## News from the world of Maths

This year's British Science Festival will take place from 7 - 12 September at the University of Newcastle and there's plenty of (mostly free) maths on offer.

Why are drug induced hallucinations so compelling that they apparently provided much of the inspiration for early forms of abstract art? Researchers suggest that the answer hinges on an interplay between the mathematics of pattern formation and a mechanism that generates a sense of value and meaning.

Number theory is famous for problems that everyone can understand and that are easy to express, but that are fiendishly difficult to prove. Here are some of our favourites.

Rollercoasters, the London Eye, planes, bikewheels and boomerangs - no it's not our plans for the summer holidays, it's just a normal afternoon at a Maths Inspiration gig.

Did you learn at school that the angles in a triangle always add up to 180 degrees? If yes then your teacher was wrong. Find out why here.

Right. That's it. We're convinced. We are officially behind team tau! Find out why and celebrate tau day with us!

Agreeing to pay £50,000 for something worth £2 wouldn't win you any haggling competitions. In mathematics, however, a similar result can bring you international acclaim. This is the case with recent progress towards the famous twin prime conjecture.

An "electric atomosphere" is not what you expect at a maths lecture. But it is what prevailed when Andrew Wiles announced his proof of a 350-year-old-old problem, Fermat's last theorem, exactly 20 years ago.