Search FQXi


Read our Articles...

FQXi articles are available in either HTML or PDF format. To view HTML articles, click the "Read article" link after the article summary. To download PDF articles, click the "Download aricle PDF file" link.

If you can't already read PDF files, you can download Acrobat Reader for free.
FQXi ARTICLES
October 22, 2014

Life's Quantum Crystal Ball
By CARINNE PIEKEMA • Oct 9, 2014
Does the ability to predict the future—perhaps with quantum help—define the fundamental difference between living and inanimate matter?
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (2 posts)

The Quantum Truth Seeker
By NICOLA JONES • Sep 19, 2014
Watching particles fly through an interferometer might help to unveil higher-order weirdness behind quantum theory.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (13 posts)

Quantifying Occam
By SOPHIE HEBDEN • Aug 17, 2014
Is the simplest answer always the best? Connecting Medieval monks to computational complexity, using the branch of mathematics known as category theory.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (4 posts)

Heart of Darkness
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Jul 23, 2014
An intrepid physicist attempts to climb into the core of black hole.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

Why Quantum?
By COLIN STUART • Jun 17, 2014
Entropy could explain why nature chose to play by quantum rules.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1115 posts)

Reality's NeverEnding Story
By KATE BECKER • Apr 17, 2014
A quantum version of Darwinian natural selection could enable the universe to write itself into being.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (20 posts)

The Quantum Dictionary
By NICOLA JONES • Mar 10, 2014
Mark Van Raamsdonk is re-writing how we define the shape of our universe. Can such translations help to unite quantum theory and gravity?
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (12 posts)

Q&A with Paul Davies: What is Time?
By JOHN STEELE • Feb 16, 2014
Where does time come from? Why does it seem to flow?
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (150 posts)

Quantum Computers Get Real
By BOB SWARUP • Jan 22, 2014
Fighting decoherence to scale up quantum technologies.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (5 posts)

The Cosmic Hologram
By SOPHIE HEBDEN • Dec 23, 2013
Is our universe an illusion projected backward in time from the future?
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (46 posts)

Q&A with David Rideout: Testing Reality in Space
By COLIN STUART • Sep 19, 2013
Satellite experiments could soon investigate the boundaries of quantum physics and relativity.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (121 posts)

Classic Article: The Art of Math
By SOPHIE HEBDEN • Jul 31, 2013
A pictorial branch of mathematics could help physicists draw new conclusions about quantum gravity and the nature of time.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (13 posts)

Readers' Choice: Cheating the Causal Game
By SOPHIE HEBDEN • Jun 24, 2013
A new quantum framework that blurs cause-and-effect at a fundamental level could improve information processing and lead to a theory of quantum gravity.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (191 posts)

Discord in the Quantum World
By BOB SWARUP • May 20, 2013
An alternative quantum resource to entanglement could help physicists in the quest to construct a quantum computer.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (16 posts)

A View From the Top
By KATE BECKER • Apr 8, 2013
Thinking of causation as a "two-way street"—along which the passage of information can be inverted—could have implications for the origin of life.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (22 posts)

Classic Article: Black Holes, Paradox Regained
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Mar 18, 2013
In 2004, Stephen Hawking famously conceded that black holes do not devour all information when they swallow matter—seemingly resolving the "black hole information paradox" that had perplexed physicists for decades. But some argue that the paradox remains open, and we must abandon our simple picture of spacetime to unravel it.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (33 posts)

Quantum Biology: Making Waves in the Natural World
By CARINNE PIEKEMA • Feb 20, 2013
Could quantum effects explain the mechanisms behind smell, photosynthesis and bird navigation?
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (13 posts)

The Accidental Universe
By BOB SWARUP • Jan 8, 2013
Have we been fooled into seeing one form of reality, with particular fundamental forces and laws, based on the peculiar way that we have chosen to measure time?
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (657 posts)

The Brain's Time Illusion
By CARINNE PIEKEMA • Dec 8, 2012
Uncovering how the mind constructs our sense of time could help treat and prevent some psychological disorders.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (42 posts)

Video Article: Embracing Complexity
By GRAEME STEMP-MORLOCK • Nov 6, 2012
Ideas inspired by microscopic physics and magnetism could help sustain the energy infrastructure, and predict the spread of disease, financial crises, and the fate of Facebook friendships.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (16 posts)

Cheating the Causal Game
By SOPHIE HEBDEN • Oct 16, 2012
A new quantum framework that blurs cause-and-effect at a fundamental level could improve information processing and lead to a theory of quantum gravity.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (27 posts)

