This Captivating Sci-Fi Short Film Was Randomly Generated By a Computer

We wouldn’t blame you for thinking that Julius Horsthuis spent weeks designing and animating his sci-fi short, Fraktaal, using 3D software. But as the artist reveals, “It so happens that I’m a lazy animator.” So he instead relied on complex mathematical fractal patterns to automatically generate the alien worlds and…

Why Computers Are Having Such a Hard Time With This Deceptively Simple Chess Puzzle

A popular chess problem known as the Queen’s Puzzle has captivated mathematicians and computer scientists for years, yet no one has been able to write a computer program that can solve the conundrum quickly and efficiently. Researchers from the UK now claim that computers will never be up to the task—and they’re…

The Never-Ending Descent Into This Infinite Fractal City Will Melt Your Brain

In Julius Horsthuis’ short film Recurrence, he takes the audience on a slow descent into a sprawling metropolis he’s created. But as you get closer and closer to the city, and try to make out details like houses and skyscrapers, you start to realize that those tiny details only reveal more of the same, and that your…

Pushing Particles Forwards Might Make Them Go Backwards Because Quantum Physics Is Bonkers

You are very lucky that you ended up about the size that you are today, somewhere between one and ten feet tall and weighing somewhere between one and one thousand pounds. This is a very good size. Not to body shame, but if you were, say, a quadrillion times shorter and weighed a nonillion times less (that’s one…

Scientists Reignite Thirty-Year-Old Debate About Glass With New Calculation

Mathematics is far more fraught with debate and disagreement than you might imagine. Arguments about things some of the smartest physicists have trouble understanding rage for years. Recently, a pair of mathematicians ignited some old flames—or rather, shattered some glass—with a new set of results that, if correct,…