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Viruses Finally Reveal Their Complex Social Life
New research has uncovered a social world of viruses full of cheating, cooperation and other intrigues, suggesting that viruses make sense only as members of a community.

How ChainofThought Reasoning Helps Neural Networks Compute
Large language models do better at solving problems when they show their work. Researchers are beginning to understand why.

Elliptic Curve ‘Murmurations’ Found With AI Take Flight
Mathematicians are working to fully explain unusual behaviors uncovered using artificial intelligence.

A Quantum Trick Implied Eternal Stability. Now the Idea May Be Falling Apart.
A series of advances seemed to promise the impossible: the existence of quantum states that would never, ever fall into disarray. But physicists are now discovering that the pull of […]

Maze Proof Establishes a ‘Backbone’ for Statistical Mechanics
Four mathematicians have estimated the chances that there’s a clear path through a random maze.

The Quest to Decode the Mandelbrot Set, Math’s Famed Fractal
For decades, a small group of mathematicians has patiently unraveled the mystery of what was once math’s most popular picture. Their story shows how technology transforms even the most abstract […]

The Quest to Quantify Quantumness
What makes a quantum computer more powerful than a classical computer? It’s a surprisingly subtle question that physicists are still grappling with, decades into the quantum age.

In the Milky Way’s Stars, a History of Violence
Our galaxy’s stars keep a record of its past. By reading those stories, astronomers are learning more about how the Milky Way came to be — and about the galaxy […]

Behold Modular Forms, the ‘Fifth Fundamental Operation’ of Math
Modular forms are one of the most beautiful and mysterious objects in mathematics. What are they?