Time Dilation Gets a Quantum Twist
By SOPHIE HEBDEN • Oct 1, 2012
Quantum vs general relativistic conceptions of time go head-to-head in a proposed table-top test.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (62 posts)

Charting the Post-Quantum Landscape
By SOPHIE HEBDEN • Sep 3, 2012
Laser experiments explore territory beyond the quantum horizon to investigate the theory's limits.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (9 posts)

Video Article: Time to Go Retro
By GRAEME STEMP-MORLOCK • Aug 6, 2012
A model of backward causation in which the future affects the past could help unite quantum mechanics and general relativity—and satisfy a challenge thrown down almost a century ago by Arthur Eddington.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (15 posts)

Killing Time
By KATE BECKER • Jun 27, 2012
On the quest for a theory of quantum gravity, Edward Anderson must slay the "dragon" of time.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (85 posts)

Faster Than Light
By SOPHIE HEBDEN • May 22, 2012
A controversial theory in which light broke its own speed limit in the early universe joins forces with string theory and loop quantum gravity to solve cosmic mysteries.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1018 posts)

Melting Spacetime
By GRAEME STEMP-MORLOCK • Apr 30, 2012
To understand how spacetime might emerge from string theory, in the early cosmos, we need to heat up the equations, and thaw the space and time dimensions.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (62 posts)

Video Article: The Quantum Linguist
By SOPHIE HEBDEN • Apr 8, 2012
Bob Coecke has developed a new visual language that could spell out a theory of quantum gravity—and help us understand human speech.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (14 posts)

Black Holes: Paradox Regained
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Mar 18, 2012
In 2004, Stephen Hawking famously conceded that black holes do not devour all information when they swallow matter—seemingly resolving the "black hole information paradox" that had perplexed physicists for decades. But some argue that the paradox remains open, and we must abandon our simple picture of spacetime to unravel it.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (37 posts)

Thermal Timekeeping
By SOPHIE HEBDEN • Feb 28, 2012
Constructing a clock that measures temperature could unite the conflicting conceptions of time in the quantum and cosmic realms.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (20 posts)

Video Article: The Patchwork Multiverse
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Feb 9, 2012
Classic article with new video content: Cutting spacetime into patches could help explain the size of the universe, time—and provide the first ”experimental” evidence that string theory is on the right track.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (10 posts)

The Cosmic Family Tree
By KATE BECKER • Jan 6, 2012
Mapping the ancestral history of spacetime in an effort to unite quantum mechanics and general relativity.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (20 posts)

Behind the Shadows
By BOB SWARUP • Dec 15, 2011
Imagining Schrödinger’s cat peering out from behind a black hole could lead to a theory of quantum gravity.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (4 posts)

Why Did Nature Choose Quantum Theory?
By MAXIMILIAN SCHLOSSHAUER • Nov 21, 2011
Schrödinger’s cat may help reveal while some physical theories are better at describing reality than others.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (28 posts)

Video Article: Through a Glass Darkly
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Nov 1, 2011
Eight-dimensional numbers could be needed to handle string-theory’s 10-dimensional physics. This classic article, with new video content, also tackles the mystery of why elementary particles come in families of three—and maybe even how spacetime emerges in 4-dimensions.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (12 posts)

Video Article: Evolving Time's Arrow
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Oct 11, 2011
Why do we perceive time marching in one direction? In this classic article with new video, Craig Callender combines general relativity, evolutionary biology and cognitive science to bring the physics of time in line with everyday experience.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (43 posts)

Video Article: The End of the Quantum Road
By BOB SWARUP • Sep 23, 2011
In this classic article, with new video, Caslav Brukner ponders whether we've already found the ultimate theory of nature, without realizing it.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (31 posts)

Video Article: The Destiny of the Universe
By JULIE REHMEYER • Aug 21, 2011
A radical reformulation of quantum mechanics suggests that the universe has a set destiny and its pre-existing fate reaches back in time to influence the past. This classic article, with new video content, reconsiders the origin of life and dark energy in the new framework.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (59 posts)

Testing the Multiverse
By MIRIAM FRANKEL • Aug 3, 2011
Does the CMB sky show signatures of other universes?
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (27 posts)

De-Spooking Quantum Mechanics
By GRAEME STEMP-MORLOCK • Jul 13, 2011
Einstein wouldn’t have found entanglement so strange, if he’d thrown out a key pre-twentieth-century misconception.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (43 posts)

The End of Time
By KATE BECKER • Jun 28, 2011
Our universe may be housed inside a black hole. If so, we can map out how time—and physics—will end.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (94 posts)

