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Degrees of Freedom

Degrees of Freedom

The boundless dimensions of math and physics

Strings, Geometry, and the Ultimate Reality: The Debate

Strings, Geometry, and the Ultimate Reality: The Debate

Can strings be the ultimate constituents of the universe–more fundamental than matter or energy, and even than space or time? If they’re not made of matter or energy, what are they, then?...

July 30, 2011 — Davide Castelvecchi

The Information: James Gleick Chats with Robert Krulwich

James Gleick is best known for his groundbreaking bestseller Chaos , and has also authored inspired biographies of Newton and Richard Feynman. His new book, The Information , came out earlier this year and has been on my list of books to blog about for a while...

July 28, 2011 — Davide Castelvecchi
Cool Math & Physics Blogs

Cool Math & Physics Blogs

From time to time, I’ve done something that could be construed as blogging for years now (at my web site, sciencewriter.org), but I am still a blogosphere novice.

July 28, 2011 — Davide Castelvecchi

What Do You Mean, The Universe Is Flat? (Part I)

The universe is three-dimensional.The universe is four-dimensional—three for space, one for time.The universe has nine, or ten or eleven dimensions.Matter curves spacetime.The universe is flat.The universe is infinite.The universe is 84 billion light-years wide.The universe is a bubble, or an onion.Or a hall of mirrors, shaped like soccer ball.Or a shape out of Dante’s Divine Comedy...

July 25, 2011 — Davide Castelvecchi

France Telecom to Shut Down a Beloved Precursor of the Web

Updated 1:55 pm. For decades the little gray terminal was a staple in million of French homes. Users could log on and send emails, find information, do their banking, chat, purchase tickets online--and, yes, access "adult only" services...

July 21, 2011 — Davide Castelvecchi

When Math(s) Turns Out To Be Useful

The current issue of Nature has a great feature about how mathematical inventions and discoveries often find unexpected applications, sometimes decades after their first appearance.

July 19, 2011 — Davide Castelvecchi

Being Mister Fantastic

Look at yourself in your bathroom mirror. Why, you look younger than your age! And the farther you are from the mirror, the younger you look. If the mirror were really really far … remember the scene in “2001: A Space Odyssey” in which David Bowman sees himself as a fetus in the womb?...

July 17, 2011 — Davide Castelvecchi

Under a Blood Red Sky

We have learned to pierce the depths of space and see stars and galaxies that lie thousands, and millions, and billions of light-years away. But our vision is ultimately limited: we live, quite literally, in a bubble...

July 6, 2011 — Davide Castelvecchi
I Am Hyperspace, and So Can You

I Am Hyperspace, and So Can You

My first encounter with higher dimensions was somewhat of an anticlimax. It was one of my very first days in university, back in Rome, and I was sitting in an amphitheaterlike classroom, in one of the classes required of all first-year math students...

July 5, 2011 — Davide Castelvecchi

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