Articles

Understanding the generation time for COVID-19

How long does it take for one person to infect another?

Parabolati

A beautiful argument to show that all parabolae are similar.

How to work out doubling time

The doubling time for the Omicron variant seems to be scarily fast. But how do you calculate it?

Maths in a minute: QALYs

What's a quality adjusted life year, or QALY?

Pandemics and psychology

Can you capture people's behaviour in epidemiological models?

Maths in a Minute: Turbulence and the Reynolds number

How does a smooth flow suddenly become turbulent? The Reynolds number helps understand the transition.

Life on the beach with Markov chains

Markov chains are exceptionally useful tools for calculating probabilities, and they might increase your chance of getting to the beach!

Maths in a Minute: Fluid dynamics and the Euler equations

How does water, or indeed any fluid, move? The Euler equations let us look beneath the surface and mark the beginning of modern fluid dynamics.

Solving crimes with maths: Bloodstain pattern analysis

Some basic trigonometry can deliver vital evidence from the scene of a crime.

Solving crimes with maths: Busting criminal networks

A bit of graph theory can help to identify key players in a criminal network.

Reckoning with R: What will happen over autumn and winter?

Should we again reduce our social contacts? Is vaccinating 12-to-15-year-olds effective? What about boosters? The ready reckoner helps provide some answers.

Five tools to explain something technical

There are many ways of explaining technical ideas, and using a range of strategies can give the most intuitive understanding.

• Want facts and want them fast? Our Maths in a minute series explores key mathematical concepts in just a few words.