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MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS | ALL TOPICS

 

Mathematicians Prove Melting Ice Stays Smooth

By MORDECHAI RORVIG

After decades of effort, mathematicians now have a complete understanding of the complicated equations that model the motion of free boundaries, like the one between ice and water.

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NOBEL PRIZE

 

Chemistry Nobel Prize Honors Technique for Building Molecules

By JORDANA CEPELEWICZ

How do scientists give molecules their marching orders? Benjamin List and David MacMillan, the recipients of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry, each discovered methods to produce simple, eco-friendly, inexpensive catalysts for making asymmetric molecular products.

Learn more about the winners

Related: 
Nobel Chemistry Prize Awarded
for CRISPR ‘Genetic Scissors’

by Jordana Cepelewicz (2020)

NOBEL PRIZE

 

Work on Earth’s Climate and Other Complex Systems Earns Nobel Prize in Physics

By NATALIE WOLCHOVER

Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann were honored for their work that led to reliable predictions of the effects of climate change. They share the Nobel with Giorgio Parisi, who made pioneering studies of chaotic physical systems.

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Related: 
Physics Nobel Awarded for
Black Hole Breakthroughs

by Natalie Wolchover (2020)

NOBEL PRIZE

 

Medicine Nobel Prize Goes to Temperature and Touch Discoveries

By JORDANA CEPELEWICZ

David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian were awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries of how we detect heat and touch.

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Related: 
Scientists Reveal Structure of Pain Sensor
by Emily Singer (2014)

Around the Web

Why Hawking Never Won a Nobel
Hawking’s prediction that black holes must grow in size with every meal was recently confirmed, but too late to put him in contention for a Nobel Prize, Dennis Overbye writes for The New York Times. Hawking’s insight spawned a paradox regarding the fate of black holes. Netta Englehardt, a theorist working to resolve the contradiction, told Quanta about her efforts back during the summer.

Squaring the Schlep
People’s preferences for limiting travel are unexpectedly quantifiable, Viviane Callier reports for Scientific American: They follow an inverse square law, such that trips twice as long are half as likely. Other types of movement resist such simple treatment. Computer scientist Carlos Gershenson told Quanta about his work embracing the complexity of urban traffic last year.

 
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