Archivo: Quanta

In his senior year of high school, Daniel Larsen proved a key theorem about Carmichael numbers — strange entities that mimic the primes. “It would be a paper that any mathematician would be really proud to have written,” said one mathematician.

The decades-old Sullivan’s conjecture, about the best way to minimize the surface area of a bubble cluster, was thought to be out of reach for three bubbles and up — until a new breakthrough result.

Using inserted genetic circuitry, synthetic biologists controlled the growth of plant roots for the first time.

A new atomic-scale experiment all but settles the origin of the strong form of superconductivity seen in cuprate crystals, confirming a 35-year-old theory.

Field research suggests a new explanation for the synchronized flashing in fireflies and confirms that a novel form of “chimeric” synchrony occurs naturally.

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A custom-built machine learning algorithm can predict when a complex system is about to switch to a wildly different mode of behavior.

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Neural networks originally designed for language processing turn out to be great models of how our brains understand places.

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What’s a message, really? Claude Shannon recognized that the elemental ingredient is surprise.

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Rethinking questions and chasing patterns led Newton to find the connection between curves and infinite sums.

New research finds that chaos plays a bigger role in population dynamics than decades of ecological data seemed to suggest.

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