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20 physicists who revolutionized our understanding of the world

Physics is everywhere. It's in the most distant reaches of the cosmos. It's in the supermassive black holes raging in the center of galaxies and in the tiny fundamental building blocks that make up life on Earth. It's even in the seemingly empty space around us.<p>And every now and then a physicist …

Physics

Your brain performs better when it's cold outside

It was terrifyingly cold in New York this weekend, and this cold snap occurred right as we're entering the postholiday doldrums. It's around the time of the year when people start to talk about seasonal changes to their mood and energy level — most commonly, seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. …

The Brain

‘Not a Math Person’: How to Remove Obstacles to Learning Math

Stanford math education professor Jo Boaler spends a lot of time worrying about how math education in the United States traumatizes kids. Recently, a …

Teaching

Scientists have found a way to score your attention IQ

During a 1959 television appearance, Jack Kerouac was asked how long it took him to write his novel <i>On The Road</i>. His response—three weeks—amazed the interviewer and ignited an enduring myth that the book was composed in a marathon of nonstop typing.<p>Like the Kerouac of legend, some people possess the …

The Brain

Sugary water better for performance than some sports drinks – study

Researchers say cyclists find exercise easier when they drink ordinary sucrose – or table sugar – rather than only glucose<p>Swapping some specialist sports drinks in favour of water mixed with a spoonful of sugar could boost the performance of long-distance athletes, a study finds.<p>Researchers at the …

Diabetes

10 Brain Myths Busted

It's going to take more than 10 percent of your brain to read this story<p>In the Hollywood action-film <i>Lucy</i>, actor Morgan Freeman—playing a world-renowned neurologist— speaks to a packed auditorium. “It’s estimated most human beings only use 10 percent of their brains’ capacity,” he says. “Imagine if …

Do Men Have Hormonal Cycles?

Short answer: Ever heard of man-struation?<p>Men do go through hormonal cycles. That much is established. Their testosterone levels tend to peak first thing in the morning, perhaps in concert with circadian rhythms, and then diminish over the course of the day—though exercise can cause fleeting …

The best way to learn math is to learn how to fail productively

Singapore, the land of many math geniuses, may have discovered the secret to learning mathematics (pdf). It employs a teaching method called productive failure (pdf), pioneered by Manu Kapur, head of the Learning Sciences Lab at the National Institute of Education of Singapore.<p>Students who are …

Pedagogy

5 common myths your doctor may believe

When you ask a doctor a question, you expect an answer backed by the latest science. But the reality is, the field of medicine is always advancing, and “there's too much knowledge for any one physician to master,” says Renée Fox, PhD, professor emerita at the University of Pennsylvania, who studies …

Women's Health

The Right Way to Learn While You Sleep

<b>You can swot up on vocabulary in your sleep – but only if you don’t confuse your brain in the process. Researchers funded by the Swiss National</b> …

Science proves your first-born won’t rule the world

Kids are mysterious, even to their parents. (Perhaps <i>especially</i> to their parents.) Why is the oldest so controlling? Or the youngest such a terror? Dismissing the potential effects of our neurotic parenting, we ascribe many of our kids’ traits to the self-evident truth of birth order.<p>Unfortunately, …

Psychology

18 researchers predict the future of AI

Oli Scarff/Getty Images<p>Artificial intelligence (AI) has been changing our lives for decades, but never has AI felt more ubiquitous than now.<p>It seems as though not a week passes without yet another AI system overcoming an unprecedented hurdle or outperforming humans.<p>But how the future of AI will pan …

Artificial Intelligence

5 Brilliant TED Talks That Will Boost Your Emotional Intelligence | Inc.com

Emotional intelligence is more than a hot topic or trending hashtag. The term describes an extremely important concept: a person's ability to recognize his or her own and other people's emotions, to understand the powerful effect of these emotions, and to use that information to guide thinking and …

TED Talks

General Relativity: 100 Years Old And Still Full Of Surprises

Dark energy, gravitational waves, and black holes may be just the beginning<p>In 1913, Albert Einstein had stalled in his efforts to construct his general theory of relativity. He pleaded with his friend Marcel Grossmann for a mathematical boost: “Grossmann, you’ve got to help me, otherwise I’ll go …

The real nuclear deal: Israeli discovers how a protein solves the chaos of reproduction

Human cells have 46 chromosomes that determine who we are — a factory for replication and reproduction that forms our body, traits and aging.<p>Your …

Replication

New Neuroscience Reveals 4 Rituals That Will Make You Happy

You get all kinds of happiness advice on the internet from people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Don’t trust them.Actually, don’t trust …

Self-improvement

The decline of the French intellectual

One of the most characteristic inventions of modern French culture is the “intellectual.”<p>Intellectuals in France are not just experts in their …

How the Higgs boson is born and how it dies: the most precise picture so far

The ATLAS and CMS collaborations, at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, have combined their data to produce our most precise view to date of the Higgs boson<p>Another of those “freak” research publications, which so befuddle the makers of university league tables, is on the way¹. Having made the best …

Physics

How Big is the Universe?

As technology has evolved, astronomers are able to look back in time to the moments just after the Big Bang. This might seem to imply that the entire …

You are not your brain or your body

<i>This post originally appeared at WaitButWhy.com.</i><p>When you say the word “me,” you probably feel pretty clear about what that means. It’s one of the things you’re cleareston in the whole world—something you’ve understood since you were a year old. You might be working on the question, “Who amI?” but …

Transhumanists are on a quest to discover eternal life. Is the citizen science they use the future of technology?

Immortality aside, DIY "bio-hacking" could provide solutions to everyday problems, despite the risks involved<p>For the last week I’ve been travelling around California and Nevada on a 40 foot, 1978 bus that’s designed to look like a massive coffin, with the words "Immortality Bus" painted down both …

Just How Sweet Is The Taste Of Victory?

Ah, the sweet taste of victory. And now there's scientific evidence to back that up. NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks to researcher Robin Dando at Cornell, who used hockey fans to test his theory.<p>Transcript<p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:<p>The sweet taste of victory, how sweet it is. Well, exactly how sweet is …

Ice Cream

Take a Wittgenstein class: He explains the problems of translating language, computer science, and artificial intelligence.

The best class I took in college was on the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Until that point, I had avoided philosophy of language as simply being …

Artificial Intelligence

Did you solve it? Professor Povey's perplexing problem

Did you cross the line to a correct answer? Read the solution to the coin and the chessboard puzzle<p>Earlier today I set you this puzzle:<p><b>The coin and the chessboard</b><p><i>A coin of diameter 1 is thrown on an infinitely large chessboard with squares of side 2.</i><i>What is the chance that the coin lands on a</i> …

Puzzles

Can we learn to be intelligent?

Studies predict that nearly half of all jobs and over 70% of low-skill jobs could be susceptible to computerization over the next two decades. Our …

Cognitive Signatures of Creativity and Genius

Nobel laureates in the sciences share more than just bragging rights and the knowledge that they've demonstrably advanced human understanding in …

Creativity

Life's big surprises: The Vital Question and Life's Greatest Secret

Two recent books dive into the mysteries surrounding the origins of life and the genetic code and come up with deeply satisfying tales filled with tenacious arguments and bold ideas<p>Summer is here and brings for many a welcome opportunity to spend time on the beach immersed in the pages of a good …

Biology