Our cities are filled with buildings, roads, cars, buses, trains, bikes, parks and gardens. They are crisscrossed with power, water, sewage and transport systems. They are built by engineers, architects, planners, technologists, doctors, designers and artists. Our cities are shaped by our environment, our society and our culture. And each and every part is built on mathematics. Join Rachel Thomas, co-editor of Plus, in a public lecture exploring the maths in our cities.
Maths is a creation of our brains, so how come it describes the world around us so amazingly well? How is it that
ideas from pure maths suddenly find real-world applications decades or even centuries after their discovery? Here are some articles exploring the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics.
"It's a great day for particle physics," says Ben Allanach, a theoretical physicist at the University of Cambridge. "It's very exciting, I think we're on the verge of the Higgs discovery." And indeed, it seems like the Large Hadron Collider at CERN has given particle physics an early Christmas present — compelling evidence that the famous Higgs boson exists.
You would not have thought it, but while you sit contentedly digesting your turkey and gazing at the telly, your brain is keeping up the hard work, making sure that everything in your body goes according to plan. And to understand this most amazing of nature's creations you need maths. Here are some of our favourite articles on brains, human and animal.
Researchers in Germany have created a rare example
of a weird phenomenon predicted by quantum mechanics:
quantum entanglement, or as Einstein called it, "spooky action at a
distance". The idea, loosely speaking, is that particles which have
once interacted physically remain linked to each other even when they're
moved apart and seem to affect each other instantaneously.
>It may be Sunday but that's no excuse for resting your brain. Plus has been grappling hard with the strange weirdnesses of quantum mechanics lately, and we think that you should too. So get ready to be mind-boggled.