Science past and present

  1. Math

    If the world is a computer, life is an algorithm

    Cellular automata may offer the algorithmic power to mimic the laws of physics and the evolution of life.

  2. desert island books
    Science & Society

    Top 10 desert island books for science fans

    Some books that require your undivided attention offer substantial intellectual rewards.

  3. Quantum Physics

    Maybe classical clockwork can explain quantum weirdness

    Nobel laureate Gerard ’t Hooft proposes that a classical cause-and-effect reality underlies the probabilistic strangeness of quantum physics.

  4. Quantum Physics

    Nobel laureates offer new interpretations of quantum mysteries

    Two Nobel laureates offer novel interpretations to explain the mysteries of quantum mechanics.

  5. Mercury
    Science & Society

    Trust in gravity isn’t always the best astronomy policy

    Historical episodes involving Neptune, Mercury and gravity have implications for today’s dark matter and dark energy mysteries.

  6. Science & Society

    Top 10 things everybody should know about science

    Much of scientific knowledge can be condensed into a few basic principles that every educated person should know.

  7. Science & Society

    Polls don’t identify the real science education problem

    Concerns that Americans do poorly when quizzed on factual scientific knowledge don’t address deeper issues of scientific understanding.

  8. Math

    Doctors flunk quiz on screening-test math

    Many doctors, and the news media, don’t understand that because of the statistics of screening tests, a test with 90 percent accuracy can give a wrong diagnosis more than 90 percent of the time.

  9. Quantum Physics

    Shor’s code-breaking algorithm inspired reflections on quantum information

    Twenty years ago, physicists met in Santa Fe to explore the ramifications of quantum information.

  10. Quantum Physics

    Quantum experts discuss the measurement problem: A transcript from 1994

    A fairly complete transcript of a discussion about quantum physics on May 19, 1994, the last day of a workshop in Santa Fe, N.M., evolves into a more general discussion of the interpretation of quantum mechanics and the quantum measurement problem.

  11. still from the movie "Sneakers"
    Quantum Physics

    Robert Redford film foretold Shor’s quantum computing bombshell

    Twenty years ago, Peter Shor showed how quantum computers could break secret codes, turning the movie Sneakers from fiction to fact.

  12. playing cards

    Maybe time’s arrow needs ergodicity as well as entropy

    Explaining the arrow of time might require an equilibrium universe with hidden ergodic dynamics.