Plus Magazine

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Jan 2002

This issue of Plus is a special, marking the occasion of Stephen Hawking's 60th birthday. Plus attended his Birthday Conference in Cambridge, where we interviewed some of the world's most influential mathematicians and physicists.


Plus is very proud to present Professor Stephen Hawking's own Birthday Symposium address.


Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees gives Plus a whistlestop tour of some of the more extraordinary features of our cosmos, and explains how lucky we are that the universe is the way it is.


Nobel Prizewinning Physicist Professor Gerardus 't Hooft has always been fascinated by the mathematical mysteries of nature. He tells Plus about his early life, and what our Universe might really be like.


Will we ever be able to make computers that think and feel? If not, why not? And what has all this got to do with tiles? Plus talks to Sir Roger Penrose about all this and more.


What happens when one black hole meets another? Professor Kip Thorne shows us how to eavesdrop on these cosmic events by watching for telltale gravitational waves.

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

  • 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.

  • PhD student Daniel Kreuter tells us about his work on the BloodCounts! project, which uses maths to make optimal use of the billions of blood tests performed every year around the globe.