Archivo: Quanta

The thorny thought experiment has been turned into a real experiment — one that physicists use to probe the physics of information.

Two new approaches allow deep neural networks to solve entire families of partial differential equations, making it easier to model complicated systems and to do so orders of magnitude faster.

Some populations of neurons simultaneously process sensations and memories. New work shows how the brain rotates those representations to prevent interference.

Radio waves, longer and less energetic than visible light, give astronomers access to some of the most obscure physics in the cosmos.

Inside the symmetries of a crystal shape, a postdoctoral researcher has unearthed a counterexample to a basic conjecture about multiplicative inverses.

A patchwork of genomic differences in the placenta may explain the organ’s “live fast, die young” strategy and its connections to cancer.


Fifty years ago, Paul Erdős and two other mathematicians came up with a graph theory problem that they thought they might solve on the spot. A team of mathematicians has finally settled it.

Despite finding no specific examples, researchers have proved the existence of a pervasive kind of prime number so delicate that changing any of its infinite digits renders it composite.

Black holes seemed to come only in sizes small and XXL. A new search strategy has uncovered a black hole of “intermediate” mass, raising hopes of more to come.


New data indicating that Earth’s surface broke up about 3.2 billion years ago helps clarify how plate tectonics drove the evolution of complex life.