An Obscure Field of Math Might Help Unlock Mysteries of Human Perception

This initially appeared in the July/August challenge of Discover journal as “Message in a Clam.” Help our science journalism by turning out to be a subscriber.

The human mind is both a marvel and a mystery of evolution: Packed into a volume about a person-quarter that of an inflated soccer ball, somewhere around 86 billion neurons type networks that help us to do anything from mindlessly scrolling by way of Instagram to safely sending men and women into space. But a further being familiar with of the composition of those networks is even now an open up query.


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What Goes On in a Proton? Quark Math Still Needs Answers

Objects are produced of atoms, and atoms are likewise the sum of their parts—electrons, protons, and neutrons. Dive into one particular of these protons or neutrons, nonetheless, and items get strange. Three particles referred to as quarks ricochet back again and forth at almost the speed of light, snapped back again by interconnected strings of particles referred to as gluons. Bizarrely, the proton’s mass have to by some means crop up from the electricity of the stretchy gluon strings, due to the fact quarks weigh very very little and gluons nothing at all.

Initial tale reprinted with permission from Quanta

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