Mathematicians Prove Conjecture on Big Prime Number Gaps | Quanta Magazine

Mathematicians have made the first major advance in 76 years in understanding how far apart prime numbers can stray.

The Hidden Magnetic Universe Begins to Come Into View

Astronomers are discovering that magnetic fields permeate much of the cosmos. If these fields date back to the Big Bang, they could solve a major cosmological mystery.

A Number Theorist Who Solves the Hardest Easy Problems

In his rapid ascent to the top of his field, James Maynard has cut a path through simple-sounding questions about prime numbers that have stumped mathematicians for centuries.

The Tricky Math of Herd Immunity for COVID-19

Herd immunity differs from place to place, and many factors influence how it’s calculated.

Cosmic Rays May Explain Life’s Bias for Right-Handed DNA

Cosmic rays may have given right-handed genetic helixes an evolutionary edge at the beginning of life’s history.

New Geometric Perspective Cracks Old Problem About Rectangles

While locked down due to COVID-19, Joshua Greene and Andrew Lobb figured out how to prove a version of the “rectangular peg problem.”

The Cartoon Picture of Magnets That Has Transformed Science

One hundred years after it was proposed, the Ising model is used to understand everything from magnets to brains.

Why South Asia’s COVID-19 Numbers Are So Low (For Now)

Many theories have been offered for why the official COVID-19 toll on the Indian subcontinent has been surprisingly low. The best explanation may be the shortage of good, timely data.

This Cosmologist Knows How It’s All Going to End

The astrophysicist and social media phenom Katie Mack is ready to tell you about the fate of the universe.

Males Are the Taller Sex. Estrogen, Not Fights for Mates, May Be Why.

To explain why men are on average taller than women, scientists theorized about competition for mates. But the effects of estrogen on bone growth may be answer enough.

Dark Matter Experiment Finds Unexplained Signal

Researchers say there are three possible explanations for the anomalous data. One is mundane. Two would revolutionize physics.

The Two Forms of Mathematical Beauty

Mathematicians typically appreciate either generic or exceptional beauty in their work, but one type is more useful in describing the universe.

Why Gravity Is Not Like the Other Forces

We asked four physicists why gravity stands out among the forces of nature. We got four different answers.

A Cosmic Burst Repeats, Deepening a Mystery | Quanta Magazine

After a surprise discovery, astrophysicists are racing to understand superenergetic flashes of radio waves that sometimes beep out from distant galaxies.

A Surprise Discovery Points to the Source of Fast Radio Bursts

After a burst lit up their telescope “like a Christmas tree,” astronomers were able to finally track down the source of these cosmic oddities.