Maths in a minute

Want facts and want them fast? Our Maths in a minute series explores key mathematical concepts in just a few words. From symmetry to Euclid's axioms, and from binary numbers to the prosecutor's fallacy, learn some maths without too much effort.

Maths in a minute: False positives

Why a positive test result doesn't necessarily mean you have the disease.

Maths in a minute: How many primes?

Here's the ancient proof that there are infinitely many prime numbers.

Maths in a minute: The prosecutor's fallacy

Why a DNA match doesn't necessarily prove your guilt.

Physics in a minute: Configuration space

How to describe the air in your room.

Maths in a minute: Einstein's general theory of relativity

What would happen if the Sun suddenly exploded? Einstein wondered the same thing, and completely changed our understanding of the Universe.

Maths in a minute: Symmetry

We all instinctively recognise symmetry when we see it, but describing it in words is harder than you might think.

Maths in a minute: The second law of thermodynamics

Our messy desk is proof of the second law of thermodynamics...

Maths in a minute: Expectation

Why the expected outcome of rolling a die is 3.5.

Maths in a minute: Boolean algebra

Meet the algebra at the heart of your computer!

Maths in a minute: Simplifying circuits

Claude Shannon's ingenious insight linking physical circuits with Boolean algebra paved the way for modern computing.

Maths in a minute: The central limit theorem

Opinion polls, election forecasts, testing new medical drugs — none of these would be possible without the central limit theorem.

Maths in a minute: n-body problems

Why too many bodies present a problem.

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

  • The BloodCounts! project is gearing up towards one of the largest-scale applications yet of machine learning in medicine and healthcare.

  • What do chocolate and mayonnaise have in common? It's maths! Find out how in this podcast featuring engineer Valerie Pinfield.

  • Is it possible to write unique music with the limited quantity of notes and chords available? We ask musician Oli Freke!

  • How can maths help to understand the Southern Ocean, a vital component of the Earth's climate system?

  • Was the mathematical modelling projecting the course of the pandemic too pessimistic, or were the projections justified? Matt Keeling tells our colleagues from SBIDER about the COVID models that fed into public policy.