In 1955, a young scientist named Mildred Dresselhaus was told “women have no place in physics!”. Despite this, she became the “Queen of Carbon” and a champion of women in …
For all we understand about the universe, 96% of what’s out there still has scientists in the dark. Astronomical observations have established that familiar matter—atoms—accounts for only 4% of the weight of the cosmos. The rest—dark matter and dark energy—is invisible to our telescopes.
Music students download the technique of their favorite pianist or singer directly into their brains. Medical students download the skills of a seasoned surgeon or diagnostician. And each one of us routinely uploads our thoughts and memories to the digital cloud.
We spend a third of our lives asleep. Every organism on Earth—from rats to dolphins to fruit flies to microorganisms—relies on sleep for its survival, yet science is still wrestling with a fundamental question: Why does sleep exist?
Professor Witten is a leading light of superstring theory and the only physicist to have won the vaunted Fields Medal, mathematics’ highest honor. Known for advancing a number of novel approaches in mathematics and physics, Witten opened up new vistas in 1995 when he unified five seemingly competing superstring theories into M-theory, which seeks to unify Einstein’s general theory of relativity with quantum mechanics.
Humans work together on enormous scales to build complex tools as large as cities and create social networks that span the globe. What is the key to our success? This …
It’s the thought of your childhood home. It’s that comforting aroma you can still smell ten years later. It’s the way you define yourself. It’s your memory. Where is memory stored? How do we recall? Why do we forget?
When we try to get rid of a bad habit, whether it involves food or drugs or gambling, it often seems like we’re fighting ourselves inside. The reality’s not far off: Addiction twists the reward pathways of the brain to keep addicts tied to whatever gets them high.