Articles

Neuropsychologist Brian Butterworth tells us about research showing that even newborn babies have a basic understanding of number. It seems we are all mathematicians!
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.
Knots crop up all over the place, from tying a shoelace to molecular structure, but they are also elegant mathematical objects. Colin Adams asks when is a molecule knot a molecule? and what happens if you try to build a knot out of sticks?
Claude Shannon, who died on February 24, was the founder of Information Theory, which is the basis of modern telecommunications. Rachel Thomas looks at Shannon's life and works.

Chomp is a simple two-dimensional game, played as follows.
Cookies are set out on a rectangular grid. The bottom left cookie is poisoned.
Two players take it in turn to "chomp" - that is, to eat one of the remaining cookies, plus all the cookies above and to the right of that cookie.

Over the past one hundred years, mathematics has been used to understand and predict the spread of diseases, relating important public-health questions to basic infection parameters. Matthew Keeling describes some of the mathematical developments that have improved our understanding and predictive ability.
Arguably, the exponential function crops up more than any other when using mathematics to describe the physical world. In the second of two articles on physical phenomena which obey exponential laws, Ian Garbett discusses radioactive decay.