Readers' Choice: The Crystallizing Universe
By KATE BECKER • Jun 2, 2011
Explaining how time flows as the present “crystallizes” from the past. The spacetime model could save the concept that the future is open and free will exists—solving the mystery of how photons can time travel along the way.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (94 posts)

Evolving Time's Arrow
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • May 9, 2011
Why do we perceive time marching in one direction? Combining physics, evolutionary biology and cognitive science could close the gap between the symmetrical notion of time in fundamental science and our everyday experience.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (127 posts)

Breaking the Universe's Speed Limit
By GRAEME STEMP-MORLOCK • Apr 21, 2011
If we give up the idea that time exists and the speed of light is constant at the fundamental level, then we could find a theory of quantum gravity.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (91 posts)

Real-Time Physics
By KATE BECKER • Apr 4, 2011
Many physicists argue that time is an illusion. Lee Smolin begs to differ.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (543 posts)

Readers' Choice: Out of the Darkness
By BOB SWARUP • Mar 15, 2011
Deciding the winner as dark matter, dark energy, and general relativity slug it out with rival theories.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (27 posts)

A Whole New Quantum Ball Game
By SOPHIE HEBDEN • Feb 25, 2011
Searching for the boundary between the quantum and classical worlds, with microscopic polystyrene balls.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (13 posts)

Q&A: Daniel Bedingham
By MIRIAM FRANKEL • Jan 28, 2011
FQXi's Most Courageous Postdoc prize winner talks about his unconventional career as a physicist and as an analyst with an investment bank, his research describing how the quantum realm collapses to the classical, and what winning means to him.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (12 posts)

Chaos, Consciousness, and the Cosmos
By MIRIAM FRANKEL • Jan 19, 2011
Investigating the origin of mind and matter in the multiverse.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (96 posts)

Classic Article: When Universes Collide
By KATE BECKER • Dec 30, 2010
Are we in danger of a fatal crash with another universe? Calculating the odds of cosmic collisions in the multiverse—and discovering that our universe has a far longer memory than thought, along the way.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (15 posts)

The Patchwork Multiverse
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Dec 2, 2010
Cutting spacetime into patches could help explain the size of the universe—and provide the first ”experimental” evidence that string theory is on the right track.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (29 posts)

Crawling at the Speed of Light
By BOB SWARUP • Nov 10, 2010
To reveal what happens in the quantum realm—and to aid the quest to build quantum computers—physicists are striving to halt light in its tracks.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (46 posts)

The Art of Math
By SOPHIE HEBDEN • Oct 20, 2010
A pictorial branch of mathematics could help physicists draw new conclusions about quantum gravity and the nature of time.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (44 posts)

Readers' Choice: The Many Lives of Hugh Everett III
By GRAEME STEMP-MORLOCK • Oct 5, 2010
Investigating the troubled genius behind parallel worlds.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (62 posts)

The Times They Are A-Changin'
By GRAEME STEMP-MORLOCK • Sep 7, 2010
Investigating whether time has more than one dimension.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (118 posts)

Readers' Choice: The Holographic Universe
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Aug 17, 2010
Take one universe. Turn it into a hologram. Find its quantum wavefunction. Understand the birth of our cosmos.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (58 posts)

The Quantum PlayStation
By GRAEME STEMP-MORLOCK • Jul 18, 2010
How the PS3 is helping physicists develop a theory of quantum gravity.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (74 posts)

The Destiny of the Universe
By JULIE REHMEYER • Jul 2, 2010
A radical reformulation of quantum mechanics suggests that the universe has a set destiny and its pre-existing fate reaches back in time to influence the past. It could explain the origin of life, dark energy and solve other cosmic conundrums.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (75 posts)

Time and the Multiverse
By MIRIAM FRANKEL • Jun 17, 2010
Could multiple universes explain our arrow of time? Does time run backwards in other universes?
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (270 posts)

The Black Hole Universe
By KATE BECKER • May 28, 2010
Is our universe housed in a black hole? Or did it exist before the Big Bang? If so, we could solve the mystery of dark energy—surprisingly, it could all be down to the humble neutrino.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (45 posts)

Classic Article: The Universe's Odyssey?
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • May 10, 2010
How our youthful universe may have wandered the string landscape in search of home—with help from its anti-universe counterpart.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (7 posts)

The Myth of Gravity
By SOPHIE HEBDEN • Apr 25, 2010
A new model in which gravity is not a fundamental force could—counterintuitively—give a controversial quantum gravity theory a boost. It may also change our picture of spacetime, and do away with dark energy.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (148 posts)

