It's the weekend, the snow is gently falling outside, and inside the fire is blazing ... what better way to spend the time than puzzling over our special Plus sudokus? They're not what you're used to...
The best thing about Christmas are the presents! And if it hadn't been for that blazing star guiding the three magi to baby Jesus, laden with gold, frankincense and myrrh, then we might not have that present giving tradition at all.
When you saw us outside building snow-mathematicians and throwing snowballs we weren't just larking about, honestly! We were actually conducting in-depth research into symmetry and trajectories — and here our results are behind door number 2...
Everyone knows what symmetry is, and the ability to spot it seems to be hard-wired into our brains. Mario Livio explains how the symmetry we admire in a snow flake might also explain the workings of the Universe.
Through the looking-glass
When Alice stepped through the looking glass in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, she would have found that more than just the writing was back to front. The very molecules that made up her body would have been the wrong way around in the looking-glass world, and their
interaction with the looking-glass molecules would have led to a very confusing — and possibly dangerous — adventure!
Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
How seasonal! The first day of our Plus Advent Calendar and the country is blanketed by snow! Admittedly the Plus team also has a broken boiler and children home due to school closure, but we do love the snow!
So to celebrate the frosty beginning of December, we have hidden all things icy behind Door #1. Wrap up warm, pack a thermos of hot tea and strap on your skis and enjoy!
A molecule's eye view of water
Water is essential for life on Earth, and it is a resource we all take for granted. Yet it has many surprising properties that have baffled scientists for centuries. Seemingly simple ideas such as how water freezes are not understood because of water's unique properties. Now scientists are utilising increased computer power and novel algorithms to accurately simulate the properties of water on the nanoscale, allowing complex structures of hundreds or thousands of molecules to be seen and understood.
Maths and climate change: the melting Arctic
The Arctic ice cap is melting fast and the consequences are grim. Mathematical modelling is key to predicting how much longer the ice will be around and assessing the impact of an ice free Arctic on the rest of the planet. Plus spoke to Peter Wadhams from the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge to get a glimpse of the group's work.
Teacher package: On thin ice - maths and climate change in the Arctic
On the 1st of March 2009 three intrepid polar explorers, Pen Hadow, Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley, set out on foot on a gruelling trip across the Arctic ice cap to conduct the Catlin Arctic Survey. In this teacher package we look at some of the maths and science behind their expedition — climate and sea ice models, GPS and cartography, and how to present statistical evidence.