## New Number Systems Seek Their Lost Primes

For centuries mathematicians tried to solve problems by adding new values to the usual numbers. Now they’re investigating the unintended consequences of that tinkering

Skip to main content

For centuries mathematicians tried to solve problems by adding new values to the usual numbers. Now they’re investigating the unintended consequences of that tinkering

March 15, 2017 — Kevin Hartnett and Quanta Magazine

For thousands of years people have struggled to pin down pi. Watch how mathematicians from Archimedes on have wrapped their heads around the math of circles.

March 14, 2017 — Shelley Sandiford and Lydia Chain

Are we alone in the universe? If so, why? If not, where is everybody? Thankfully, math can help us with these astronomically profound questions

March 11, 2017 — Math Dude Jason Marshall

The simplicity of the stains' repeating patterns is key to why we see so many images in them

February 15, 2017 — Alison Abbott and Nature magazine

A new solution to a decades-old geometry puzzle might unlock the secrets of our planet's inner structure

February 10, 2017 — Davide Castelvecchi and Nature

Great literature is surprisingly arithmetic

February 10, 2017 — Mark Fischetti

Asking people how many others agree with them could yield more accurate estimates

January 25, 2017 — Simon Makin

The long-running effort to ditch the decaying, 19th-century artifact that defines the kilogram nears its conclusion

January 24, 2017 — Tim Folger

Chemists have synthesized the most complex molecular knot ever, using a strand just 192 atoms long. The advance could lead to new tougher materials. Christopher Intagliata reports...

January 18, 2017 — Christopher Intagliata

Feldman creates mathematical models that reveal how cultural traditions can affect the evolution of a species...

January 12, 2017 — Elizabeth Svoboda and Quanta Magazine

How to calculate percentages is easier than you think. Quick, what’s 36% of 25? Or how about 250% of 20? Learn a quick and dirty tip to help you calculate all of those pesky percentages in your head...

January 11, 2017 — Math Dude Jason Marshall

Barbara Kiser, books and arts editor at *Nature*, talks about her favorite science books of 2016, especially three works about the little-known history of women mathematicians.

December 31, 2016 — Barbara Kiser and Steve Mirsky

Where does the shortstop play in a paradigm shift?

December 30, 2016 — Steve Mirsky

An artistic science project from Science Buddies

December 22, 2016 — Science Buddies and Sabine de Brabandere

Flu forecasts within large metro areas like New York City might be improved by adding in data about the flow of commuters. Christopher Intagliata reports.

December 6, 2016 — Christopher Intagliata

Do you know what it is that a light-year actually measures? Do you know why so many people find it confusing? And why they really shouldn’t?

December 3, 2016 — Math Dude Jason Marshall

When polls try to tease out what a group of people is thinking, what are they measuring and how can they go wrong?

November 29, 2016 — Lydia Chain

New NIMH chief Joshua Gordon says he will focus on quick wins, brain circuits and mathematical rigor

October 28, 2016 — Alison Abbott and Nature magazine

Fourth- and eighth-graders score better than before, but weak gains and overall poor marks hint at long way to go

October 27, 2016 — Tanya Lewis

For this puzzle with over 43 quintillion permutations, author Ian Scheffler explains how players have found the most efficient route to resolving a Rubik’s cube.

October 26, 2016 — Lydia Chain