Mathematical mysteries have challenged humanity’s most powerful thinkers and inspired passionate, lifelong obsessions in search of answers. From the strangeness of prime numbers and the nature of infinity, to the turbulent flow of fluids and the geometry of hyperspace, mathematics is our most potent tool for revealing immutable truths.
What makes Mona Lisa’s smile so intriguing? What makes Picasso’s portraits so compelling? Kurt Andersen hosts artists Chuck Close and Devorah Sperber, with neuroscientists Margaret Livingstone, Chris Tyler and Ken Nakayama, as they examine the power of brain imaging technology to illuminate how we perceive the most intimate yet public of features, the human face.
This statement is false. Think about it, and it makes your head hurt. If it’s true, it’s false. If it’s false, it’s true. In 1931, Austrian logician Kurt Gödel shocked the worlds of mathematics and philosophy by establishing that such statements are far more than a quirky turn of language: he showed that there are mathematical truths which simply can’t be proven.
The World Science Festival’s Pioneers in Science program gives high school students from around the globe rare and intimate access to some of the world’s most renowned scientists in a …
Albert Einstein shattered previous ideas about time, but left many pivotal questions unanswered: Does time have a beginning? An end? Why does it move in only one direction? Is it real, or something our minds impose on reality?
From a bee’s hexagonal honeycomb to the elliptical paths of planets, symmetry has long been recognized as a vital quality of nature. Today’s theorists are pursuing an even more exotic symmetry that, mathematically speaking, could be nature’s final fundamental symmetry: supersymmetry.