Get your head around the 13 boldest ideas in science

Science is full of mind-blowing and counterintuitive concepts. To make any progress at all, scientists must get their heads around infinity, space, deep time, relativity and more.

In the articles below the people who perform these conceptual feats on a daily basis describe how they do it and provide some tips on how you too can think like a pro.

Image: Mario Wagner

HIGHER DIMENSIONS

SPACE-TIME

QUANTUM REALITY

COMPUTING

INFINITY

DEEP TIME

BIG BANG

PROBABILITY

MATHEMATICS

FIELDS

RELATIVITY

EVOLUTION

ALIEN CONTACT

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LAWS OF PHYSICS

Us vs the universe

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No one said understanding the cosmos was easy. Using our smarts, we can bend some laws or even use one law to sneak around another. Take that, universe!

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BRAIN & MIND

7 ways to fine-tune your brain

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The brain is the most complex information processing system we know. The problem is, there's no user's manual. So we asked some of the best neuroscientists to explain how to use it to the max

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PHYSICS & MATHEMATICS

Hokusai's Great Wave (left) is a surprising match for a rogue wave (right)

Megawave recreated in the lab looks just like Hokusai’s Great Wave

Researchers have recreated the first recorded rogue wave, a monstrous ...
A fish in a dark background

Astronauts could use fish and human waste to grow food on long trips

On long space missions, fish could help create a closed loop system wh...
There is an infinite amount of prime numbers, but here are 16 of them

Mathematician’s record-beating formula can generate 50 prime numbers

Figuring out the pattern of the primes is one of the long-standing mys...
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How hagfish can make enough slime to clog a shark’s jaws in seconds

Hagfish use slime to clog up sharks’ jaws in milliseconds, and it’...
X-rays just got a little bit spookier

A ghostly trick produces X-ray images with a lower dose of radiation

Producing X-rays using a technique called ghost imaging, in which only...
IBM's Q System One looks the part

IBM unveils its first commercial quantum computer

IBM's sleek-looking Q System One is its first commercial quantum compu...
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Broken Symmetries review: the art of seeing science afresh

On the 10th of our 12 Days of Culture, artists from CERN’s Collide I...
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Watch: Very Large Telescope uses giant lasers in hunt for black holes

On a mountaintop in Chile sits the world’s most powerful optical tel...
Photons could soon be zooming all over quantum networks

Quantum network joins four people together for encrypted messaging

A multi-user quantum network shows that secure quantum links between s...
Even "big" objects can be quantum

Vibrating crystal made of 10 billion atoms smashes quantum record

Testing increasingly large objects proves that quantum mechanics works...