Editors Pick


Problematics | When robots bowl spin

Published on Nov 27, 2023 03:39 PM IST

In a future world, where AI controls everything including cricket, some Einsteinian puzzling about which iconic robot specialises in what kind of spin

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)

Weird Science | What puppy dog eyes and cat’s (trembling) whiskers really mean

Researchers have identified 276 facial expressions in cats. To convey the same kind of emotion, a cat may present one expression to a human and another to a cat

When a dog makes the familiar “puppy dog eyes”, raising its eyebrows and presenting a mournful face, it is understood to be signalling that it wants the human’s attention(Pexels)
Published on Nov 23, 2023 07:27 PM IST

Problematics | Addition without adding

Here’s a party trick in which you can tell the sum of five numbers, chosen by two different persons, without actually adding them. What is the secret?

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Published on Nov 20, 2023 11:31 AM IST

Problematics | A gambler’s unlucky number

Games of chance can be an endless source of puzzles. Here is a relatively simple one about a gambler for whom the number 37 appears to carry a jinx

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Updated on Nov 16, 2023 06:30 PM IST

Problematics | A spider’s tale, with a nod to Pythagoras

Help a spider cross the street without spinning a web. She has two poles to navigate, with some elementary calculations.

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Published on Nov 06, 2023 05:48 PM IST

Weird Science | A hop for a lander, a leap for ISRO, a giant stride in knowledge

Moon samples brought back by American and Soviet missions taught us about the solar system. Now India wants to contribute

Astronaut Harrison H Schmitt collects lunar samples during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972(NASA)
Updated on Oct 31, 2023 02:08 PM IST

Problematics | Think of a number, add several more

Take any two numbers and keep adding them until you have 10 numbers. What is the quick way to determine the sum of all 10 numbers?

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Published on Oct 30, 2023 01:48 PM IST

Problematics | Wordle deduction with Scrabble tiles

Try this game of deduction in which three persons know a letter each. What is the word that can be formed with these three letters?

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Published on Oct 23, 2023 02:02 PM IST

Weird Science | Why claims of room-temperature superconductors are controversial

The hunt for a superconductive material at room temperature remains alluring and has given rise to many claims which have, however, been subsequently disproved

A magnet floats above a superconductor cooled with liquid nitrogen.(University of Rochester)
Updated on Oct 17, 2023 05:09 PM IST

Problematics | Five-way tie in race to World Cup semifinals

A reminder that 7 wins in 9 matches may not be enough to ensure a berth in the top four. Given this points table, can you work out which team won which game?

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Published on Oct 16, 2023 04:13 PM IST

Problematics | Shades of cricket and the law of averages

Can you figure out the game of Inglorious Uncertaintus and create a smart World Cup table? Try this week’s cricket puzzles

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Updated on Oct 09, 2023 03:01 PM IST

Problematics | Carbon copies in the age of typewriters

The mystery of the typewriter is gone with the rise of smartphones and computers. However, carbon paper still has some use, such as in college projects.

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Updated on Oct 02, 2023 05:21 PM IST

Prized Science | Understanding autoimmune disorders; computer’s solution-finding

Read about Dipyaman Ganguly’s study on autoimmune disorders, and Neeraj Kayal’s work on transforming a philosophical problem into a mathematical one

Dipyaman Ganguly, principal scientist at CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology
Updated on Sep 30, 2023 09:40 AM IST

Prized Science | Every drop counts, and making quality medicine

Read about Vimal Mishra’s attempt to quantify changes in water resources, and Akkattu T Biju’s work to improve the quality of pharmaceutical molecules

Vimal Mishra, Vikram Sarabhai Professor of civil engineering at IIT Gandhinagar
Published on Sep 29, 2023 10:12 AM IST

Prized Science | Exploring the leagues under the sea; Seeking the right equation

Read about Rajnish Kumar's study on extracting methane from hydrates and Apoorva Khare’s efforts to connect branches of mathematics, like algebra and analysis

Rajnish Kumar, professor of chemical engineering at IIT Madras
Published on Sep 28, 2023 09:23 AM IST

