Quanta Science Podcast

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Listen to Quanta Magazine's in-depth news stories about developments in mathematics, theoretical physics, theoretical computer science and the basic life sciences. Quanta, an editorially independent magazine published by the Simons Foundation, seeks to enhance public understanding of basic research.

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In-depth news about mathematics, physics, biology and computer science.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-03-14 16:50
last episode published
2018-11-21 15:24
publication frequency
11.18 days
Quanta Magazine author   owner  
Number of Episodes
Detail page
Science & Medicine Natural Sciences



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors
21.11.2018 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Quanta Writers and Editors Discuss Trends in Science and Math

On November 16, 2018, more than 200 readers joined writers and editors from Quanta Magazine for a wide-ranging panel discussion that examined the newest ideas in fundamental physics, biology and mathematics research.
Quanta Magazine author
16.05.2018 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

A New World’s Extraordinary Orbit Points to Planet Nine

Astronomers argue that there’s an undiscovered giant planet far beyond the orbit of Neptune. A newly discovered rocky body has added evidence to the circumstantial case for it.
Quanta Magazine author
7.05.2018 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

A Thermodynamic Answer to Why Birds Migrate

New modeling studies suggest that birds migrate to strike a favorable balance between their input and output of energy.
Quanta Magazine author
18.04.2018 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Machine Learning’s ‘Amazing’ Ability to Predict Chaos

In new computer experiments, artificial-intelligence algorithms can tell the future of chaotic systems.
Quanta Magazine author
17.04.2018 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Decades-Old Graph Problem Yields to Amateur Mathematician

By making the first progress on the “chromatic number of the plane” problem in over 60 years, an anti-aging pundit has achieved mathematical immortality.
Quanta Magazine author
13.03.2018 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Brainless Embryos Suggest Bioelectricity Guides Growth

Researchers are building a case that long before the nervous system works, the brain sends crucial bioelectric signals to guide the growth of embryonic tissues.
Quanta Magazine author
8.03.2018 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

To Test Einstein’s Equations, Poke a Black Hole

Two teams of researchers have made significant progress toward proving the black hole stability conjecture, a critical mathematical test of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
Quanta Magazine author
7.03.2018 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Oxygen and Stem Cells May Have Reshaped Early Complex Animals

An unlikely team offers a controversial hypothesis about what enabled animal life to get more complex during the Cambrian explosion.
Quanta Magazine author
6.03.2018 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Physicists Find a Way to See the ‘Grin’ of Quantum Gravity

A recently proposed experiment would confirm that gravity is a quantum force.
Quanta Magazine author
1.03.2018 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Why Don’t Patients Get Sick in Sync? Modelers Find Statistical Clues

The long, variable times that some diseases incubate after infection defies simple explanation. An idealized model of tumor growth offers a statistical solution.
Quanta Magazine author
21.02.2018 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Why Self-Taught Artificial Intelligence Has Trouble With the Real World

The latest artificial intelligence systems start from zero knowledge of a game and grow to world-beating in a matter of hours. But researchers are struggling to apply these systems beyond the arcade.
Quanta Magazine author
15.02.2018 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Scant Evidence of Power Laws Found in Real-World Networks

A new study challenges one of the most celebrated and controversial ideas in network science.
Quanta Magazine author
14.02.2018 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Smart Swarms Seek New Ways to Cooperate

New algorithms show how swarms of very simple robots can be made to work together as a group.
Quanta Magazine author
31.01.2018 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

How the Universe Got Its Bounce Back

Cosmologists have shown that it’s theoretically possible for a contracting universe to bounce and expand. The new work resuscitates an old idea that directly challenges the Big Bang theory of cosmic origins.
Quanta Magazine author
23.01.2018 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

A Domesticated Dingo? No, but Some Are Getting Less Wild

Near an Australian desert mining camp, wild dingoes are losing their fear of humans. Their genetic and behavioral changes may echo those from the domestication of dogs.
Quanta Magazine author
22.01.2018 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Fossil Discoveries Challenge Ideas About Earth’s Start

A series of fossil finds suggests that life on Earth started earlier than anyone thought, calling into question a widely held theory of the solar system’s beginnings.
Quanta Magazine author
21.12.2017 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Mathematicians Find Wrinkle in Famed Fluid Equations

Two mathematicians prove that under certain extreme conditions, the Navier-Stokes equations output nonsense.
Quanta Magazine author
14.12.2017 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Light-Triggered Genes Reveal the Hidden Workings of Memory

Nobel laureate Susumu Tonegawa’s lab is overturning old assumptions about how memories form, how recall works and whether lost memories might be restored from "silent engrams."
Quanta Magazine author
1.12.2017 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Secret Link Uncovered Between Pure Math and Physics

An eminent mathematician reveals that his advances in the study of millennia-old mathematical questions owe to concepts derived from physics.
Quanta Magazine author
30.11.2017 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

How Bacteria Help Regulate Blood Pressure

Kidneys sniff out signals from gut bacteria for cues to lower blood pressure after meals. Our understanding of how the symbiotic microbes affect health is becoming much more molecular.
Quanta Magazine author
15.11.2017 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Choosy Eggs May Pick Sperm for Their Genes, Defying Mendel’s Law

The oldest law of genetics says that gametes combine randomly, but experiments hint that sometimes eggs select sperm actively for their genetic assets.
Quanta Magazine author
7.11.2017 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

