Symmetry, on first glance a mere detail of arrangement, has unexpected powers, aesthetic, practical—even moral. We find it in physics, families, and the brain. As shorthand, it heightens our powers of observation, helping us recognize faces and calculate particle interactions. As organizing principle, it steers genes and galaxies. Scientists, long ago convinced that it is mixed into the truth of things, flock to it.
Automatic for the Oceans
A rock trio on the rise is raising environmental awareness.
Join Nautilus Live—Get the Truth About Sun Exposure
Join us at noon on Monday, June 9, when editor in chief Michael Segal will host a live video chat with award-winning journalist and NYU professor, Jessica Seigel about her latest Nautilus piece, “America Is Getting the Science of Sun Exposure Wrong.” There are two ways to participate. You can send us your questions before […]
Forest for the Trees—Why We Recognize Faces & Constellations
A Ganado-style Navajo rugNational Park Service For many thousands of years, and across cultures around the world, symmetry has been seen as beautiful. The mirror-image accuracy of the Parthenon is seen also in the Taj Mahal and the geometric patterns of traditional Navajo rugs. We see symmetry in more fluid, modern media, too, like the […]
The Universe, Expanding Symmetrically and Eternally
Two months ago, we learned of landmark evidence bolstering the theory of inflation, a period very soon after the Big Bang when the Universe expanded at a terrific rate, stretching out and smoothing its lumps, and making it remarkably consistent on large scales. A recent study confirms that, even 13.8 billion years after the […]
“White Holes” Could Exist—But That Doesn’t Mean They Do
A black hole is a one-way door to oblivion. According to general relativity, once anything crosses its boundary—the event horizon—it cannot return to the outside. For that particle, the black hole is the entire future. We’ll never actually get a chance to see the particle live out that destiny: Any light the particle emits […]