Archivo: Quanta

The spate of furious wildfires around the world during the past decade has revealed to ecologists how much biodiversity and “pyrodiversity” go hand in hand.

By carefully constructing a multidimensional and well-connected graph, a team of researchers has finally created a long-sought locally testable code that can immediately betray whether it’s been corrupted.


Through his encyclopedic study of the electron, an obscure figure named Stefano Laporta found a handle on the subatomic world’s fearsome complexity. His algorithm has swept the field.

The Chinese remainder theorem is an ancient and powerful extension of the simple math of least common multiples.

Results from neural networks support the idea that brains are “prediction machines” — and that they work that way to conserve energy.

In nonreciprocal systems, where Newton’s third law falls apart, “exceptional points” are helping researchers understand phase transitions and possibly other phenomena.

New work establishes a tighter connection between the rank of a polynomial and the extent to which it favors particular outputs.

The brain not only helps to regulate immune responses, but also stores and retrieves “memories” of them.

Over the past decade, researchers have completely rewritten the story of how gas giants such as Jupiter and Saturn form. They’re now debating whether the same process might hold for Earth.

Algorithms that zero in on solutions to optimization problems are the beating heart of machine reasoning. New results reveal surprising limits.