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  • Reviews & Previews

    Scarcity

    Shortages can gnaw at more than your belly. Mullainathan and Shafir argue that scarcity — whether of food, time or anything else — changes how you think. At the personal level, focusing on what’s lacking induces irrational patterns of thinking, changing a person’s behavior and laying traps that spring later.

    “Scarcity captures the mind,” write the authors, an economist and a psychologist...

    10/13/2013 - 17:10 Science & Society, Anthropology
  • Science Stats

    Funding slide

    A survey of more than 3,700 U.S. scientists from a range of fields finds that researchers are feeling the pinch (stats above).

    U.S. federal spending on science has decreased sharply since 2010 in inflation-adjusted dollars (graph below).

    10/12/2013 - 02:00 Science & Society
  • Science Visualized

    Twin primes

    Mathematicians have conjectured since Euclid’s time that there are infinite pairs of prime numbers separated from each other by 2. Despite the fact that primes are separated on average by bigger gaps as numbers increase, evidence suggests that primes continue to appear as “twin primes” (green triangles) no matter how high you go. The illustration above highlights prime numbers, counting from 1...

    10/10/2013 - 12:58 Numbers
  • Feature

    Voyager's view

    It’s finally official: Voyager 1 has become the first human-made object to enter interstellar space, mission scientists report September 12 in Science. On August 25, 2012, the scientists say, Voyager 1 exited a giant invisible bubble called the heliosphere that is inflated by a torrent of subatomic particles spewing from the sun. Now the probe is surrounded almost exclusively by particles...

    10/04/2013 - 16:47 Astronomy
  • Feature

    Memory upgrade

    Ramamoorthy Ramesh listens to Indian classical music on his smartphone, which is jammed with videos of his kids’ soccer games. He streams Netflix movies on his tablet and, on his laptop, he uses Google to search the Internet several times a day. Like many of us, he’s an active consumer of data in a data-centric world.

    But Ramesh is also a materials scientist who...

    10/04/2013 - 15:00 Technology, Computing