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  • metal kilogram
  • Calabi-Yau manifolds
  • multiplication
Your search has returned 735 articles:
  • News

    The kilogram just got a revamp. A unit of time might be next

    The new kilogram has finally arrived.

    Updates to scientists’ system of measurement went into force May 20, redefining the kilogram and several other units in the metric system. The revamp does away with some outdated standards — most notably, a metal cylinder kept in a vault near Paris that has defined the kilogram for 130 years (SN: 12/8/18, p. 7).

    Tinkering with units allows...

    05/20/2019 - 07:00 Physics, Numbers
  • Reviews & Previews

    A mathematician traces his journey from poverty to prominence

    The Shape of a LifeShing-Tung Yau and Steve NadisYale Univ., $28

    One of the first remarkable things that mathematician Shing-Tung Yau reveals in his memoir, The Shape of a Life, is that his name was not originally Yau. His family fled China to British-ruled Hong Kong in 1949 when he was an infant, and the name Yau came from a mistranslation on a registration form when he entered...

    04/26/2019 - 09:00 Numbers, Science & Society
  • News

    Mathematicians may have found the fastest way to multiply huge numbers

    Multiplying 2 x 2 is easy. But multiplying two numbers with more than a billion digits each — that takes some serious computation.

    The multiplication technique taught in grade school may be simple, but for really big numbers, it’s too slow to be useful. Now, two mathematicians say that they’ve found the fastest way yet to multiply extremely large figures.

    The duo claim to have...

    04/08/2019 - 07:00 Numbers, Computing
  • News

    Photons reveal a weird effect called the quantum pigeonhole paradox

    Quantum pigeons don’t like to share.

    In keeping with a mathematical concept known as the pigeonhole principle, roosting pigeons have to cram together if there are more pigeons than spots available, with some birds sharing holes. But photons, or quantum particles of light, can violate that rule, according to an experiment reported in the Jan. 29 Proceedings of the National Academy of...

    02/13/2019 - 06:00 Quantum Physics, Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers have questions about Parkinson’s disease, moth wings and more

    Gut connection

    Abnormal proteins tied to Parkinson’s disease may form in the gut before traveling through the body’s nervous system to the brain, Laura Beil reported in “A gut-brain link for Parkinson’s gets a closer look” (SN: 12/8/18, p. 22).

    The vagus nerve offers a connection between nerves in the gut and those in the brain. Beil reported on one study that showed that people who...

    01/27/2019 - 07:15 Health, Animals, Numbers
  • News

    It’s official: We’re redefining the kilogram

    Out with the old — kilogram, that is.

    Scientists will soon ditch a specialized hunk of metal that defines the mass of a kilogram. Oddly enough, every measurement of mass made anywhere on Earth is tied back to this one cylindrical object. Known as “Le Grand K,” the cylinder, cast in 1879, is kept carefully sequestered in a secure, controlled environment outside Paris.

    On November 16...

    11/16/2018 - 07:22 Numbers, Physics
  • Context

    Before his early death, Riemann freed geometry from Euclidean prejudices

    Bernhard Riemann was a man with a hypothesis.

    He was confident that it was true, probably. But he didn’t prove it. And attempts over the last century and a half by others to prove it have failed.

    A new claim by the esteemed mathematician Michael Atiyah that Riemann’s hypothesis has now been proved may also be exaggerated. But sadly Riemann’s early death was not. He died at age 39....

    09/28/2018 - 07:00 History of Science, Numbers
  • Feature

    Anshumali Shrivastava uses AI to wrangle torrents of data

    Anshumali Shrivastava, 33Computer ScienceRice University

    The world is awash in data, and Anshumali Shrivastava may save us from drowning in it.

    Every day, over 1 billion photos are posted online. In a single second, the Large Hadron Collider can churn out a million gigabytes of observations. Big data is ballooning faster than current computer programs can analyze it.

    “We have...

    09/26/2018 - 08:28 Artificial Intelligence, Numbers, Technology
  • News

    Here’s why we care about attempts to prove the Riemann hypothesis

    A famed mathematical enigma is once again in the spotlight.

    The Riemann hypothesis, posited in 1859 by German mathematician Bernhard Riemann, is one of the biggest unsolved puzzles in mathematics. The hypothesis, which could unlock the mysteries of prime numbers, has never been proved. But mathematicians are buzzing about a new attempt.

    Esteemed mathematician Michael Atiyah took a...

    09/25/2018 - 11:46 Numbers
  • Reviews & Previews

    The study of human heredity got its start in insane asylums

    Genetics in the MadhouseTheodore M. PorterPrinceton Univ., $35

    England’s King George III descended into mental chaos, or what at the time was called madness, in 1789. Physicians could not say whether he would recover or if a replacement should assume the throne. That political crisis jump-started the study of human heredity.

    Using archival records, science historian Theodore M...

    07/01/2018 - 08:00 Genetics, History of Science, Mental Health, Numbers