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Maths in a minute: The square root of 2 is irrational
... numbers. Here’s one of the most elegant proofs in the history of maths. It shows that is an irrational number, in other words, that it cannot ...
Marianne  5 Dec 2016  10:10  1 comment

Maths in a minute: negative numbers
... us too. Suppose you're standing at the point 0, facing in the positive direction of the number line. You take two steps backwards and ... together gives (2)x(4)=8. Maths in a minute: negative numbers Permalink Submitted ...
Marianne  11 Oct 2016  15:33  3 comments

Maths in a minute: The catenary
When you suspend a chain from two hooks and let it hang naturally under its own weight, the ... hanging chain will naturally find this equilibrium shape, in which the forces of tension (coming from the hooks holding the chain up) and ... turns out that it's the most stable shape an arch can have. In a hanging chain the forces of tension all act along the line of the curve. ...
Marianne  22 Dec 2016  11:27  4 comments

Maths in a minute: Euclid's fourth axiom
... for example, that through any two points there is a straight line. The fourth one, however, sounds a bit weird. It says: ... fact when we consider that he didn't describe right angles in terms of degrees or any other angle measure (he didn't have one). Instead, ...
Marianne  16 Dec 2016  13:53  2 comments

Maths in a minute: Counting numbers
... out, however, that the set of rational numbers is infinite in a very different way from the set of irrational numbers. As we saw ... insanity: http://lesliegreen.byethost3.com/articles/new_maths.pdf reply ...
Marianne  13 Dec 2016  15:33  3 comments

Maths in a minute: St Paul's dome
... it hides an intriguing example of the interplay between maths and architecture. Seen from the outside, the building is crowned by a ... science being used as part of the design process. In 1675 Hooke published the anagram Ut pendet continuum flexile, sic stabit ...
Rachel  23 Nov 2016  10:01  0 comments

Maths in a minute: Is greed good?
... they demand aren't nice round figures you can make up with a single coin. If that's the case, then there's nothing but to cram through ... many of us probably follow this recipe: find the biggest (as in largest denomination) coin that fits into the amount, then the nextbiggest ...
Marianne  14 Dec 2016  09:30  2 comments

Maths in a minute: Osculating the curve…
In the process of writing an article on curvature we got entirely distracted by making a geogebra worksheet showing the tangent, normal and osculating circle to any ... The meaning and mathematics of all these terms is revealed in this article , but if you fancy getting your hands dirty yourself, have a ...
Rachel  13 Dec 2016  15:53  0 comments

Maths in a minute — geodesic domes
... curved surfaces of some of the iconic buildings created in the last decade, such as 30 St Mary's Axe (AKA the Gherkin) in London, are ... is required to understand how. One way of approximating a curved surface using flat panels is using the concept of geodesic domes and ...
Rachel  13 Dec 2016  15:47  1 comment

Maths in a minute  levers
Kneeling in the mud by a country road on a cold drizzly day, I finally appreciated the wonder that is ... proportional to the distances they are from the fulcrum. In this way a small amount of force moving a longer distance can move a large ...
Rachel  13 Dec 2016  15:38  2 comments