String theorists elide a paradox about black holes by extinguishing the walls of fire feared to surround them.
Evolution may have coopted an ancient metabolic mechanism to set social insects on the path toward one of the most puzzling behaviors found in nature.
Researchers explore a loophole that extracts useful energy from a fluid’s seemingly random motion. The secret? Sugar and asymmetry.
In the hunt for new fundamental particles, physicists have always had to make assumptions about how the particles will behave. New machine learning algorithms don’t.
Some species have the equivalent of many more than two sexes, but most do not. A new model suggests the reason depends on how often they mate.
What’s easy for a computer to do, and what’s almost impossible? Those questions form the core of computational complexity. We present a map of the landscape.
If and when physicists are able to pin down the metal content of the sun, that number could upend much of what we thought we knew about the evolution and life span of stars.
Astronomers suspect that there’s a large planet hiding out in the distant fringes of the solar system. At a recent workshop, they brainstormed ways to coax it into view.
Astronomers have found stars dating from a long-ago collision between the Milky Way and another galaxy. The crash helps to explain why the Milky Way looks the way it does.
An experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago has detected far more electron neutrinos than predicted—a possible harbinger of a revolutionary new elementary particle called the sterile neutrino.
The inventors of a “Swiss army knife” for genome editing received prestigious honors, as did pioneering scientists in astrophysics and neuroscience.
By paying more attention to behaviors, and not just the activity of neurons, two researchers critical of most neuroscience learned how brains make sense of spoken language.
Faced with a navigational challenge, neural networks spontaneously evolved units resembling the grid cells that help living animals find their way.
A roundup of some of the most important discoveries gleaned so far from the Gaia space observatory’s new map of the galaxy.
Zeta values seem to connect distant geometric worlds. In a new proof, mathematicians finally explain why.
Two ways of measuring the universe’s expansion rate yield two conflicting answers. Many point to the possibility of new physics at work, but a new analysis argues that unseen errors could be to blame.