Everyone knows what symmetry is, and the ability to spot it seems to be hard-wired into our brains. Mario Livio explains how not only shapes, but also laws of nature can be symmetrical, and how this aids our understanding of the universe.
One hundred years ago, in 1905, Albert Einstein changed physics forever with his special theory of relativity. Since then his name — and hair do — have become synonymous with genius. John D Barrow looks at Einstein as a media star.
Kurt Gödel, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday next year, showed in 1931 that the power of maths to explain the world is limited: his famous incompleteness theorem proves mathematically that maths cannot prove everything. Gregory Chaitin explains why he thinks that Gödel's incompleteness theorem is only the tip of the iceberg, and why mathematics is far too complex ever to be
described by a single theory.
It's not that long ago that all you needed to run an airline was a few planes and some competent pilots. But now, with more of us zipping around the globe every year and the advent of no frills airlines, keeping an airline competitive has become a complicated business. Christine Currie explains how your airfare is calculated.