The Crystallizing Universe
By KATE BECKER • Apr 7, 2010
Explaining how time flows as the present “crystallizes” from the past. The spacetime model could save the concept that the future is open and free will exists—solving the mystery of how photons can time travel along the way.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (52 posts)

Out of the Darkness
By BOB SWARUP • Mar 27, 2010
Deciding the winner as dark matter, dark energy, and general relativity slug it out with rival theories.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (29 posts)

Testing Times for Nature's Constants
By SOPHIE HEBDEN • Mar 21, 2010
Atomic clocks, nuclear clocks, and space experiments are putting Nature’s fundamental laws to the test. Will they open the door to extra dimensions?
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (9 posts)

Ripping Apart Einstein
By BOB SWARUP • Mar 7, 2010
Cutting the threads of the spacetime fabric and reinstating the "aether" could lead to a theory of quantum gravity.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (638 posts)

Readers' Choice: Much Ado About Nothing
By BOB SWARUP • Feb 19, 2010
Does the vacuum regenerate itself to fill the gaps as spacetime is pulled apart? Could a growing vacuum explain dark energy?
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (177 posts)

Classic Article: Building a Better Black Hole
By SCOTT DODD • Jan 29, 2010
FQXi essay contest winner Louis Crane explains how artificial black holes might have controlled our universe’s past and could direct humanity’s future, in this classic article from 2007.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (20 posts)

Editor's Choice: Taming Infinity
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Jan 10, 2010
General relativity and quantum mechanics could be perfectly compatible—as long as you know how to handle infinity, that is.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (41 posts)

Readers' Choice: True Lies: Why Mathematics is an Illusion
By SCOTT DODD • Nov 30, 2009
To find a theory of quantum gravity we may have to look through a different logical lens, abandoning conceptions of "truth" and "falsehood" and crossing over to a new "mathematical universe."
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (159 posts)

Editor's Choice: The Evolution of Reality
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Nov 10, 2009
How natural selection could explain one of the biggest conundrums of quantum mechanics: The emergence of objective reality.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (30 posts)

Readers' Choice: Time at the Event Horizon
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Oct 29, 2009
Stick a clock next to a black hole to understand quantum gravity and the nature of time itself.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (169 posts)

Editor's Choice: Tying Up the Multiverse with String
By WILLIAM OREM • Oct 11, 2009
Why string theory and cosmology are a marriage made in heaven.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (90 posts)

Readers' Choice: Taking on the 10-D Universe with 8-D Math
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Sep 13, 2009
A bizarre set of of 8-dimensional numbers could explain how to handle string-theory's extra dimensions, why elementary particles come in families of three—and maybe even how spacetime emerges in 4-dimensions.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (71 posts)

Editor's Choice: The Non-Expanding Universe
By KATE BECKER • Aug 25, 2009
Time doesn’t exist. The universe isn’t really expanding. And if you want a theory of quantum gravity, you need to look back to the man who inspired Einstein.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (308 posts)

Readers' Choice: Journeying Through the Quantum Froth
By MARC KAUFMAN • Aug 8, 2009
Are cosmic rays probing the quantum nature of spacetime? The architect of "doubly special relativity" thinks so—and he's on the hunt for "theories of (not) everything" that could help explain how.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (35 posts)

Editor's Choice: The Black Hole and the Babel Fish
By KATE BECKER • Jul 21, 2009
Uniting string theory and condensed matter—with a black hole as a universal translator.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (4 posts)

Readers' Choice: End of the Quantum Road?
By BOB SWARUP • Jul 3, 2009
Have we already found the ultimate theory of nature, without realizing it?
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (10 posts)

Editor's Choice: The Rise of the Anti-Universe
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Jun 20, 2009
How our youthful universe explored the string-theory multiverse in search of home, with help from its anti-universe counterpart. This early odyssey may explain why our cosmos is so well-suited for life.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (2 posts)

Readers' Choice: The Quantum Arrow of Time
By SOPHIE HEBDEN • Jun 6, 2009
Can Schrödinger's cat explain the origin of time and why we won't ever be able to turn back the clock and age backwards?
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (19 posts)

The Holographic Universe
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • May 22, 2009
Take one universe. Turn it into a hologram. Find its quantum wavefunction. Understand the birth of our cosmos.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (13 posts)

Much Ado About Nothing
By BOB SWARUP • May 8, 2009
Does the vacuum regenerate itself to fill the gaps as spacetime is pulled apart? Could a growing vacuum explain dark energy?
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (7 posts)

