# 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.

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

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

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

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

It would be foolish to ignore evidence. Luckily Bayes' theorem shows us how to take it in into account.

At the heart of modern physics lurks a terrible puzzle: the two main theories that describe the world we live in just won't fit together.

Continued fractions reveal the good, the bad and the beautiful side of numbers.