Articles

What tactics should a soccer player use when taking a penalty kick? And what can the goalkeeper do to foil his plans? John Haigh uses Game Theory to find the answers, and looks at his World Cup predictions from last issue.
When we finally meet the Martians, John Conway believes they are going to want to talk mathematics. He talks to Plus about his Life game, artificial life and what we will have in common with extraterrestrials.
Clearly the modern electronic computer couldn't have been built before electronics existed, but it's not clear why computers powered by steam or clockwork weren't invented earlier. Tom Körner speculates on the historical reasons why computers were invented when they were.
Will we ever be able to make computers that think and feel? If not, why not? And what has all this got to do with tiles? Plus talks to Sir Roger Penrose about all this and more.
Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees gives Plus a whistlestop tour of some of the more extraordinary features of our cosmos, and explains how lucky we are that the universe is the way it is.
What happens when one black hole meets another? Professor Kip Thorne shows us how to eavesdrop on these cosmic events by watching for telltale gravitational waves.
Neuropsychologist Brian Butterworth tells us about research showing that even newborn babies have a basic understanding of number. It seems we are all mathematicians!
Infinite series occupy a central and important place in mathematics. C. J. Sangwin shows us how eighteenth-century mathematician Leonhard Euler solved one of the foremost infinite series problems of his day.