Issue Archive

Plus moved to a rolling publishing format rather than an issue based one after Issue 55 in June 2010
Please see the link in the main menu for the latest articles

This issue of Plus is largely a matter of chance. We find an almighty coincidence and try to model it, explore whether statistical media headlines illuminate or mislead, and try to get our head around league tables. On a more certain note, we examine string theory, which many people think explains everything, look back at one of the greatest mathematical works ever written, and try to pin down the number five.

What's the risk of climate change or passive smoking? Why do penguins rotate their eggs? What makes mathematicians reach out for god? And how did we evolve the maths behind these questions? Find some answers in this political, psychological, philosophical and physical issue of Plus, and do some real sums with our interactive checker board.
If you thought you knew what geometry is all about, then this issue of Plus may change your mind. We explore a strange point-less geometry of spacetime, find out about hyperbolic geometry's amazing fractals, celebrate a geometric formula named after Leonhard Euler, the most prolific mathematician of all time, and try to calculate pi. This issue also contains the first ever Plus teacher package and, to celebrate our tenth birthday, continues our series on the history of Plus.
In the first of our tenth birthday year issues, Plus is celebrating the very best that maths has to offer. If you've ever wanted to fly with the birds and swim with the fishes, get the inside knowledge on great London landmarks or just enjoy going to the movies, then this is the issue for you. And we also say happy birthday to the great mathematician Leonard Euler.
In this issue we present the winners of the Plus New Writers Award 2006, the writing competition we set up to find the Plus authors of the future. After a painful process of weighing-up our judges have chosen six winning articles from the many high-quality entries. So sit back and read all about the maths of gambling, the longest theorem in history, the mathematical genius David Hilbert, the phenomenon of the lightning calculator, lies and statistics, and some shadow maths.
This issue is all about movement and beauty. There's a recipe for the perfect free kick, instructions on how to trick gravity, an exploration of the amazingly intricate Mandelbrot set and its pretty cousins, the Julia sets, and a mathematical look at the harmonies of music. And if you're interested in the movements in your bank account, there's an article investigating what makes markets stable.
In this issue we venture to the very extremes of human experience. We explore the life and work of Kurt Gödel, who would have turned a hundred this year, and who stunned the maths world by pinning down the limits of logic. We tremble with NASA astronaut Michael Foale, as he tells us of a space odyssey that depended on three little equations. We map out the future of life after Armageddon. And we find out what on Earth to do with a group.
The universe has much to thank Plus for this issue! We help slugs avoid Armageddon, reflect on the symmetrical laws of nature and explore some mysterious numbers. We even have the story behind Sudoku, and for all the fans of these mind-benders we have a brand new version for you to try!

What is maths? Is it an art form with every idea a work of perfect beauty? Is it a quest for truth that may one day deliver a Theory of Everything? Or is it a tool, essential in anything from fighting crime to calculating airline ticket prices? In this issue we show you that it's all of these, and that it can even produce its own media superstars.

In this issue we illuminate logic, find out why everything's relative, take a journey on the interplanetary superhighway, and maybe even encounter extraterrestrial life.