Archivo: Quanta

So-called “higher symmetries” are illuminating everything from particle decays to the behavior of complex quantum systems.


As researchers race to cultivate more of the intriguing cells from the deep seafloor, the few cells now growing in labs are giving us our best glimpses of the forerunners of all complex life.

In 50 years of searching, mathematicians found only one example of a “subspace design” that fit their criteria. A new proof reveals that there are infinitely more out there.

There once was a cosmic seed that sprouted the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers have discovered its last surviving remnants.

Last fall, a team of physicists announced that they had teleported a qubit through a holographic wormhole in a quantum computer. Now another group suggests that’s not quite what happened.

For decades, mathematicians have been inching forward on a problem about which sets contain evenly spaced patterns of three numbers. Last month, two computer scientists blew past all of those results.

Large language models like ChatGPT are now big enough that they’ve started to display startling, unpredictable behaviors.

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.

By replacing thousands of equations with just one, ecology modelers can more accurately assess how close fragile environments are to a disastrous “tipping point.”


Feelings of loneliness prompt changes in the brain that further isolate people from social contact.