High Energy Cosmic Ray Sources Mapped Out for the First Time

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ASTROPHYSICS | ALL TOPICS

 

Cosmic Map of Ultrahigh-Energy Particles Points to Long-Hidden Treasures

By NATALIE WOLCHOVER

Ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays twist and turn on their way to Earth, which has made it nearly impossible to identify the colossal monsters that create them.

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GRAPH THEORY

 

New Proof Reveals
That Graphs With
No Pentagons Are Fundamentally Different

By STEVE NADIS

Researchers have proved a special case of the Erdős-Hajnal conjecture, which shows what happens in graphs that exclude anything resembling a pentagon.

Read the blog

Related: 
Mathematicians Settle
Erdős Coloring Conjecture

by Kelsey Houston-Edwards

Q&A

 

How to Rewrite
the Laws of Physics
in the Language
of Impossibility

By AMANDA GEFTER

Chiara Marletto is trying to build a master theory — a set of ideas so fundamental that all other theories would spring from it. Her first step: Invoke the impossible.

Read the interview | Watch the video

Related: 
Imaginary Numbers May Be
Essential for Describing Reality

by Charlie Wood

IMMUNOLOGY

 

A Backdoor Lets the Immune System Monitor the Brain

By ELENA RENKEN

A newfound hub of immune system activity at the back of the brain solves a century-old puzzle and offers a possible target for treatments.

Read the blog post

Related: 
Cells That 'Taste' Danger
Set Off Immune Responses

by Carrie Arnold (2019)

THE JOY OF X

 

Emery Brown and the Truth About Anesthesia

Podcast hosted by STEVEN STROGATZ;
Produced by DANA BIALEK

Anesthesia is very different from sleep — which is why it offers unique opportunities for studying the human brain, says the physician-researcher and statistician.

Listen to the podcast

Read the transcript

 

QUANTA SCIENCE PODCAST

 

Rumbles on Mars Raise Hopes of Underground Magma Flows

Podcast hosted by SUSAN VALOT
Story by ROBIN GEORGE ANDREWS

Small and cold, Mars has long been considered a dead planet. But a series of recent discoveries has forced scientists to rethink how recently its insides stopped churning — if they ever stopped at all.

Listen to the podcast

 


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Around the Web

Stellar S'mores, Anyone?
Data from the Solar Orbiter hint that mini-solar flares, or "campfires," could supply the missing energy needed to heat the sun's corona, Daniel Clery reports for Science Magazine. By studying a sunlike ball of plasma in the lab, researchers hope to understand how tangles in our star's magnetic field might also contribute to heating things up, Erika Carlson reported for Quanta in 2019.

Big Headed Hominins
Carrying an oversized brain is often taken as a mark of evolved intelligence in mammals, but it could also be a sign that natural selection has merely shrunk the body, Natalie Grover reports for The Guardian. Cognition is about much more than just brain size, Ferris Jabr reported for Quanta in 2015. It's also about distribution, for instance. We humans pack more neurons into our cerebral cortex than other mammals do — even the gigantic African elephant.
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