Nautilus4 мин. чтения
Lose Weight the Slow and Incredibly Difficult Way
This seems simple enough. Your weight comes from the Earth’s gravity pulling you down. The Earth’s gravity comes from its mass. Less mass should mean less gravity. Remove mass from the Earth, and you’ll lose weight.  You decide to give it a try. Remo
Nautilus13 мин. чтенияMathematics
Are We Getting the Real Stuff in Popular Science?
Sean Carroll is one of the best writing scientists in the business. He’s the paragon of a writer who understands his subject completely and can explain it with clarity and ingratiating authority. The physicist transforms concepts in his field into pr
Nautilus2 мин. чтения
What Can Night-Shift Workers Do to Feel Better?
One question for Sarah Chellappa, a neuroscientist at the University of Cologne who studies how sleep and circadian rhythms affect human mood, cognition, and brain activity. What can night-shift workers do to feel better? Our findings suggest that me
Nautilus11 мин. чтения
A Step-by-Step Guide to Our Solar System’s Demise
Our solar system is on its way out. Slowly. Over the next several billion years, a series of unfortunate events will take place, spanning from the not-so-great to the truly tragic. Afterward, our solar system will be gone: All of the planets will be
Nautilus5 мин. чтения
How Shannon Entropy Imposes Fundamental Limits on Communication
If someone tells you a fact you already know, they’ve essentially told you nothing at all. Whereas if they impart a secret, it’s fair to say something has really been communicated. This distinction is at the heart of Claude Shannon’s theory of inform
Nautilus11 мин. чтения
The Real Magic of Rituals
Tennis star Rafael Nadal performs an elaborate repertoire of rituals before and during every match. When he arrives at the stadium, he enters the court holding a racket in his hand, taking great care never to step on the lines and always crossing eac
Nautilus3 мин. чтения
What Is Misinformation Doing to Us?
One question for Daniel Williams, a philosopher at the University of Cambridge who studies recent advances in psychology to understand how various forms of irrationality and bias are socially adaptive. What Is misinformation doing to us? Since 2016,
Nautilus9 мин. чтения
The Trouble With “The Big Bang”
Did the Big Bang happen? Has the James Webb Space Telescope found evidence against the Big Bang? If astrophysicists are sure the Big Bang happened, why do they also think the universe was born from a quantum fluctuation? And what does this have to do
Nautilus8 мин. чтения
Targeting Cancer’s Achilles Heel
Matthew Weiss dreams of the day when his oncology practice will operate very differently. A surgeon at the Northwell Health System in New York who treats pancreatic cancer—one of the deadliest malignancies known—he doesn’t have a lot of choices when
Nautilus8 мин. чтения
Targeting Cancer’s Achilles Heel
Matthew Weiss dreams of the day when his oncology practice will operate very differently. A surgeon at the Northwell Health System in New York who treats pancreatic cancer—one of the deadliest malignancies known—he doesn’t have a lot of choices when
Nautilus9 мин. чтения
The Wizards of Mind Control
What if some outside force could control your mind and make you act against your own interests? It’s a terrifying prospect—one that captures our imagination and recurs frequently in our fiction. It’s the goal of one of the three Unforgivable Curses i
Nautilus19 мин. чтенияChemistry
The Big Thinker
There is a black hole at the heart of biology,” Nick Lane writes at the start of his 2015 book The Vital Question. “Bluntly put, we do not know why life is the way it is.” It takes some chutzpah to lay down the gauntlet to the life sciences so starkl
Nautilus7 мин. чтения
What Do Dolphins Talk About?
How can we tell if other animals have thoughts, desires, self-awareness? And if they do have all of those things, how can we communicate with them? Diana Reiss, a professor of cognitive psychology and director of the Animal Behavior and Conservation
Nautilus9 мин. чтения
The Wizards of Mind Control
What if some outside force could control your mind and make you act against your own interests? It’s a terrifying prospect—one that captures our imagination and recurs frequently in our fiction. It’s the goal of one of the three Unforgivable Curses i
Nautilus19 мин. чтенияChemistry
The Big Thinker
There is a black hole at the heart of biology,” Nick Lane writes at the start of his 2015 book The Vital Question. “Bluntly put, we do not know why life is the way it is.” It takes some chutzpah to lay down the gauntlet to the life sciences so starkl
Nautilus7 мин. чтения
What Do Dolphins Talk About?
