Illuminating science
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Never-Repeating Tiles Can Safeguard Quantum Information

If you want to tile a bathroom floor, square tiles are the simplest option — they fit together without any gaps in a grid pattern that can continue indefinitely. That square grid has a property shared by many other tilings: Shift the whole grid over by a fixed amount, and the resulting pattern is indistinguishable from the original. But to many mathematicians,...

Fri Feb 23, 2024 16:53
A New Agenda for Low-Dimensional Topology

On a recent October morning, Rob Kirby stood in front of a roomful of mathematicians and told them not to feel bound by the way he’d done things in the past. For the past half-century Kirby, 85, has been a central figure in low-dimensional topology, the study of deformable shapes. In addition to important research contributions, in 1978 he published...

Thu Feb 22, 2024 17:38
A Multitalented Scientist Seeks the Origins of Multicellularity

In Cassandra Extavour’s office at Harvard University hangs a placard with a painted rainbow flag and a friendly invitation. “You are welcome here,” it reads. “I have it up because I think it’s important to let people see your identities, especially when those identities are not well represented,” explained Extavour, an evolutionary geneticist who in...

Wed Feb 21, 2024 17:20
Inside Scientists’ Life-Saving Prediction of the Iceland Eruption

On November 10, 2023, Kristín Jónsdóttir, head of the Icelandic Meteorological Office’s department of volcano research, was having a rare day off. “It was my 50th birthday,” she said. Then everything began to shake. She would spend the day staring at her phone, watching the earthquakes bloom across maps of Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula. The peninsula...

Tue Feb 20, 2024 17:31
Quanta Relaunches Hyperjumps Math Game

It’s the year 2718. Humanity has invented a warp drive that enables a spacecraft to hyperjump to distant solar systems and back to Earth. The drive promises to revolutionize space exploration. But there’s a catch. The new technology can only make hyperjumps that follow the basic rules of arithmetic. Earth’s governing body has tapped you, an adventurous...

Fri Feb 16, 2024 17:29
Hyperjumps Math Game

Play Quanta Magazine’s daily interactive math game, Hyperjumps! The post Hyperjumps Math Game first appeared on Quanta Magazine

Fri Feb 16, 2024 17:29

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