Measuring Up the Multiverse
By KATE BECKER • Apr 24, 2009
How (un)usual is our universe in the multiverse? Could it have been dreamt up by a disembodied, hallucinating quantum brain?
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (5 posts)

The Many Lives of Hugh Everett III
By GRAEME STEMP-MORLOCK • Apr 10, 2009
Investigating the troubled genius behind parallel worlds.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (23 posts)

Editor's Choice: Quantum Upsizing
By GRAEME STEMP-MORLOCK • Mar 13, 2009
Pushing the quantum-classical limit by attempting to build the largest ever quantum object.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (11 posts)

Taming Infinity
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Feb 27, 2009
The fight to save both general relativity and quantum mechanics—by defeating infinity.
Download article PDF file (235 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (15 posts)

Readers' Choice: The Emperor's New Swindle
By JULIE REHMEYER • Feb 13, 2009
Quantum mechanics is the biggest con trick in physics—according to the collaboration striving to demystify it.
Download article PDF file (310 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (12 posts)

The Curious Case of the Quantum Arrow of Time
By SOPHIE HEBDEN • Jan 30, 2009
Can Schrödinger's cat explain the origin of time?
Download article PDF file (144 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (13 posts)

Through a Glass, Darkly
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Jan 16, 2009
Illuminating the murky 10-D world of string theory requires some mind-bending 8-D math.
Download article PDF file (170 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (104 posts)

Back to Mach
By KATE BECKER • Jan 2, 2009
Want a theory of quantum gravity? Then look to the man who inspired Einstein.
Download article PDF file (231 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (40 posts)

The End of the Quantum Road?
By BOB SWARUP • Dec 19, 2008
Have we already found the ultimate theory of nature, without realizing it?
Download article PDF file (139 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (11 posts)

The Universe's Odyssey?
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Dec 5, 2008
How our youthful universe may have wandered the string landscape in search of home—with help from its anti-universe counterpart.
Download article PDF file (307 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

Hunting for Theories of (Not) Everything
By MARC KAUFMAN • Nov 21, 2008
The architect of "doubly special relativity" wants to probe the quantum nature of spacetime—one step at a time.
Download article PDF file (141 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (8 posts)

Quantum Darwinism
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Nov 7, 2008
How does objective reality emerge from quantum fuzziness? It's a case of the survival of the fittest.
Download article PDF file (213 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (11 posts)

Sequence Space: The Final Frontier
By GRAEME STEMP-MORLOCK • Oct 24, 2008
To find out why Earth's biochemistry is so well-suited for life, we need to boldly go where even nature has not gone before.
Read article
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (9 posts)

The Black Hole and the Babel Fish
By KATE BECKER • Oct 10, 2008
To bring string theory into the lab, you need a “universal translator” to bridge the gap with materials science. Black holes could do the job.
Download article PDF file (1324 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

A Stitch in Quantum Time
By ANIL ANANTHASWAMY • Sep 26, 2008
How do you measure time near a black hole? Pulling apart the threads of spacetime’s fabric could provide an answer—and help unite general relativity and quantum mechanics, in the process.
Download article PDF file (1141 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (4 posts)

Logic Through a Lens
By SCOTT DODD • Sep 12, 2008
To find a theory of quantum gravity, we may have to view reality through a new filter—sacrificing conventional notions of truth and logic along the way.
Download article PDF file (1475 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (2 posts)

The Emperor's New Swindle
By JULIE REHMEYER • Aug 29, 2008
Quantum mechanics is the biggest con trick in physics—according to the collaboration striving to demystify it.
Download article PDF file (1404 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (5 posts)

Quantum Upsizing
By GRAEME STEMP-MORLOCK • Aug 15, 2008
Pushing the quantum-classical limit, an intercontinental collaboration attempts to build the largest ever quantum object.
Download article PDF file (171 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

When Worlds Collide
By KATE BECKER • Aug 1, 2008
Will we be destroyed in a collision with a neighboring universe? While investigating, one collaboration made a startling discovery.
Download article PDF file (219 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

A Perfect Match
By WILLIAM OREM • Jul 18, 2008
How do you tie down the physics of the multiverse? With string. One collaboration investigates the partnership of string theory and cosmology.
Download article PDF file (272 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (6 posts)

Two for the Road
By MARC KAUFMAN • Jul 4, 2008
Two hardy souls work their way through the mathematical thicket of a new model of quantum gravity.
Download article PDF file (1778 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (5 posts)

Predicting The End
By GOVERT SCHILLING • Jun 13, 2008
How does the universe end? One collaboration works to find out. The answer may be in the stars.
Download article PDF file (1077 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (8 posts)