How can we tell if other animals have thoughts, desires, self-awareness? And if they do have all of those things, how can we communicate with them? Diana Reiss, a professor of cognitive psychology and director of the Animal Behavior and Conservation
Nautilus11 мин. чтения
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Once upon a time, in a thatched spirit hut in the Nigerien village of Tillaberi, the Songhay master sorcerer Adamu Jenitongo told the American anthropologist Paul Stoller that the bush was angry. “People who speak with two mouths and feel with two he
Nautilus11 мин. чтения
To Save the Deep Ocean, We Should Mine the Moon
It’s a Faustian bargain for the Anthropocene: The greatest source of rare-earth metals are to be found at the bottom of the sea—and so are Earth’s most fragile ecosystems, an undisturbed and largely unexplored world of marvels. The metals are require
Nautilus12 мин. чтенияMathematics
Are All Brains Good at Math?
Ken Ono gets excited when he talks about a particular formula for pi, the famous and enigmatic ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. He shows me a clip from a National Geographic show where Neil Degrasse Tyson asked him how he would conv
Nautilus12 мин. чтенияMathematics
Are All Brains Good at Math?
Ken Ono gets excited when he talks about a particular formula for pi, the famous and enigmatic ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. He shows me a clip from a National Geographic show where Neil Degrasse Tyson asked him how he would conv
Nautilus11 мин. чтения
To Save the Deep Ocean, We Should Mine the Moon
It’s a Faustian bargain for the Anthropocene: The greatest source of rare-earth metals are to be found at the bottom of the sea—and so are Earth’s most fragile ecosystems, an undisturbed and largely unexplored world of marvels. The metals are require
Nautilus11 мин. чтения
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Once upon a time, in a thatched spirit hut in the Nigerien village of Tillaberi, the Songhay master sorcerer Adamu Jenitongo told the American anthropologist Paul Stoller that the bush was angry. “People who speak with two mouths and feel with two he
Nautilus3 мин. чтения
It’s High Time to Protect Our High Seas
Look down at the Pacific Ocean from outer space and it appears to take up most of the globe. That’s how vast it is. Come back down and onto a sailboat, this time in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Weeks from any shore, you could still be closer to
Nautilus3 мин. чтения
It’s High Time to Protect Our High Seas
Look down at the Pacific Ocean from outer space and it appears to take up most of the globe. That’s how vast it is. Come back down and onto a sailboat, this time in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Weeks from any shore, you could still be closer to
Nautilus10 мин. чтения
Are We Ready for the Next Massive Volcano?
Mike Cassidy was there in 2010 when Eyjafjallajökull, a volcano-covering ice cap in Iceland, erupted. It shut down European air space for weeks, costing the economy billions. Cassidy, a Ph.D. student at the time, had been invited on a research cruise
Nautilus10 мин. чтения
Are We Ready for the Next Massive Volcano?
Mike Cassidy was there in 2010 when Eyjafjallajökull, a volcano-covering ice cap in Iceland, erupted. It shut down European air space for weeks, costing the economy billions. Cassidy, a Ph.D. student at the time, had been invited on a research cruise
Nautilus10 мин. чтения
The Wisdom of Gay Albatrosses
Outside of humans, the best (worst?) example of repugnant same-species violence is found in chimpanzees. When compared to other nonhuman great apes, chimpanzees are notoriously bloodthirsty. I mean that literally. Rival chimpanzee groups defending th
Nautilus10 мин. чтения
Two Distinguished Scientists on How to Rescue Humanity
“Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie…”—Shakespeare, All’s Well That Ends Well Our Earth has existed for 45 million centuries; and humans for a few thousand. But this century is the first when our species is so numerous—and so demanding of energy and
Nautilus6 мин. чтенияMathematics
A Numerical Mystery From the 19th Century Finally Gets Solved
In the early 1950s, a group of researchers at the Institute for Advanced Study embarked on a high-tech project. At the behest of John von Neumann and Herman Goldstine, the physicist Hedvig Selberg programmed the IAS’s 1,700-vacuum-tube computer to ca
Nautilus7 мин. чтения
Another Path to Intelligence
It turns out there are many ways of “doing” intelligence, and this is evident even in the apes and monkeys who perch close to us on the evolutionary tree. This awareness takes on a whole new character when we think about those non-human intelligences
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