Plus Magazine

Issue 30
May 2004
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In issue 29 of Plus, we heard how a simple mathematical equation became the subject of a debate in the UK parliament. Chris Budd and Chris Sangwin continue the story of the mighty quadratic equation.


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How does the uniform ball of cells that make up an embryo differentiate to create the dramatic patterns of a zebra or leopard? How come there are spotty animals with stripy tails, but no stripy animals with spotty tails? Lewis Dartnell solves these, and other, puzzles of animal patterning.


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There are many different types of lottery around the world, but they all share a common aim: to make money. John Haigh explains why lotteries are the way they are.


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It has often been observed that mathematics is astonishingly effective as a tool for understanding the universe. But, asks Phil Wilson, why should this be? Is mathematics a universal truth, and how would we tell?


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André Léger studies the fluid mechanics of food travelling through the intestines for consumer goods giant Unilever.