A Blackboard at Brunch
By KATE BECKER • May 30, 2008
In the quest for quantum gravity, one collaboration uses findings from condensed matter physics to take a fresh look at the geometry of space. Is there any?
Download article PDF file (1729 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

Editor's Choice: The Cosmic Puzzle
By KATE BECKER • May 22, 2008
What is Dark Energy? Are we in a true vacuum or a false vacuum? Are early inflation and late inflation related?
Download article PDF file (161 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (17 posts)

Readers' Choice: High Fidelity
By THE FQXI EDITORS • May 16, 2008
Is nature fundamentally analog or digital (continuous or discrete)?
Download article PDF file (174 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (10 posts)

Editor's Choice: Wigner’s Gift Horse
By JULIE REHMEYER • May 9, 2008
Is nature completely mathematical?
Download article PDF file (161 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (11 posts)

Reader's Choice: Philosophy of the Multiverse
By GOVERT SCHILLING • May 2, 2008
On what side of the borderline between science and philosophy are multiverses?
Download article PDF file (226 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (7 posts)

Editor's Choice: Down the Rabbit Hole
By KATE BECKER • Apr 24, 2008
Do any of our capabilities and experiences inform us that we are not in a computer simulation?
Download article PDF file (125 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (19 posts)

Reader's Choice: Shining A Light on a Dream
By MARC KAUFMAN • Apr 18, 2008
What is quantum physics fundamentally about?
Download article PDF file (147 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (5 posts)

Baby Steps
By MIKE PERRICONE • Apr 11, 2008
Why did our universe begin in a low entropy state?
Download article PDF file (168 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (3 posts)

High Fidelity
By THE FQXI EDITORS • Apr 4, 2008
Is nature fundamentally analog or digital (continuous or discrete)?
Download article PDF file (174 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (10 posts)

Cosmic Doomsdays: How Will It All End?
An Guide to Freaky – but Improbable – Cosmic Doomsdays
By KATE BECKER • Mar 28, 2008
AN FQXI APRIL FOOL’S DAY SPECIAL REPORT
Download article PDF file (2982 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (0 posts)

Squishy Bedrock
By JULIE REHMEYER • Mar 21, 2008
Can we apply quantum mechanics to the whole universe?
Download article PDF file (130 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (4 posts)

The Next Ultimate Theory
By MARC KAUFMAN • Mar 14, 2008
What will the ultimate theory (or at least the next one) be like?
Download article PDF file (140 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (17 posts)

Despairing Still?
By MIKE PERRICONE • Mar 7, 2008
Are there reasons to believe that standard quantum mechanics is insufficient?
Download article PDF file (165 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (2 posts)

DoubleThink
By KATE BECKER • Feb 29, 2008
How much information is really there in a quantum state?
Download article PDF file (120 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (3 posts)

Phantasms of Infinity
By JULIE REHMEYER • Feb 22, 2008
Can one define probabilities in an eternally inflating spacetime?
Download article PDF file (175 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (5 posts)

Down the Rabbit Hole
By KATE BECKER • Feb 15, 2008
Do any of our capabilities and experiences inform us that we are not in a computer simulation?
Download article PDF file (432 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (19 posts)

Shining A Light on a Dream
By MARC KAUFMAN • Feb 8, 2008
What is quantum physics fundamentally about?
Download article PDF file (147 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (5 posts)

Wigner’s Gift Horse
By JULIE REHMEYER • Feb 1, 2008
Is nature completely mathematical?
Download article PDF file (1711 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (11 posts)

Philosophy of the Multiverse
By GOVERT SCHILLING • Jan 25, 2008
On what side of the borderline between science and philosophy are multiverses?
Download article PDF file (226 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (7 posts)

Searching For The Golden Spike
By KATE BECKER • Jan 18, 2008
Is there any hope of experimentally testing quantum gravity?
Download article PDF file (914 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (9 posts)

As Constant As Polaris
By GOVERT SCHILLING • Jan 11, 2008
Should we expect the “constants of nature” to be constant?
Download article PDF file (536 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (2 posts)

The Cosmic Puzzle
By KATE BECKER • Jan 4, 2008
What is Dark Energy? Are we in a true vacuum or a false vacuum? Are early inflation and late inflation related?
Download article PDF file (161 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (17 posts)

Reader's Choice: Surfing the Folds of Spacetime
By SCOTT DODD • Dec 28, 2007
Freelance physicist A. Garrett Lisi may have figured out the most important shape in the universe – other than a surfboard.
Download article PDF file (157 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

