Information Freezes

The Enduring Mystery Of How Water Freezes

Elise Cutts | Quanta | 17th June 2024

Ice requires more than subzero temperatures. It needs a nucleus around which water molecules can arrange themselves into a crystal structure. This unpredictable process often involves microbial activity — the reason distilled water almost never crystallises. Bacteria and fungi are great ice nucleators. The bacterium Pseudomonas syringae is so effective that it is used for artificial snowmaking (1,700 words)

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The Shape Of Information

Adam Kucharski | Understanding The Unseen | 17th June 2024

Concise, elegant explanation of how to extract insights from data with limited resources. “Imagine you have been gifted 100 wine bottles. You discover that one of the bottles has been poisoned, and have no idea which one. You have a test that can detect poison, with only 7 tests available. What should you do?” The solution proffered is akin to how epidemiology tests for infectious diseases in large groups (800 words)

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