A Zombie Gene Protects Elephants From Cancer

Elephants did not evolve to become huge animals until after they turned a bit of genetic junk into a unique defense against inevitable tumors.
Quanta Magazine author
24.10.2017 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Best-Ever Algorithm Found for Huge Streams of Data

To efficiently analyze a firehose of data, scientists first have to break big numbers into bits.
Quanta Magazine author
23.10.2017 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Newfound Wormhole Allows Information to Escape Black Holes

Physicists theorize that a new “traversable” kind of wormhole could resolve a baffling paradox and rescue information that falls into black holes.
Quanta Magazine author
21.09.2017 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning

A new idea is helping to explain the puzzling success of today’s artificial-intelligence algorithms — and might also explain how human brains learn.
Quanta Magazine author
19.09.2017 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Clever Machines Learn How to Be Curious

Computer scientists are finding ways to code curiosity into intelligent machines.
Quanta Magazine author
24.08.2017 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Interspecies Hybrids Play a Vital Role in Evolution

Hybrids, once treated as biological misfits, play a vital role in the evolution of many animal species. Now conservationists are trying to reconcile that truth with policies.
Quanta Magazine author
22.08.2017 https://www.quantamagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/QuantaPodcastLogo_1400.jpg

Mathematicians Tame Rogue Waves, Lighting Up Future of LEDs

The mathematician Svitlana Mayboroda and collaborators have figured out how to predict the behavior of electrons — a mathematical discovery that could have immediate practical effects.
Quanta Magazine author

What Made the Moon? New Ideas Try to Rescue a Troubled Theory

Textbooks say that the moon was formed after a Mars-size mass smashed the young Earth. But new evidence has cast doubt on that story, leaving researchers to dream up new ways to get a giant rock into orbit.
Quanta Magazine author

In Game Theory, No Clear Path to Equilibrium

John Nash’s notion of equilibrium is ubiquitous in economic theory, but a new study shows that it is often impossible to reach efficiently.
Quanta Magazine author

Pentagon Tiling Proof Solves Century-Old Math Problem

A French mathematician has completed the classification of all convex pentagons, and therefore all convex polygons, that tile the plane.
Quanta Magazine author

Can Microbes Encourage Altruism?

If gut bacteria can sway their hosts to be selfless, it could answer a riddle that goes back to Darwin.
Quanta Magazine author

Dark Matter Recipe Calls for One Part Superfluid

A different kind of dark matter could help to resolve an old celestial conundrum.
Quanta Magazine author

A Puzzle of Clever Connections Nears a Happy End

The three young friends who devised the “happy ending” problem would become some of the most influential mathematicians of the 20th century, but were never able to solve their own puzzle. Now it receives its first big breakthrough.
Quanta Magazine author

The Thoughts of a Spiderweb

Spiders appear to offload cognitive tasks to their webs, making them one of a number of species with a mind that isn’t fully confined within the head.
Quanta Magazine author

How to Quantify (and Fight) Gerrymandering

Powerful new quantitative tools are now available to combat partisan bias in the drawing of voting districts.
Quanta Magazine author

A Long-Sought Proof, Found and Almost Lost

When a German retiree proved a famous long-standing mathematical conjecture, the response was underwhelming.
Quanta Magazine author

A New Blast May Have Forged Cosmic Gold

For decades, researchers believed that violent supernovas forged gold and other heavy elements. But many now argue for a different cosmic quarry.
Quanta Magazine author

Why Did Life Move to Land? For the View

The ancient creatures who first crawled onto land may have been lured by the informational benefit that comes from seeing through air.
Quanta Magazine author

New Number Systems Seek Their Lost Primes

For centuries, mathematicians tried to solve problems by adding new values to the usual numbers. Now they’re investigating the unintended consequences of that tinkering.
Quanta Magazine author

Researchers Tap a Sleep Switch in the Brain

Powerful new experiments have uncovered some of the molecular underpinnings of sleep.
Quanta Magazine author

Experiment Reaffirms Quantum Weirdness

Physicists are closing the door on an intriguing loophole around the quantum phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.”
Quanta Magazine author

To Live Your Best Life, Do Mathematics

The ancient Greeks argued that the best life was filled with beauty, truth, justice, play and love. The mathematician Francis Su knows just where to find them.
Quanta Magazine author

Dividing Droplets Could Explain Life’s Origin

Researchers have discovered that simple “chemically active” droplets grow to the size of cells and spontaneously divide, suggesting they might have evolved into the first living cells.
Quanta Magazine author

Infant Brains Reveal How the Mind Gets Built

Is the brain a blank slate, or is it wired from birth to understand the world?
Quanta Magazine author

3-D Fractals Offer Clues to Complex Systems

By folding fractals into 3-D objects, a mathematical duo hopes to gain new insight into simple equations.
Quanta Magazine author

Grand Unification Dream Kept at Bay

Physicists have failed to find disintegrating protons, throwing into limbo the beloved theory that the forces of nature were unified at the beginning of time.
Quanta Magazine author

The Case Against Dark Matter

A proposed theory of gravity does away with dark matter, even as new astrophysical findings challenge the need for galaxies full of the invisible mystery particles.
Quanta Magazine author

What Sonic Black Holes Say About Real Ones

Can a fluid analogue of a black hole point physicists toward the theory of quantum gravity, or is it a red herring?
Quanta Magazine author

Giant Genetic Map Shows Life’s Hidden Links

In a monumental set of experiments, spread out over nearly two decades, biologists removed genes two at a time to uncover the secret workings of the cell.
Quanta Magazine author