29 articles
  • twin tower beams


    This Is Why Americans Are Irrationally Anxious About Terrorism

    Many of terrorism’s most profound consequences are felt from a distance.

  • Titan Saturn System Mission hero


    Here’s What We’ll Do in Space by 2116

    In a mere 60 years, we of Earth have gone from launching our first spacecraft, to exploring every planet and major moon in our solar system, to establishing an international, long-lived fleet of robotic spacecraft at the Moon and Mars. What will we do in the next 100 years? With such rapid expansion of capability, […]

  • infinite clock


    Why Our Universe Doesn’t Have a Birthday

     The main elements of the Big Bang model are “easily listed,” says Jim Peebles, the Albert Einstein Professor Emeritus of Science at Princeton. The model holds that the large-scale structure of the cosmos is expanding faster and faster and that, on average, the universe looks close to the same no matter where you look. The […]

  • solitary confinement


    Why the Teenage Brain Isn’t Built for Solitary Confinement

    Johnny Perez was 16-years old when he was arrested for gun possession and admitted to Riker’s Island. Within months, he did his first round of solitary confinement: 60 days in a 60 square-foot cell. The punishment was for fighting to use the telephone.Between the pushups, the jumping jacks, and the officers taunting him, the narrative […]

  • pythagoreans


    How a Mathematical Superstition Stultified Algebra for Over a Thousand Years

    Like most people, my high-school training in mathematics involved next-to-no history, barely touching on the names of a few mathematicians, like Pythagoras, and their theorems. I graduated only vaguely aware that geometry came from ancient Greece and algebra came from the Babylonians.A decade later, as a graduate researcher of chemical engineering at the University of […]

  • clock on tracks


    How Where You Are or What You’re Doing Alters Your Sense of Time

    maradon 333/Shutterstock How we think of time can lead to some odd results. For example, imagine your co-worker says next Wednesday’s meeting has been moved forward two days. When is the meeting going to be held? Your response can be predicted by how you see your relationship to time. If you see time flowing toward […]