The answer comes from the physics of waves.

Many things make a noise when you hit them, but not many are commonly used to play music — why is that? Jim Woodhouse looks at harmonic and not so harmonic frequencies and at how percussion instruments are tuned.

This may seem like an odd question — after all, he’s won — but it opens up some deep philosophical issues surrounding probability. David Spiegelhalter investigates how probability can be defined.

Not so long ago, if you had a medical complaint, doctors had to open you up to see what it was. These days they have a range of sophisticated imaging techniques at their disposal, saving you the risk and pain of an operation. Chris Budd and Cathryn Mitchell look at the maths that isn't only responsible for these medical techniques, but also for much of the digital revolution.
According to Shakespeare, music is the food of love. But Jeffrey Rosenthal follows Galileo's observation that the entire universe is written in the language of mathematics - and that includes music.
Mathematics takes out a technology oscar.
Skot McDonald talks to Plus about how he uses mathematics to understand music, and how he managed to combine his passions for music and computing to create a successful career.

Astronomers have for the first time listened to the heartbeat of a star other than our own Sun.

We take reliable radio communications for granted, but accommodating many different users is not easy. Robert Leese explains how the mathematics of colouring graphs can help avoid interference on your mobile phone.
In the first of two articles, David Henwood discusses the vibrations that can be harnessed by musical instrument makers.
An account of how a prisoner of war's diary was recently decoded. Donald Hill wrote his diary in a numerical code, disguised as a set of mathematical tables, while in Hong Kong during and after the Japanese invasion of 1941.
  • Want facts and want them fast? Our Maths in a minute series explores key mathematical concepts in just a few words.