Hardness magnification reduces major complexity separations to proving lower bounds for some natural problem Q against weak circuit models. Several recent works have established results of this form. In the most intriguing cases, the required lower bound is known for problems that appear to be significantly easier than Q, while Q itself is susceptible to lower bounds but these are not yet sufficient for magnification. In this work, we provide more examples of this phenomenon, and investigate the prospects of proving new lower bounds using this approach. In particular, we consider the following essential questions associated with the hardness magnification program:

- Does hardness magnification avoid the natural proofs barrier of Razborov and Rudich?

- Can we adapt known lower bound techniques to establish the desired lower bound for Q?

We establish that some instantiations of hardness magnification overcome the natural proofs barrier in the following... more

- Does hardness magnification avoid the natural proofs barrier of Razborov and Rudich?

- Can we adapt known lower bound techniques to establish the desired lower bound for Q?

We establish that some instantiations of hardness magnification overcome the natural proofs barrier in the following... more