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Stories by Seth Fletcher

From AI to Zika: AAAS Conference Highlights

Scientific American editors Mark Fischetti, Dina Maron and Seth Fletcher talk about the info they picked up at the just-concluded annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. Subjects covered include gravitational waves, whether there's really a war on science, the growing concern over Zika virus, sea level rise and advances in artificial intelligence.

February 16, 2016 — Mark Fischetti, Dina Fine Maron, Seth Fletcher and Steve Mirsky

Confirmed: Black Holes are Magnetism-Powered Eating Machines

The long list of unanswered questions about black holes contains one particularly surprising item: How do they eat? Unlike many of the riddles that black holes pose, this one seems so simple: What do you mean we don’t know how things fall into a black hole?

December 3, 2015 — Seth Fletcher

Finding "Fringes": New Event Horizon Telescope Detections Start Trickling In

The technique that the astronomers of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) use to observe black holes is called Very Long Baseline Interferometry, or VLBI, but it might as well be called Extremely Delayed Gratification Astronomy: it can take weeks or months after an observing run to find out whether the telescope array actually saw anything.

May 22, 2015 — Seth Fletcher
Immunizing the Internet [Video]

Immunizing the Internet [Video]

Scientific American contributor Keren Elazari argues in a 2014 TED talk that securing cyberspace is impossible without the help of hackers.

April 4, 2015 — Seth Fletcher

What Chappie Says—and Doesn't Say—about Artificial Intelligence [Video]

I'm not a scold about scientific accuracy in film. As long as a movie is not built on a fundamentally stupid premise (“Lucy,” the Scarlet Johansson vehicle predicated on the false notion that humans use only 10 percent of their brains, comes to mind), I am happy to let myself be entertained.

March 6, 2015 — Seth Fletcher

Hunting Black Holes at the South Pole

Each of the telescopes that the astronomers of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) are currently working to bring into their black-hole-observing, planet-size array is a special case.

February 26, 2015 — Seth Fletcher