Physics


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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

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Deep time
Light dawns

Light travels at around 300,000 km per second. Why not faster? Why not slower? A new theory inches us closer to an answer

Sidney Perkowitz

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Computing and artificial intelligence
Is this life real?

Philosophers and physicists say we might be living in a computer simulation, but how can we tell? And does it matter?

Matthew Francis

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Philosophy of science
Our quantum problem

When the deepest theory we have seems to undermine science itself, some kind of collapse looks inevitable

Adrian Kent

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Astronomy
In the beginning

Cosmology has been on a long, hot streak, racking up one imaginative and scientific triumph after another. Is it over?

Ross Andersen

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Physics
Minding matter

The closer you look, the more the materialist position in physics appears to rest on shaky metaphysical ground

Adam Frank

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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

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History of ideas
Physics’s pangolin

Trying to resolve the stubborn paradoxes of their field, physicists craft ever more mind-boggling visions of reality

Margaret Wertheim

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Philosophy of science
The cold fusion horizon

Is cold fusion truly impossible, or is it just that no respectable scientist can risk their reputation working on it?

Huw Price

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Philosophy of science
Too many worlds

Nobody knows what happens inside quantum experiments. So why are some so keen to believe in parallel universes?

Philip Ball

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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

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Logic and probability
Why things happen

Either cause and effect are the very glue of the cosmos, or they are a naive illusion due to insufficient math. But which?

Mathias Frisch

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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

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Physics
Parallel worlds

If human history turns on the tilt of the multiverse, can we still trust our ideas of achievement, progress and morality?

Andrew Crumey

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Quantum theory
Quantum common sense

Despite its confounding reputation, quantum mechanics both guides and helps explain human intuition

Philip Ball

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Quantum theory
Black-hole computing

Might nature’s bottomless pits actually be ultra-efficient quantum computers? That could explain why data never dies

Sabine Hossenfelder

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Physics
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

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Cosmology
The calibrated cosmos

Is our Universe fine-tuned for the existence of life – or does it just look that way from where we’re sitting?

Tim Maudlin

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Evolution
Life without design

Constructor theory is a new vision of physics, but it helps to answer a very old question: why is life possible at all?

Chiara Marletto

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History of science
No absolute time

Two centuries before Einstein, Hume recognised that universal time, independent of an observer’s viewpoint, doesn’t exist

Matias Slavov

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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