Archivo: Quanta

For decades, researchers believed that violent supernovas forged gold and other heavy elements. But many now argue for a different cosmic quarry.

Examine evolution over the course of years or centuries, and you’ll find that it progresses much more quickly than it does over geologic time. Now the oldest viruses on the planet are enabling scientists to calibrate this evolutionary clock.

Computational physicist Sharon Glotzer is uncovering the rules by which complex collective phenomena emerge from simple building blocks.

For centuries, mathematicians tried to solve problems by adding new values to the usual numbers. Now they’re investigating the unintended consequences of that tinkering.

A decades-old method called the “bootstrap” is enabling new discoveries about the geometry underlying all quantum theories.

For Sylvia Serfaty, mathematics is all about truth and beauty and building scientific and human connections.

When two mathematicians raised pointed questions about a classic proof that no one really understood, they ignited a years-long debate about how much could be trusted in a new kind of geometry.

Physicists are closing the door on an intriguing loophole around the quantum phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.”

The ancient Greeks argued that the best life was filled with beauty, truth, justice, play and love. The mathematician Francis Su knows just where to find them.

Life was long thought to obey its own set of rules. But as simple systems show signs of lifelike behavior, scientists are arguing about whether this apparent complexity is all a consequence of thermodynamics.