Archivo: Quanta

A new study challenges one of the most celebrated and controversial ideas in network science.

Modelers find evidence that a combination of competition, predation and evolution will push ecosystems toward species diversity anywhere in the universe.

The mathematician Gil Kalai believes that quantum computers can’t possibly work, even in principle.

The quest for “quantum supremacy” – unambiguous proof that a quantum computer does something faster than an ordinary computer – has paradoxically led to a boom in quasi-quantum classical algorithms.
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Quantum computers should soon be able to beat classical computers at certain basic tasks. But before they’re truly powerful, researchers have to overcome a number of fundamental roadblocks.

A series of fossil finds suggests that life on Earth started earlier than anyone thought, calling into question a widely held theory of the solar system’s beginnings.

Compact genomes and tiny cells gave flowering plants an edge over competing flora. This discovery hints at a broader evolutionary principle.

For decades, physicists have struggled to create a quantum theory of gravity. Now an approach that dates to the 1970s is attracting newfound attention.

Corina Tarnita deciphers bizarre patterns in the soil created by competing life-forms. She’s found that they can reveal whether an ecosystem is thriving or on the verge of collapse.

For decades, an origin-of-life story starring RNA has prevailed. New research may be shaking that theory’s hold on our understanding of life’s beginnings.