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Physics


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Astronomy Biology Biotechnology Chemistry Computing and artificial intelligence Cosmology Deep time Earth science and climate Ecology and environmental sciences Engineering Evolution Genetics History of science Human evolution Human reproduction Illness and disease Mathematics Medicine Oceans and water Palaeontology Physics Quantum theory Space exploration
Essay/
Metaphysics
In defence of disorder

Humans love laws and seek predictability. But like our Universe, which thrives on entropy, we need disorder to flourish

Alan Lightman

Essay/
Philosophy of science
The blind spot

It’s tempting to think science gives a God’s-eye view of reality. But we forget the place of human experience at our peril

Adam Frank, Marcelo Gleiser & Evan Thompson

Essay/
Physics
Time after time

The question of whether time moves in a loop or a line has occupied human minds for millennia. Has physics found the answer?

Paul Halpern

Essay/
Physics
Through two doors

How a sunbeam split in two became physics’ most elegant experiment, shedding light on the underlying nature of reality

Anil Ananthaswamy

Essay/
Cosmology
Anthropic arrogance

Claims that the Universe is designed for humans raise far more troubling questions than they can possibly answer

David P Barash

Essay/
Physics
Out of nowhere

Does everything in the world boil down to basic units – or can emergence explain how distinctive new things arise?

Paul Humphreys

Essay/
Cosmology
How cosmic is the cosmos?

Ever since Heisenberg and Tagore, physicists have flirted with Eastern philosophy. Is there anything in the romance?

Zeeya Merali

Essay/
Physics
Going nowhere fast

After the success of the Standard Model, experiments have stopped answering to grand theories. Is particle physics in crisis?

Ben Allanach

Essay/
History of science
What is good science?

Demanding that a theory is falsifiable or observable, without any subtlety, will hold science back. We need madcap ideas

Adam Becker

Essay/
Philosophy of science
Is the Universe a conscious mind?

Cosmopsychism might seem crazy, but it provides a robust explanatory model for how the Universe became fine-tuned for life

Philip Goff

Essay/
History of science
Life in hollow Earth

Is Earth inside the Universe, or vice versa? Since we can grasp only a model of reality, how do we know what’s real?

Joel Frohlich

Essay/
History of science
Spiritual hyperplane

How spiritualists of the 19th century forged a lasting association between higher dimensions and the occult world

Paul Halpern

Essay/
Physics
Radical dimensions

Relativity says we live in four dimensions. String theory says it’s 10. What are ‘dimensions’ and how do they affect reality?

Margaret Wertheim

Essay/
Economics
Economics is quantum

Money and brains are both quantum phenomena – so it’s not surprising that economics is overdue for a quantum revolution

David Orrell