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This Friday, 11/11/11, will see the launch of numberphile, a brand new YouTube channel dedicated entirely to numbers. And it's a very special channel too: rather than relying on users to produce and share their videos, YouTube is for the first time investing money in original content. It will put up to $100m into this challenge to the TV industry, which will involve another 99 channels besides numberphile. Rumoured contributors include Madonna, Jay-Z, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal.
Numberphile will be produced by the video journalist Brady Haran, who also makes the excellent Periodic Videos covering chemistry topics and Sixty Symbols covering physics. From January 2012 numberphile will be producing two videos a week.
"Each video will be about a number," says James Grime, one of numberphile's presenters, who already has his own YouTube channel and also runs our sister project Enigma. "The potentially infinite series of videos will include programmes on how the number 11 helps your CD to play, how the square root of 2 is used to make paper, and why the number 20 is called God's number".
It's great to see maths feature in YouTube's offensive on the broadcasting world. "It is exciting to see that YouTube have commissioned a broad range of channels, including channels like numberphile, among the other entertainment and sports channels," says Grime. "I think it reflects the broad range of interests people who use YouTube have."
If you want to be part of numberphile right from the start, visit its YouTube page and subscribe. And for those who can't wait, here's a teaser: