Articles

Einstein Year 2005

Mathematician and physicist John Baez declares himself fascinated by exceptions in mathematics. This interest has led him to study the octonions, and, through them, to find out more about the origins of complex numbers and quaternions. In the second of two articles, he talks about the characters of the different dimensions, beauty and utility in mathematics, and just why he likes dimension 8 so much.
Many people find no beauty and pleasure in maths - but, as Lewis Dartnell explains, our brains have evolved to take pleasure in rhythm, structure and pattern. Since these topics are fundamentally mathematical, it should be no surprise that mathematical methods can illuminate our aesthetic sense.
Regular Plus contributor Lewis Dartnell reports on the scramble for million-dollar prizes that made mathematical headlines at the BA Festival of Science in September 2004.
Frances Elwell looks at the eddies and currents, from the pungent problem of sewage outflow to the search for bodies of people who have fallen into rivers, explaining that fluid mechanics lies behind it all.
The three door problem has become a staple mathematical mindbender, but even if you know the answer, do you really understand it? Phil Wilson lets his imagination run riot in this intergalactic application of Bayes' Theorem.