Editor's Choice: Topos Or Not Topos
By GOVERT SCHILLING • Dec 21, 2007
According to Christopher Isham, rephrasing quantum physics in terms of topos theory may lead to quantum gravity. What was the question again?
Download article PDF file (120 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

Readers' Choice: What Makes Time Tick?
By SCOTT DODD • Dec 14, 2007
Who put the one-way sign on time? Superstring theorist Brian Greene tries to figure out how the universe’s rush from order to chaos gives direction to the fourth dimension.
Download article PDF file (527 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

Editor's Choice: Through the Looking Glass
By KATE BECKER • Dec 7, 2007
Markus Aspelmeyer hopes his microscopic mirrors and entangled photons will reveal secrets at the interface of classical and quantum mechanics.
Download article PDF file (274 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (4 posts)

Emergent Theorist
By MIKE PERRICONE • Nov 30, 2007
When it comes to uniting General Relativity with quantum mechanics, Fotini Markopoulou is looking for space in new quantum places.
Download article PDF file (168 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (0 posts)

Punting in Plato’s Cave
By MIKE PERRICONE • Nov 19, 2007
When it comes to really understanding what’s going on at the microscopic level, Robert Spekkens looks at the quantum world from a realistic view.
Download article PDF file (1478 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

It’s All Relative
By KATE BECKER • Nov 9, 2007
In the search for quantum gravity, Olaf Dreyer is doing something completely different. Measurement problem, meet internal relativity and space-stuff-time.
Download article PDF file (195 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (3 posts)

In the Key of Symmetry
By MIKE PERRICONE • Nov 2, 2007
When it comes to the smallest scales, perhaps things aren’t as smooth as they seem. John Donoghue seeks a new tune in the key of symmetry.
Download article PDF file (223 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

Surfing the Folds of Spacetime
By SCOTT DODD • Oct 26, 2007
Freelance physicist A. Garrett Lisi may have figured out the most important shape in the universe – other than a surfboard.
Download article PDF file (313 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

A Deeper Understanding
By MARC KAUFMAN • Oct 19, 2007
For Roderich Tumulka, the old physicists’ nostrum to ‘shut up and calculate!’ is not good enough. Instead, he wants to understand the reality behind quantum mechanics.
Download article PDF file (315 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

Building a Better Black Hole
By SCOTT DODD • Oct 12, 2007
Listening to Louis Crane might convince you that little black holes could someday power starships, or that the laws of our universe were fine-tuned by intelligent beings long ago. Just leave the math to him.
Download article PDF file (235 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

Talking Heads
By KATE BECKER • Oct 5, 2007
What do baseball, penny-flipping tricksters and talking mythological serpents have in common? According to Matthew Leifer, quantum gravity. Or not.
Download article PDF file (274 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (5 posts)

Topos or Not Topos
By GOVERT SCHILLING • Sep 28, 2007
According to Christopher Isham, rephrasing quantum physics in terms of topos theory may lead to quantum gravity. What was the question again?
Download article PDF file (216 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (2 posts)

Magic Numbers
By KATE BECKER • Sep 21, 2007
What if the physical constants weren’t? Ekkehard Peik’s ytterbium atomic clock ticks toward a revolution.
Download article PDF file (5323 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (2 posts)

Straightening Out Mind-Bending Measurements
By MIKE PERRICONE • Sep 14, 2007
Measuring time and space on the atomic scale requires quantum rulers and clocks. Gambini and Pullin are up to the challenge.
Download article PDF file (243 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (0 posts)

Teaching an Old Wave New Tricks
By MIKE MARTIN • Sep 7, 2007
Almost a century ago, Louis de Broglie invented pilot waves – which were soon forgotten. Forty years ago, physicist John Bell resurrected the concept. Today, Antony Valentini’s version may revolutionize quantum mechanics.
Download article PDF file (216 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (0 posts)

Serious Science. Serious Fun.
By SCOTT DODD • Aug 31, 2007
Hot baths, cold excursions, and stimulating discussions at the Inaugural Conference of FQXi in Iceland.
Download article PDF file (523 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (0 posts)

Possible Pasts in a Universe of Universes
By JEFF KANIPE • Aug 24, 2007
Is our universe one in an infinite number of pocket universes? Richard Easther plans to apply a new approach to find out.
Download article PDF file (189 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (2 posts)

The Cat With Two Tails
By WILLIAM OREM • Aug 16, 2007
In the strange world of quantum mechanics, the same tiny object can be in two places at once. Keith Schwab is building a not-so-tiny machine that can do that, too
Download article PDF file (296 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (2 posts)

