Plus Blog
September 23, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
A researcher from the University of Bath has tackled an old geometric problem with a new method, which may lead to advances in creating hip replacements and replacement bone tissue for bone cancer patients. The Kelvin problem, posed by Lord Kelvin in 1887, is to find an arrangement of cells, or bubbles, of equal volume, so that the surface area of the walls between them is as small as possible — in other words, to find the most efficient soap bubble foam. The problem is relevant to bone replacement materials because bone tissue has a honeycomblike structure, similar to a bubble foam. Labels: Health and medicine, Latest news posted by Plus @ 9:59 AM 0 Comments: 
September 21, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
This year's Frieze Art Fair in London is going to tempt its arty audience with a little string theory. A project developed by David Berman, a physicist at Queen Mary, University of London, and the US artist Jordan Wolfson will invite visitors to view the show together with a string theorist, who will talk about his trade while touring the exhibition. The aim is to open up unconventional perspectives on the art works on display. Labels: Latest news posted by Plus @ 3:28 PM 0 Comments: 
September 20, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
The prisoner of polygoniaPlus doesn't usually report on primary school maths, but we couldn't resist telling you about a beautiful new maths play for key stage 2 students, which premiered today at the Royal Institution. In the land of Polygonia, where maths is the official language, Rhombus the maths wizard is falsely imprisoned on the orders of Queen Parabola. Data, a tenyear old girl, is the only witness. Before she can help him she must learn to speak the language of maths — and work out why the queen hates anyone who tries to make maths exciting. Today's two performances, each in front of a full house, proved a great success with audiences made up of students from year 3 through to year 7 and their teachers. With their help, and plenty of laughs, Data managed to solve the puzzles facing her in her mission to save Rhombus, encountering prime numbers, number sequences, symmetry and more mathematical magic along the way. Data and the audience learn that no matter how difficult a maths problem looks, there's usually a trick which makes it simpler, and more fun. The prisoner of polygonia was written by Phil Lowe and Rob Eastaway, founder of Maths Inspiration. Your next chance to see the show will be as part of the Wales Maths Week 2009 in Cardiff on the 1st and 2nd of October (call 029 20 475 476 for tickets). If you would like to arrange having the play in your area, visit its website. posted by Plus @ 4:02 PM 0 Comments: 
September 16, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
What would you like to know about your Universe — The fifth online pollThis poll is now closed. The most popular question was: "Is time travel allowed?" We will publish the answer in an article on Plus shortly. Thank you for taking part! This is the fifth online poll in our series to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy 2009. Choose your favourite question from the list on the right, and we'll put the one that proves most popular to worldleading astronomers and cosmologists, including Astronomer Royal Martin Rees and author and cosmologist John D. Barrow. The poll will remain open for a month and the answer will be published in a Plus article and podcast soon after. If your most burning question is not on this list, then leave a comment on this blog and we'll endeavour to include it in a future poll. The winning questions in our previous polls have been
Labels: IYA2009 posted by Plus @ 10:03 AM 5 Comments:

September 15, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The Nature Autumn '09 Debate — Science and the financial crisisThe 1980s saw the rise of the "rocket scientists" of finance — as engineers, mathematicians and physicists rejected careers in science and technology and instead opted to work for banks. What part did they play in the financial crisis? And what is the future of science in finance? Join leading experts from science and banking as they debate whether the crisis was the result of bankers and regulators failing to grasp complicated, expert knowledge; and whether scientific knowledge — in particular fields such as complex systems, ecological economics and human behaviour — could help to ensure that economies are better understood and better regulated. The panel includes Tim Johnson, an RCUK Academic Fellow in Financial Mathematics, and author of the recent Plus article What is financial mathematics? The debate will take place on the 21st of September at Kings Place in London, and you can book tickets, at £9.50 a head, on the Kings Place website. posted by Plus @ 12:56 PM 0 Comments: 
September 2, 2009
Thursday, September 03, 2009
A Gömböc is a strange thing. It looks like an egg with sharp edges, and when you put it down it starts wriggling and rolling around as if it were alive. Until quite recently, noone knew whether Gömböcs even existed. Even now, Gábor Domokos, one of their discoverers, reckons that in some sense they barely exists at all. So what are Gömböcs and what makes them special? Labels: podcast posted by Plus @ 11:04 AM 