In the first part of this article we let maths set the scene for a free kick. Now we continue the drama, tracing the trajectory of the ball throughout the milliseconds it takes it to reach the goal line.
Many materials around us are oxides – such as rocks, window glass and some of the materials used in your computer. These materials may seem hard and rigid, but mathematics reveals a hidden flexibility that can explain many of their properties.
Mathematics is incredibly good at describing the world we live
in. So much so that some people have argued that maths is not just a
tool for describing the world, but that the world is
itself a mathematical structure. Does his claim stand up to scrutiny?