Greetings from the beautiful city of Krakow, where the 6th European Congress of Mathematics has opened today! Around 1,000 mathematicians, donning hats, fans and flip-flops to resist the incredibly hot weather, have come together here to chat, share and listen to lectures, and Plus will be reporting from the congress all week.
Word on the particle physics street (a very small street) is that tomorrow's announcement from CERN will be very exciting indeed. Find out what all the excitement is about: what the Higgs boson is, what it does and how to hunt for it.
The Plus team's vehicle of choice is the bicycle, so we're particularly pleased about an announcement that hit the news this month: a clever car mirror that eliminates the dreaded blind spot has been given a patent in the US. The mirror was designed by the mathematician Andrew Hicks, of Drexel University, after years of puzzling over the problem.
On Saturday Alan Turing would have celebrated his 100th birthday. In his short life he revolutionised the scientific world and so 2012 has been declared Turing Year to celebrate his life and scientific achievements. Join the celebrations with these events or by browsing through Plus articles.
On a rainy night last month, in an ancient hall down a hidden alleyway in the centre of London, Bernard Silverman, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Home Office, revealed a surprising secret... ancient mathematics is at the heart of a very modern game of hide and seek.
Our planet is shaped by the oceans, the dynamic geology and the changing climate. It teems with life and we, in particular, have a massive impact as we build homes, grow food, travel and feed our ever-hungry need for energy. Mathematics is vital in understanding all of these, which is why 2013 has been declared as the year for the Mathematics of Planet Earth.
Why are we so clever? In evolutionary terms this isn't obvious:
evolution tends to favour cheap solutions and the human brain is
expensive. It consumes about 20% of our body's energy budget yet it only makes up 2% of our body
mass. So why did it make evolutionary sense for us
humans to develop powerful brains? Game theory provides a possible answer.