quanta magazine

NASA’s Quest to Touch the Sun

Science
Dr. Sarah Adams

The original version of this story appeared in Quanta Magazine. Our sun is the best-observed star in the entire universe. We see ...

An Old Abstract Field of Math Is Unlocking the Deep Complexity of Spacecraft Orbits

Science
Dr. Sarah Adams

You can create a graph with the angle as the x-axis and the speed as the y-axis. But since traveling 360 degrees ...

The Mysterious ‘Dark’ Energy That Permeates the Universe Is Slowly Eroding

Science
Dr. Sarah Adams

Beyond DESI, a slew of new instruments are coming online in the coming years, including the 8.4-meter Vera Rubin Observatory in Chile, ...

Scientists Are Unlocking the Secrets of Your ‘Little Brain’

Health
Rachel Carter

The original version of this story appeared in Quanta Magazine. In recent decades, neuroscience has seen some stunning advances, and yet a ...

Large Language Models’ Emergent Abilities Are a Mirage

Technology
Michael Johnson

The original version of this story appeared in Quanta Magazine. Two years ago, in a project called the Beyond the Imitation Game ...

Never-Repeating Patterns of Tiles Can Safeguard Quantum Information

Science
Dr. Sarah Adams

This extreme fragility might make quantum computing sound hopeless. But in 1995, the applied mathematician Peter Shor discovered a clever way to ...

This Is What Your Brain Does When You’re Not Doing Anything

Health
Rachel Carter

The original version of this story appeared in Quanta Magazine. Whenever you’re actively performing a task—say, lifting weights at the gym or ...

There’s a New Theory About Where Dark Matter Is Hiding

Science
Dr. Sarah Adams

But there may be opportunities to indirectly spot the signatures of those gravitons. One strategy Vafa and his collaborators are pursuing draws ...

Google’s Chess Experiments Reveal How to Boost the Power of AI

Technology
Michael Johnson

His group decided to find out. They built the new, diversified version of AlphaZero, which includes multiple AI systems that trained independently ...

These Rogue Worlds Upend the Theory of How Planets Form

Science
Dr. Sarah Adams

“We know from direct imaging searches of young stars that very few stars have giant planets in [wide] orbits,” Bate said. “It is ...