Eva Silverstein: The quest to simplify
By MIKE PERRICONE • Aug 10, 2007
String theory predicts there are more than the familiar four dimensions of space-time. But where do those extra dimensions come from? Eva Silverstein is looking.
Download article PDF file (321 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (5 posts)

Making Waves with Gravity
By JEFF KANIPE • Aug 2, 2007
Xiao-Gang Wen thinks it’s time physicists look outside of Schrödinger’s Box for ways to unify gravity and quantum mechanics.
Download article PDF file (538 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (6 posts)

Kwiat’s Kwest: Settling – Once and For All – Einstein’s Final Frontier
By MIKE MARTIN • Jul 27, 2007
Paul Kwiat thinks it’s time to close the loopholes and test Einstein’s greatest speculation – the EPR paradox – a difficult task that has never been done successfully before.
Download article PDF file (498 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (7 posts)

A Dark and Lonely Future
By SCOTT DODD • Jul 20, 2007
Fred Adams can't tell you the score of tomorrow's ballgame, but he can predict where the universe is headed. And it's not an appealing future. Luckily, we've got some time.
Download article PDF file (296 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (2 posts)

Physicists Reaching Out
By TRUDY BELL • Jul 13, 2007
Today’s physical theories are difficult to understand, even to specialists. Farzad Nekoogar’s Multiversal Journeys takes a stab at explaining them to laypeople.
Download article PDF file (234 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (0 posts)

Islands in the Sea
By WILLIAM OREM • Jul 6, 2007
The universe around us may be only one of very, very many. If so, how can we test the existence of other universes?
Download article PDF file (577 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (5 posts)

Deconstructing Everett's Crazy Idea
By STEVE NADIS • Jun 29, 2007
Fifty years ago, Hugh Everett had an idea so crazy it doomed his physics career. Today, Simon Saunders wonders if maybe Everett's idea is crazy enough to be true.
Download article PDF file (194 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (5 posts)

Not So Local
By TOM SIEGFRIED • Jun 22, 2007
A principle of physics is that what happens here, stays here: “local” events do not influence events far away. Steven Giddings is not so sure.
Download article PDF file (185 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (10 posts)

To Solve a Cosmic Mystery, FQXi Awardees Think Outside the Box
By MIKE MARTIN • Jun 15, 2007
Justin Khoury and Maulik Parikh dust off an old idea from Ernest Mach – the speed-of-sound guy – to update Einstein’s relativistic view of space and time.
Download article PDF file (183 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (0 posts)

In Search of Uncertainty
By SCOTT DODD • Jun 8, 2007
Is finding a Theory of Everything an impossible task? For cosmologist Janna Levin, the idea that we might never have all the answers isn't all that depressing.
Download article PDF file (122 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (4 posts)

Chasing Constant Change
By GOVERT SCHILLING • Jun 1, 2007
Scientists used to think the fine-structure constant, called alpha, was, well, constant. Dmitry Budker races to prove alpha in fact varies � a discovery that would change physics as we know it.
Download article PDF file (155 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (4 posts)

Eavesdropping On ET
By STEVE NADIS • May 25, 2007
Is intelligent life out there? Avi Loeb looks for leaked transmissions from inhabited planets - not intentional beacons - which broadcast the cosmic announcement: "We are here."
Download article PDF file (128 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

Mini-Grants, Major Benefits
By JEFF KANIPE • May 18, 2007
Sometimes scientists need just a little bit of money for a small project. But cumbersome conventional grant-review processes can�t always help. Enter the mini-grant lottery.
Download article PDF file (175 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (0 posts)

Through the Looking Glass
By KATE BECKER • May 11, 2007
Markus Aspelmeyer hopes his microscopic mirrors and entangled photons will reveal secrets at the interface of classical and quantum mechanics.
Download article PDF file (382 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

Charting the River of Time
By WILLIAM OREM • May 7, 2007
General relativity suggests backward time travel is possible, given the right conditions. Now Ken Olum wants to know whether those conditions are possible.
Download article PDF file (203 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (4 posts)

In Search Of Other Earths
By JEFF KANIPE • May 7, 2007
Is there life beyond earth? To find out, Sara Seager uses computer models to map possible biosignatures in the atmospheres of planets lurking close to stars.
Download article PDF file (327 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (1 post)

What Makes Time Tick?
By SCOTT DODD • May 7, 2007
Who put the one-way sign on time? Superstring theorist Brian Greene tries to figure out how the universe's rush from order to chaos gives direction to the fourth dimension.
Download article PDF file (539 kb)
Discuss this article in the FQXi Community Forum (14 posts)


Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.