Prized Science | Holy Grail of bacteria; Unmasking the mysterious dark matter

Read about Ashwani Kumar's research on biofilms in TB drug resistance, and Basudeb Dasgupta's research in the interface of astrophysics and particle physics

Ashwani Kumar, senior principal scientist at CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh
Updated on Sep 27, 2023 11:20 AM IST

Prized Science | On faster access to molecules, and quake-resistant buildings

Read about Debabrata Mati's methods leading to valuable molecules and Dipti Ranjan Sahoo's devices and designs to protect buildings hit by earthquakes

Debabrata Maiti, Professor of Chemistry at IIT Mumbai
Published on Sep 26, 2023 09:41 AM IST

Problematics | Random walks with a point in common

A puzzle seemingly impossible to solve, but in fact deceptively simple. Can you solve it without using mathematics?

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Published on Sep 25, 2023 05:07 PM IST

Prized Science | Decoding protein ‘interactions’, a hunt for elusive particles

Read about Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar awardees: Maddika Subba Reddy’s research on how proteins behave in cells and Anindya Das’ search for subatomic particles

Dr Maddika Subba Reddy, a cell biologist with the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad
Published on Sep 25, 2023 04:52 PM IST

Problematics | The rate of sending and cancelling an invitation

Are there enough equations to determine the variables? You may need to think out of the box to solve this puzzle, partly inspired by a 150-year-old classic.

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Published on Sep 18, 2023 02:32 PM IST

Weird Science | The science of lightning

While the exact mechanism of how lightning is created is still a subject of research, one thing's for certain. It can get deadly

Lightning kills an estimated 2500 people in India every year.(Representative Photo)(HT_PRINT)
Updated on Sep 13, 2023 09:20 PM IST

Problematics | Board games with 3 dice and chess pieces

Here's party trick first described in 1612, played with dice. Based on how the spots ate configured on standard dice, can you figure out why the trick works?

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Updated on Sep 11, 2023 12:45 PM IST

Going nuclear about Fukushima's waste

When it comes to radioactive material, can we ever be safe? Science gives a cautious nod, but Japan's detractors don't want a discharge into the Pacific ocean

Demonstrators hold signs reading
Published on Sep 08, 2023 06:55 PM IST

Problematics | 400m contests away from the champions

Given the times when two runners meet and cross each other along a track, can you work out their respective speeds?

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Published on Sep 04, 2023 01:10 PM IST

Delhi University Opens Upgrade Window for DU UG Sports Supernumerary Quota Round 2

University of Delhi opens the window for upgrades on September 2-3. Results of DU UG sports supernumerary quota round 2 on September 4.

Delhi University Opens Upgrade Window for DU UG Sports Supernumerary Quota Round 2
Published on Sep 02, 2023 06:58 PM IST

Problematics | Birthday celebrations with kings and queens

Which Kings and Queens face left, which face right? Which Jacks are seen in profile? One year since Problematics began, puzzles on the court cards and Wordle

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Updated on Aug 28, 2023 12:15 PM IST

Weird Science | How the Moon has fascinated humanity

Vikram's landing on the Moon's south pole is just one of many firsts, as mysteries about the Moon's formation remain

Ancient humans used the Moon as a calendar system, secure in the knowledge that it follows a regular orbit around our planet(Pixabay)
Updated on Aug 24, 2023 10:07 AM IST

Problematics | When MI fans met Barbenheimer

Who is watching Barbie, Oppenheimer or MI-7? Who's the Nolan fan and who likes Tom Cruise?

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Updated on Aug 21, 2023 01:06 PM IST

Problematics | The weight of medals in a sporting event

Six identical medals are distinguishable by their colours, but three are heavier than the others. Can you determine which one is which with just two weighings?

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Published on Aug 14, 2023 12:50 PM IST

Problematics | Meet Gabbar Singh, probability theorist

How likely are Gabbar Singh's men to survive his partly loaded revolver? A mathematical perspective

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Published on Aug 07, 2023 12:42 PM IST
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