A Nobel Prize for quantum optics

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.

Fractal photo finish

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.

Rotation revolution

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.

Relatively prime is on the air!

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.

The Plus Paralympic calendar: Friday 7th September

Wheelchair rugby is gearing up to the medal events on Sunday. If you placed a player of this impressive game next to a physics professor you probably wouldn't have much trouble spotting who's who. Yet, there's an intriguing connection between rugby and one of the more puzzling areas of physics.

The Plus Paralympic calendar: Thursday 6th SeptemberGenerally, football fans can be a rowdy a lot and that's something you've got to think about when building a football venue. Imagine the 80,000 people that fit into a stadium like Wembley jumping up and down in unison to We will rock you. Any structure, no matter how solid, has its own natural frequency at which it likes to vibrate, and if that happens to be in tune with the people's, you can end up with a dangerous sway and ultimate disaster.
The Plus Paralympic calendar: Wednesday 5th September

One thing that's characterised the London 2012 Games is its great atmosphere — and that's largely down to the tens of thousands of volunteers who've donated their time, effort and enthusiasm to the Games. For most of them this will probably be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But it's also possible to be part of big sporting events like this one and earn money at the same time...

The Plus Paralympic calendar: Tuesday 4th September

Relay races are exciting to watch, but for coaches and athletes they pose a particular conundrum: in what order should the athletes be deployed — should the fastest come first, last, or somewhere in the middle?

The Plus Paralympic calendar: Monday 3rd September
Today we say a fond farewell to the velodrome after the final track cycling events on the weekend. From Sarah Storey's first gold for Great Britain on Thursday to the cat-and-mouse gold medal game between compatriots Anthony Kappes and Neil Fachie of the Individual B Sprint yesterday, it has been a fabulous show. To celebrate we calculate just how Storey and her fellow cyclists are able to reach such astonishing speeds in Gearing up for gold.
Gearing up for gold

Inspired by Sara Storey's phenomenal gold medal we calculate whether we, and our bikes, have what it takes to triumph in our newfound quest for speed!

The Plus Paralympic calendar: Friday 31st August

The Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Centre are taking centre stage again as medals are being awarded in both athletics and swimming. Not any old pool or running track qualifies as an Olympic venue...

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