Materials dominate our lives. The clothes that we wear, the tools that we use, the cars that we drive, the aeroplanes that we fly in and the houses that we live in are all made up of materials. Modern electronics would not be possible without the development of new materials that don't occur in nature. Even our history has been defined in terms of the materials that we use, from the stone age, to the bronze age, to the iron age.

In this series of articles Chris Budd looks at the maths of materials, in particular *meta materials* which can be designed to have the properties we need for whatever context they will be needed in. The articles are based on Chis Budd's Gresham College lecture. You can see a video of the lecture on the right and find out more about this ongoing lecture series here.

Let's rock — Rock and its use for tools and buildings has shaped human civilisation. Here's an introduction to the maths of rocks.

Crystal clear — From communication technology to LCD displays: crystals are a hugely important part of modern life. Find out more about them with this article.

Maths in a minute: The brazil nut effect — A quick look at a phenomenon that may have puzzled you at breakfast: why are there never any of those nice nuts left when you come to the end of your muesli box?

Invisibility cloaks — Fully functioning invisibility cloaks are closer to becoming a reality than you might think. Here's a quick look at the maths and science involved in producing them.

Getting electrical — How do you make a stealth aircraft that's invisible to radar? An area of maths called random matrix theory holds the answer.

### About the author

Chris Budd.

Chris Budd OBE is Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Bath, Vice President of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, Chair of Mathematics for the Royal Institution and an honorary fellow of the British Science Association. He is particularly interested in applying mathematics to the real world and promoting the public understanding of mathematics.

He has co-written the popular mathematics book *Mathematics Galore!*, published by Oxford University Press, with C. Sangwin, and features in the book *50 Visions of Mathematics* ed. Sam Parc.