News from the world of maths: Unintended consequences of mathematics

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Unintended consequences of mathematics

Mathematicians (and Plus authors) John Barrow, Colva Roney-Dougal and Marcus du Sautoy will be discussing unintended consequences in mathematics with Melvyn Bragg on his BBC Radio 4 programme In Our Time tomorrow morning at 9am.

Image courtesy NASA

Many of the most exciting developments in science is is when knowledge from one area such as pure mathematics unexpectedly crosses boundaries to provide deeper understanding of a previously unconnected problem in another area. The programme will explore many such unintended consequences, including how the ancient purely geometric study of conic sections turned out to be vital in understanding the orbits of the planets, how Einstein used the theoretical concepts from non-Euclidean geometry for his groundbreaking work on special relativity, and how the number theory provided the security necessary for our digital age.

You can read more from John, Colva and Marcus on Plus, as well as articles on conic sections and planetary orbits, non-euclidean geometry and special relativity, and number theory and chryptography.

posted by Rachel @ 2:09 PM

1 Comments:

At 8:02 PM, Blogger David said...

I thought this show was brilliant, and I would like to listen again wish my son who is studying maths A Level. This show really made mathematics come alive.

 

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