Plus Blog

September 21, 2012
bungee jumping

Good news! The first episode of a new maths podcast, Relatively Prime, came out this week and it's a good 'un. Host Samuel Hansen has taken the plunge by interviewing our favourite statistician, David Spiegelhalter, and a host of others to explore some fascinating mathematical tools: game theory, risk and relief geometry.

There'll be a new episode every monday for the next seven weeks, so stay tuned to the website, or subscribe using RSS or iTunes.

September 10, 2012

Combat the Monday blues with Michael Wilson's brilliant new Dark Matter Rap:


So while we wait on new results in the hunt for dark matter, you can recap on what we know so far in our interview with Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal: What is dark matter?

And if you want more of Wilson, you can see more of work on his YouTube channel, The Coma Niddy Show, including the particularly entertaining String Theory Song!

September 7, 2012
Wheelchair rugby

Wheelchair rugby. Image from Wikipedia.

Wheelchair rugby is gearing up to the medal events on Sunday. If you placed a player of this impressive game next to a physics professor you probably wouldn't have much trouble spotting who's who. Yet, there's an intriguing connection between rugby and one of the more puzzling areas of physics. Find out more in Rugby and relativity.


September 6, 2012
Riverbank Arena

London's Riverbank Arena is hosting Paralympic football. Image: London 2012.

London's Riverbank Arena will see action today with semi-finals kicking off in Paralympic football. Generally, football fans can be a rowdy a lot and that's something you've got to think about when building a football venue. Imagine the 80,000 people that fit into a stadium like Wembley jumping up and down in unison to We will rock you. Any structure, no matter how solid, has its own natural frequency at which it likes to vibrate, and if that happens to be in tune with the people's, you can end up with a dangerous sway and ultimate disaster. And that's just one of the things you need to take into account when building a stadium. Find out more in our interview with the engineer Paul Shepherd, who's been involved in building the Arsenal football stadium, in our podcast Stadium maths (the interview with Shepherd starts at 8 minutes 10 seconds).

September 5, 2012
Jamie Clarke

Jamie Clarke at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino.

One thing that's characterised the London 2012 Games is its great atmosphere — and that's largely down to the tens of thousands of volunteers who've donated their time, effort and enthusiasm to the Games. For most of them this will probably be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But it's also possible to be part of big sporting events like this one and earn money at the same time. Jamie Clarke is one of the lucky people who has managed to do this and it's maths that has led him there. To find out how to live the sporting dream as a mathlete rather than an athlete, read our career interview with Jamie.

September 4, 2012
Baton

Relay races are exciting to watch, but for coaches and athletes they pose a particular conundrum: in what order should the athletes be deployed? Should the fastest come first, last, or somewhere in the middle? To a large extent this will depend on your strongest opponent's strategy, which in turn depends on yours. So we're into second-guessing, third-guessing, etc. Perhaps a little randomness might help? Find out more in A question of tactics.

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