Plus Magazine

Issue 38
March 2006
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To arm or to disarm? This is the question in Phil Wilson's article, which explores the maths behind a cold war in slug world.


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Everyone knows what symmetry is, and the ability to spot it seems to be hard-wired into our brains. Mario Livio explains how not only shapes, but also laws of nature can be symmetrical, and how this aids our understanding of the universe.


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Get on a commuter train these days and you can virtually see people's brains crunching away at filling the numbers from 1 to 9 into a square grid. As the Sudoku craze shows no sign of slowing, Hardeep Aiden investigates its relatives and predecessors.


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6174 is a very mysterious number. Yutaka Nishiyama explains why, and how beautiful mathematical oddities can inspire us to discover new mathematics.


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Teaching a machine to understand music is an incredibly difficult task, which uses all the mathematical power of digital signal processing. But teaching a machine to compose music is quite another matter, and the wonderful world of mathematical patterns proves to be a gold mine. Nick Collins talks to Plus about his artificial musician.