News from the world of Maths
The first ever National Biology Week is happening between October 13th and 19th 2012. It's organised by the Society of Biology and there'll be events around the country giving everyone the chance to learn about the second-most fascinating science (if you count maths as a science). But if you'd rather stay in and cuddle up with your laptop here are our favourite Plus articles on maths and biology.
The 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics has been awarded to Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland for ground-breaking work in quantum optics. By probing the world at the smallest scales they've shed light on some of the biggest mysteries of physics and paved the way for quantum computers and super accurate clocks.
If you're bored with your holiday snaps, then why not turn them into fractals? A new result by US mathematicians shows that you can turn any reasonable 2D shape into a fractal, and the fractals involved are very special too. They are intimately related to the famous Mandelbrot set.
The laws of symmetry are unforgiving, but a team of researchers from the US have come up with a pattern-producing technique that seems to cheat them. The new technique is called moiré nanolithography and the researchers hope that it will find useful applications in the production of solar panels and many other optical devices.
Good news! The first episode of a new maths podcast, Relatively Prime, came out this week and it's a good 'un. Host Samuel Hansen has taken the plunge by interviewing our favourite statistician, David Spiegelhalter, and a host of others to explore some fascinating mathematical tools: game theory, risk and relief geometry.