Although Einstein's theory of space-time seems more complicated than Newtonian physics, it greatly simplified the mathematical description of the universe.
By studying a swarm of flying midges as though it were a fluid, physicists have learned how collective behaviors might stabilize a group against environmental disruptions.
Lee Smolin has a radical idea for how to understand an object with no exterior: Imagine it built bit-by-bit from relationships between events.
Lurking behind Einstein's theory of gravity and our modern understanding of particle physics is the deceptively simple idea of symmetry. But physicists are beginning to question whether focusing on symmetry is still as productive as it once was.
Opinions differ about what recent measurements of a sound-trapping fluid reveal about light-trapping black holes.
Pure, verifiable randomness is hard to come by. Two proposals show how to make quantum computers into randomness factories.
In just three pages, a Russian mathematician has presented a better way to color certain types of networks than many experts thought possible.
Astronomers have discovered a complex planetary system still swirling into existence.
New experimental results simultaneously advance and challenge the theory that the brain's network of neurons balances on the knife-edge between two phases.
A recent challenge to Stephen Hawking's biggest idea — about how the universe might have come from nothing — has cosmologists choosing sides.
An experiment caught a quantum system in the middle of a jump — something the originators of quantum mechanics assumed was impossible.
Surviving fragments of genetic material preserved in sediments allow metagenomics researchers to see the full diversity of past life — even microbes.
A new theoretical model may help explain the shocking onset of superconductivity in stacked, twisted carbon sheets.
Astronomers are puzzling over a paucity of planets in the galaxy measuring between 1.5 and two times Earth's size.
A new experiment confirms the existence of "superionic ice," a bizarre form of water that might comprise the bulk of giant icy planets throughout the universe.
Your expectations shape and quicken your perceptions. A new model that explains the effect suggests it's time to update theories about sensory processing.
The sun radiates far more high-frequency light than expected, raising questions about unknown features of the sun's magnetic field and the possibility of even more exotic physics.
Researchers are beginning to understand the ways in which viruses strategically manipulate and cooperate with one another.
One of the first quantum simulators has produced a puzzling phenomenon: a row of atoms that repeatedly pops back into place. Physicists have been racing to explain what might be going on.
Mitochondria are most famous as sources of metabolic energy. But by splitting and combining, they can also release chemical signals to regulate cell activities, including the generation of neurons.