New Proof Distinguishes Mysterious and Powerful ‘Modular Forms’
Using “refreshingly old” tools, mathematicians resolved a 50-year-old conjecture about how to categorize important functions called modular forms, with consequences for number theory and theoretical physics.
Simpler Math Predicts How Close Ecosystems Are to Collapse
By replacing thousands of equations with just one, ecology modelers can more accurately assess how close fragile environments are to a disastrous “tipping point.”
How Loneliness Reshapes the Brain
Feelings of loneliness prompt changes in the brain that further isolate people from social contact.
Can Our Brains Be Taken Over?
Several real-life pathogens can change a host’s behavior against their will. Here’s what we know about these zombie-like infections.
Quantum Field Theory Pries Open Mathematical Puzzle
Mathematicians have struggled to understand the moduli space of graphs. A new paper uses tools from physics to peek inside.
Gene Expression in Neurons Solves a Brain Evolution Puzzle
The neocortex of our brain is the seat of our intellect. New data suggests that mammals created it with new types of cells that they developed only after their evolutionary split from reptiles.
How Our Reality May Be a Sum of All Possible Realities
Richard Feynman’s path integral is both a powerful prediction machine and a philosophy about how the world is. But physicists are still struggling to figure out how to use it, and what it means.
Mathematicians Eliminate Long-Standing Threat to Knot Conjecture
A new proof shows that a knot some thought would contradict the famed slice-ribbon conjecture doesn’t.
Astronomers Say They Have Spotted the Universe’s First Stars
Theory has it that “Population III” stars brought light to the cosmos. The James Webb Space Telescope may have just glimpsed them.
Mathematicians Find an Infinity of Possible Black Hole Shapes
In three-dimensional space, the surface of a black hole must be a sphere. But a new result shows that in higher dimensions, an infinite number of configurations are possible.