Archivo: Quanta

When a legendary mathematician found a mistake in his own work, he embarked on a computer-aided quest to eliminate human error. To succeed, he has to rewrite the century-old rules underlying all of mathematics.

Physicists are beginning to unravel the mysteries of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays, particles accelerated by the most powerful forces in the universe.

Researchers build the world’s largest evolutionary tree and conclude that species arise because of chance mutations — not natural selection.

Brian Swingle was a graduate student studying the physics of matter at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he decided to take a few classes in string theory to round out his education — “because, why not?” he recalled — although he initially paid little heed to the concepts he encountered in those classes. But as he delved deeper, he began to see unexpected similarities between his own work, in which he used so-called tensor networks to predict the properties of exotic materials, and string theory’s approach to black-hole physics and quantum gravity.

A bold new idea aims to link two famously discordant descriptions of nature. In doing so, it may also reveal how space-time owes its existence to the spooky connections of quantum information.

The computer scientist Stuart Russell wants to ensure that our increasingly intelligent machines remain aligned with human values.

A mathematician who has analyzed card shuffling for decades is tackling one final nemesis: “smooshing.”

A collaboration between mechanical engineers and mathematicians has revealed universal rules for how wrinkles form.

Two years ago, Yitang Zhang was virtually unknown. Now his surprise solution to a major problem in number theory has catapulted him to mathematical stardom. Where does he go from here?

Is dark energy a cosmic chameleon that can fade into its surroundings? A recent test brings the mysterious anti-gravitational force down to earth.