• Mathematical ‘Hocus-Pocus’ Saved Particle Physics

    In the 1940s, trailblazing physicists stumbled upon the next layer of reality. Particles were out, and fields—expansive, undulating entities that fill space like an ocean—were in. One ripple in a field would be an electron, another a photon, and interactions between them seemed to explain all electromagnetic events.

    Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent publication of the Simons Foundation whose mission is to enhance public understanding of science by covering research develop­ments and trends in mathe­matics and the physical and life sciences.

    There was just one problem: The theory was glued together with hopes and prayers. Only by using a technique dubbed “renormalization,” which involved carefully concealing infinite quantities, could researchers sidestep bogus predictions. The process worked, but even those developing the theory suspected it might be a house of cards resting on a tortured mathematical trick.

    “It is what I would call a

  • Facebook estimates it has helped more people register to vote in 2020 than it did in 2016

    Facebook estimates it has helped 2.5 million people register to vote this year across Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, the company said. With more than a month until the 2020 election, that’s already higher than the two million people it helped register in both 2016 and 2018. The company has set a goal to help four million people register to vote this year, though, so it still has a ways to go.

    As part of its efforts to reach that goal, the company launched a “voting information center” that has resources about voting on Facebook and Instagram in August. And this weekend, the company started showing users information about how to register to vote at the top of Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Facebook says it will continue showing these notifications through September 25th.

    Image: Facebook

    The company ran a similar initiative in July. Facebook also kicked off a poll

  • Self-taught tailor sews over 100 dresses for his daughter, and it’s the sweetest thing ever

    Parents do all kinds of things for their kids.

    But how many of us can say that our dads made dresses meant for us, and us alone?

    Xu Ruiqin has tailored roughly 100 dresses for his daughter “Xixi”.

    Xu with the family cat. IMAGE: Weibo

    Xu, who resides in Jiangxi, has been designing dresses, preparing materials, and sewing every part to produce a garment, since his daughter was 4 years old.

    The things he has made?

    Japanese lolita dresses, traditional Chinese hanfu, and even a bridal gown.

    IMAGE: Weibo
    IMAGE: Weibo
    IMAGE: Weibo
    IMAGE: Weibo
    IMAGE: Weibo
    IMAGE: Weibo

    According to Xu, he had taught himself how to sew using a sewing machine he received from his mother.

    His reason? It was all for his daughter.

    “I wanted my daughter to remember the places we had been to and the things we did together, and give her some wonderful