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Science

Essays and videos exploring physics, evolution, cosmology and other frontiers in science
Cogitating black holes | Aeon
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essay

Cosmology

Cogitating black holes

The Universe cannot always be understood through observation. Instead, physicists explore by devising thought experiments

Michael Dine

Imaginary numbers are real | Aeon
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Mathematics

Imaginary numbers are real

These odd values were long dismissed as bookkeeping. Now physicists are proving that they describe the hidden shape of nature

Karmela Padavic-Callaghan

Quantum Wittgenstein | Aeon
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Quantum theory

Quantum Wittgenstein

Metaphysical debates in quantum physics don’t get at ‘truth’ – they’re nothing but a form of ritual, activity and culture

Timothy Andersen

How does a quantum computer work? | Aeon
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video

Computing and artificial intelligence

From ‘chandeliers’ to entangled qubits, here’s what happens inside a quantum computer

9 minutes

Jeff Tollaksen: quantum mechanics experiments | Aeon
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Quantum theory

Mind-bending new quantum experiments are blurring past, present and future

10 minutes

A softer economics | Aeon
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Economics

A softer economics

Financial markets are entangled and uncertain. When will economists let go of physics envy to embrace the quantum revolution?

David Orrell

Calculate but don’t shut up | Aeon
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History of science

Calculate but don’t shut up

The cliché has it that the Copenhagen interpretation demands adherence without deep enquiry. That does physics a disservice

Jim Baggott

The Standard Model | Aeon
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video

Physics

The Standard Model might be the most successful theory in science. But what is it?

16 minutes

The unified Universe | Aeon
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Physics

The unified Universe

Physics displays an uncanny alignment at its very deepest levels. Is a grand theory of everything finally within reach?

James Wells

Lee Smolin: space and time | Aeon
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video

Physics

Time is fundamental, space is emergent – why physicists are rethinking reality

9 minutes

Quantum music | Aeon
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Quantum theory

Quantum music

Physics has long looked to harmony to explain the beauty of the Universe. But what if dissonance yields better insights?

Katie McCormick

Quantum fluctuations | Aeon
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video

Quantum theory

‘Moving paintings’ evoke a quantum particle collision at the Large Hadron Collider

4 minutes

Life with purpose | Aeon
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Biology

Life with purpose

Biologists balk at any talk of ‘goals’ or ‘intentions’ – but a bold new research agenda has put agency back on the table

Philip Ball

From chaos to free will | Aeon
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Physics

From chaos to free will

A crude understanding of physics sees determinism at work in the Universe. Luckily, molecular uncertainty ensures this isn’t so

George Ellis

Understanding quantum entanglement | Aeon
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video

Quantum theory

Quantum entanglement is tough to dumb down, but this analogy can help detangle it

20 minutes

What’s everything made of? | Aeon
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Philosophy of science

What’s everything made of?

To answer whether the fundamental building blocks of reality are particles, fields or both means thinking beyond physics

Charles Sebens

The super zoom | Aeon
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video

Physics

A quantum odyssey from the tip of a pen to the dark side of human knowledge

3 minutes

Our ignorance about gravity | Aeon
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video

Physics

Why Newton’s ‘law of universal gravitation’ is not so universal after all

6 minutes

Splitting the Universe | Aeon
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Quantum theory

Splitting the Universe

Hugh Everett blew up quantum mechanics with his Many-Worlds theory in the 1950s. Physics is only just catching up

Sean Carroll

Impossible muons | Aeon
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video

Physics

Extremely small and incredibly fast, muons offer amazing proof of special relativity

5 minutes

What is antimatter? | Aeon
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Physics

Logic tells us that antimatter should have annihilated the Universe. So why hasn’t it?

4 minutes

Seeing the quantum | Aeon
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Physics

Seeing the quantum

The human eye is a surprisingly good photon detector. What can it spy of the line between the quantum and classical worlds?

Rebecca Holmes

The origin of quantum mechanics | Aeon
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video

Quantum theory

The physics revolution that started with the flicker of a lightbulb

4 minutes

ORIGINALThe forgotten (female) quantum pioneer, Grete Hermann | Aeon
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History of ideas

Splitting the truth: the philosopher that physics forgot

4 minutes