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Why the Many-Worlds Interpretation Has Many Problems

It is the most extraordinary, alluring and thought-provoking of all the ways in which quantum mechanics has been interpreted. In its most familiar guise, the many-worlds interpretation (MWI) suggests that we live in a near-infinity of universes, all superimposed in… Continue Reading →

How Equality and Inequality Shape the Birds and the Bees

Before tackling this month’s puzzle, try this simple physics experiment: Hold a ruler (or another thin flat object like a pencil) horizontally in front of you, supported at either end by your outstretched left and right index fingers. Now slide… Continue Reading →

‘Broadband’ Networks of Viruses May Help Bacteria Evolve Faster

Bacteria have a sneaky evolutionary advantage: their own version of the internet for swapping survival solutions. It’s a living network of viruses that can shuttle genetic information between unrelated cells. Known as transduction, this process is one of the ways… Continue Reading →

In the Ticking of the Embryonic Clock, She Finds Answers

“Do you know anything more fascinating than when a sperm and an egg come together to make a human?” the stem cell biologist Renee Reijo Pera asked, with genuine incredulity, as she delivered a keynote address to hundreds of scientists… Continue Reading →

Famous Experiment Dooms Alternative to Quantum Weirdness

In 2005, a student working in the fluid physicist Yves Couder’s laboratory in Paris discovered by chance that tiny oil droplets bounced when plopped onto the surface of a vibrating oil bath. Moreover, as the droplets bounced, they started to… Continue Reading →

Interstellar Visitor Found to Be Unlike a Comet or an Asteroid

Like a hit-and-run driver who races from the scene of a crash, the interstellar guest known as ’Oumuamua has bolted out of the solar system, leaving confusion in its wake. Early measurements seemed to indicate that it was an asteroid… Continue Reading →

Forests Emerge as a Major Overlooked Climate Factor

When Abigail Swann started her career in the mid-2000s, she was one of just a handful of scientists exploring a potentially radical notion: that the green plants living on Earth’s surface could have a major influence on the planet’s climate…. Continue Reading →

Graduate Student Solves Quantum Verification Problem

In the spring of 2017, Urmila Mahadev found herself in what most graduate students would consider a pretty sweet position. She had just solved a major problem in quantum computation, the study of computers that derive their power from the… Continue Reading →

Planets Found to Be Larger Than the Disks They Come From

A long time ago, a star we now call the sun ignited. It did not consume all the material available in its gestational cloud; the leftover gas and dust swirled around it like a ballroom dancer’s skirt. The dusty leftovers… Continue Reading →

Three Biochemists Win Chemistry Nobel for Directing Evolution

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to three scientists who harnessed the power of evolution and accelerated it in the laboratory to produce novel, beneficial enzymes used in pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, industrial chemistry and many other fields. Frances H. Arnold,… Continue Reading →

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