How can a 3 hour long film like the Lord of the Rings fit on a single DVD? Hw cn U rd txt msgs? How do MP3s make music files smaller, so they can be downloaded faster off the Internet? All these things rely on the mathematics of data compression.
In 1694, a famous discussion between two of the leading scientists of the day - Isaac Newton and David Gregory - took place on the campus of Cambridge University. The discussion concerned the kissing problem, but it was to be another 260 years before the problem was finally solved.
Imagine stepping inside your favourite painting, walking around the light-filled music room of Vermeer's "The Music Lesson" or exploring the chapel in the "Trinity" painted by Masaccio in the 15th century. Using the mathematics of perspective, researchers are now able to produce three-dimensional reconstructions of the scenes depicted in these works.
When it comes to the science of the very small, strange things start happening, and our intuition ceases to be a useful guide. Plus finds out about the crazy quantum world, and spin that a politician would die for.