Articles

You might think that if you collected together a list of naturally-occurring numbers, then as many of them would start with a 1 as with any other digit, but you'd be quite wrong. Jon Walthoe explains why Benford's Law says otherwise, and why tax inspectors are taking an interest.

You may have seen Foucault's pendulum. There's one in the Science Museum in London (part of the National Museum of Science and Industry), and there are many more in various locations around the UK (for instance, in Glasgow) and the world (including one at the United Nations Headquarters and a famous example at Le Panthéon in Paris).

We take reliable radio communications for granted, but accommodating many different users is not easy. Robert Leese explains how the mathematics of colouring graphs can help avoid interference on your mobile phone.

In the 1950's, Ernst Straus asked a seemingly simple problem. Imagine a dark room with lots of turns and side-passages, where all the walls are covered in mirrors - just like the Hall of Mirrors in an old-fashioned fun-fair. Is it true that if someone lights a match somewhere in the room, then wherever you stand in the rest of the room (even down a side-passage) you can see a reflection of the match?

On 11th August 1999 a total eclipse of the Sun will be visible from parts of the UK. It will provide a spectacular display, but why is the Sun so interesting? Helen Mason explains.
At the Hewlett Packard campus in Bristol, a group of keen researchers are bringing together the worlds of advanced mathematics and fine art. Kona Macphee investigates.