# economics

A hundred pounds is a lot more to someone who's poor than to a millionaire. But how do you measure such differences? Utility theory has the answer.

Well, it goes to no-one because there isn't a Nobel Prize for maths. Some have speculated that Alfred Nobel neglected maths because his wife ran off with a mathematician, but the rumour seems to be unfounded. But whatever the reason for its non-appearance in the Nobel list, it's maths that makes the science-based Nobel subjects possible and it usually plays a fundamental role in the some of the laureates' work. Here we'll have a look at two of the prizes awarded this year, in physics and economics.

Ground breaking work in uncovering optimal funding mechanisms in financial markets

Economists reveal that your neighbours significantly impact on your well-being.

From Einstein to water power,

*Plus*author Anita King explains where maths has got her.There might not be a Nobel Prize for mathematics, but maths is at the heart of the 2006 Nobel Prizes.

In the last article of this three-part series,

**Phil Wilson**shows how simple graphs can tell you a lot about the economy — and not only in Slugworld.Riaz Ahmad's mathematical career has led him from the complexities of blood flow to the risks of the financial markets via underwater acoustics.

*Plus*found out how maths can explain all this and more.