the striking uniformity of individuals in a species and a subtle pattern of linked variations that evolution can exploit.