• Print Edition 32

    Issue 32 of the Nautilus print edition combines some of the best content from our issues on Reopening, Energy, and Risk. It includes contributions from paleoclimatologist Summer Praetorius, Roomba inventor Joe Jones, and film director Walter Murch, among others. This issue also features a new illustration by Myriam Wares.   

  • twin tower beams

    This Is Why Americans Are Irrationally Anxious About Terrorism

    On September 11, 2001 I was living and teaching in Providence, Rhode Island, a town that is on the short flight path between Boston, where terrorists boarded two passenger airliners, and New York, where these planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. In the following days, the whole campus seemed […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Steele_HERO-2

    The Man Who Would Tame Cancer

    Patrick Soon-Shiong is opening a new front in the war on the deadly disease.

  • water bucket

    This Is Why Understanding Space Is So Hard

      If all the matter in the universe suddenly disappeared, would space still exist? Isaac Newton thought so. Space, he imagined, was something like Star Trek’s holodeck, a 3-dimensional virtual-reality grid onto which simulated people and places and things are projected. As Newton put it in the early pages of his Principia: “Absolute space, of […]

  • Curry_HERO-3

    Men Are Better At Maps Until Women Take This Course

    A bit of education can erase a definitive cognitive gap between men and women.