The nearest neighbor problem asks where a new point fits in to an existing data set. A few researchers set out to prove that there was no universal way to solve it. Instead, they found such a way.
Black holes occasionally reveal themselves when passing stars get ripped apart by their gravity. These tidal disruption events have created a new way for astronomers to map the hidden cosmos.
New findings are fueling an old suspicion that fundamental particles and forces spring from strange eight-part numbers called "octonions."
Water-bearing minerals reveal that Earth's mantle could hold more water than all its oceans. Researchers now ask: Where did it all come from?
A controversial theory suggests that perception, motor control, memory and other brain functions all depend on comparisons between ongoing actual experiences and the brain's modeled expectations.
Many astronomers remain convinced that a once-in-a-generation discovery is in the offing — one that would rewrite textbooks down to the elementary school level. They just can't find it.
With a fully sequenced genome in hand, scientists hope they are finally poised to learn how axolotls regenerate lost body parts.
Recent experiments have put relatively large objects into quantum states, illuminating the processes by which the ordinary world emerges out of the quantum one.
Computer scientists have been searching for years for a type of problem that a quantum computer can solve but that any possible future classical computer cannot. Now they've found one.
If a forest is burning and we don't know what's responsible, does it have a cause?
In an era when untestable ideas such as the multiverse hold sway, Michela Massimi defends science from those who think it hopelessly unmoored from physical reality.
A technique based on genetic bar codes can easily map the connections of individual brain cells in unprecedented numbers. Unexpected complexity in the visual system is only the first secret it has revealed.
The mathematicians Günter Ziegler and Martin Aigner have spent the past 20 years collecting some of the most beautiful proofs in mathematics.
Researchers are building a case that long before the nervous system works, the brain sends crucial bioelectric signals to guide the growth of embryonic tissues.
Two teams of researchers have made significant progress toward proving the black hole stability conjecture, a critical mathematical test of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
A recently proposed experiment would confirm that gravity is a quantum force.
The long, variable times that some diseases incubate after infection defies simple explanation. An idealized model of tumor growth offers a statistical solution.
The latest artificial intelligence systems start from zero knowledge of a game and grow to world-beating in a matter of hours. But researchers are struggling to apply these systems beyond the arcade.
Cosmologists have shown that it's theoretically possible for a contracting universe to bounce and expand. The new work resuscitates an old idea that directly challenges the Big Bang theory of cosmic origins.
For decades, physicists have struggled to create a quantum theory of gravity. Now an approach that dates to the 1970s is attracting newfound attention.