Articles

Is the Universe finite, with an edge, or infinite, with no edges? Or is it even stranger: finite but with no edges? It sounds far-fetched but the mathematical theory of topology makes it possible, and nobody yet knows the truth. Janna Levin tells us more.
Kevin Jones investigates the links between music and mathematics, throwing in limericks, Fibonacci and Scott Joplin along the way. Plus is proud to present an extended version of his winning entry for the THES/OUP 1999 Science Writing Prize.
Underlying our vast global telecommunications networks are codes: formal schemes for representing information in machine-readable and transmissible formats. Kona Macphee examines the prefix property, one of the important features of a good code.
You might think that if you collected together a list of naturally-occurring numbers, then as many of them would start with a 1 as with any other digit, but you'd be quite wrong. Jon Walthoe explains why Benford's Law says otherwise, and why tax inspectors are taking an interest.
On 11th August 1999 a total eclipse of the Sun will be visible from parts of the UK. It will provide a spectacular display, but why is the Sun so interesting? Helen Mason explains.
Computer games and cinema special effects owe much of their realism to the study of fractals. Martin Turner takes you on a journey from the motion of a microscopic particle to the creation of imaginary moonscapes.
The term fractal, introduced in the mid 1970's by Benoit Mandelbrot, is now commonly used to describe this family of non-differentiable functions that are infinite in length. Find out more about their origins and history.

Since we first wrote about the Goldbach Conjecture we've had many requests for more information about  it and about how our Goldbach calculator works. We answer some of your questions here but the Goldbach conjecture touches on a strange area of maths that may leave you even more curious than before...