The Fourier transform is a piece of maths that is, almost single-handedly, responsible for the digital revolution. Digital music and images would be impossible without it, and it has applications in anything from medical imaging to landmine detection. We asked Chris Budd what the Fourier transform does, and how it does it. This podcast accompanies the Plus article Saving lives: The mathematics of tomography.
Mathematics is used in interesting, and often less than accurate, ways. Newspapers present graphs showing apparently correlated variables, but with a little thought, some of the time you will find that whilst it looks like two variables are connected, there is actually no cause and effect. An unscrupulous media can draw connections where they don't exist for political ends and politicians have
been known to confuse cause and effect entirely. So what really is behind the rise in oil prices? Could it be the humble game of cricket?
"I was very surprised and moved to see that it flew the same way it does on Earth," Doi was quoted as saying in the Mainichi Shimbun.
Thanks to wawawamovie for the following video of the boomerang.
If you would like to read more about the physics of throwing a boomerang (and why it is no surprise that it should fly in microgravity as long as there is air), read the Plus article Unspinning the boomerang. And to make your own boomerang, read the Plus article Bang up a
Barry Phipps is the first interdisciplinary fellow with the Kettle's Yard gallery in Cambridge. His remit is to develop projects of an interdisciplinary nature, to find the common ground between things. Plus talks to Barry about breaking down the barriers between artists and scientists and creating greater dialogue because, as Barry says, science and art are intrinsically related at the
centre, and there is no stepping away from one to be another. This podcast accompanies the career interview in issue 47 of Plus.