David J. Thouless, F. Duncan Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz split the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.
The modified version of the sieve of Eratosthenes could accelerate computer calculations
It’s the last standard of measurement that is still based on a physical object—but it will soon be derived from a mathematical constant
What are half-lives? And what do they have to do with measuring the age of the solar system and predicting the effects of a morning cup of coffee? Keep on reading to find out!
A centering science activity
A rare appearance by enigmatic Shinichi Mochizuki brings faint optimism about his famously impenetrable work
Jim Papadopoulos has spent a lifetime pondering the maths of bikes in motion. Now his work has found fresh momentum
Creators factor in “origin-of-life” events and available building blocks
Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Viazovska recently figured out how spheres could be efficiently arranged in eight and 24 dimensions
The mathematician Ken Ono believes that the story of Srinivasa Ramanujan—mathematical savant and two-time college dropout—holds valuable lessons for how we find and reward hidden genius
Have you ever wondered how people figured out their latitude back in the days before the Internet? Did you know you can use the same math trick they used to pinpoint your latitude today? Keep on reading to find out how it works
In this special edition of 60-Second Science Video, two numbers compete. Which is larger? The number of possible positions in the ancient game of go or the number of atoms in the entire universe?
Caltech theoretical physicist Sean M. Carroll talks about his new book The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. (Dutton, 2016)
Caltech theoretical physicist Sean M. Carroll talks about the necessary connections among the various ways we have of describing the universe.
Brain studies suggest new ways to improve reading, writing and arithmetic—and even social skills
Film and book reviews from Scientific American’s May 2016 issue
The development of statistics, probability theory, game theory and chaos theory owes a lot to people trying to figure out various games of chance.
Mathematician and author Adam Kucharski talks about his new book The Perfect Bet: How Science and Math Are Taking the Luck Out of Gambling (Basic Books, 2016).
Mathematician Ken Ono describes how an inspiring mentor helped him redefine his relationship with numbers in this excerpt from his new book, written with mathematics writer Amir Aczel
Processing high-level math concepts uses the same neural networks as the basic math skills a child is born with