game theory
Does it pay to be nice? Yes, it does. And we're not just talking about that warm fuzzy feeling inside, it pays in evolutionary terms of genetic success too. We talk to Martin Nowak about how the mathematics of evolution prove that being nice is unavoidable. 
It does pay to be nice if you repeatedly deal with the same person. Martin Nowak explains why cooperation also wins in matters of reputation, neighbourliness and family. But can evolutionary game theory save the world? 
One of the most puzzling aspects of human behaviour is cooperation, in situations where backstabbing and selfishness would seem to be more rewarding. From the point of view of evolutionary theory, the very existence of altruism and cooperation appear mysterious. 
In the game of Nim one player always has a winning strategy — it depends on an unusual way of adding numbers. 
Disputes over property are all too common. It's quite easy to share a cake, but how do you share out indivisible goods, such as houses or cars, without causing resentment? Here are two easy methods. 
A 1 in 14 million chance to win the lottery, a 5% risk of cancer, a 50:50 chance of heads on a coin — we deal with probabilities all the time, but do they actually mean anything? We explore the philosophy of probability and ask whether the probabilities that come up in physics differ from those in every day life. 
Is poker a game of psychology and cunning rather than strategy? We investigate the maths of bluffing. 

Would you stake your fortune on a 100 to 1 outsider? Probably not. But what if, somewhere in a parallel universe, the straggling nag does come in first? Would the pleasure you feel in that universe outweigh the pain you feel in the one in which you've lost? Questions not dissimilar to this one occupy physicists and for entirely respectable reasons. 
In the previous article we explored how a clever argument involving gambling makes the idea that there are parallel universes more credible. But does it really? 