Archivo: Nautilus

Alex Honnold doesn’t experience fear like the rest of us.

Music that upsets expectations is what makes your gray matter sing.

Is there more to our experience of time than the foibles of memory?

The surprising anthropology of group identity.

After most of the world’s nations signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, in 1996, they set up a new commission to watch out for clandestine explosions. Since then the commission (CTBTO) has wired the world with hundreds of seismometers, infrasound detectors, radionuclide sniffers, and underwater microphones. The stations send their data to the CTBTO’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, where it is analyzed for signs of a secret bomb. But the system keeps picking up other things, too—which is sometimes a problem for the system and sometimes a boon to science.

During the Enlightenment, the French philosopher Voltaire called superstition a “mad daughter” and likened it to astrology. The leading thinkers of the time espoused reason and sought to explain the world through the scientific method.

Nine letters by Freeman Dyson portray his relationship with the Nobel Laureate.

Water can appear to be “fine-tuned” for life.

Understanding the odds lets you play with them.

Brain-computer interfaces are opening new possibilities.