How would you explain the natural numbers to an alien devoid of a number instinct? You could try Peano arithmetic...
In some sense, all of maths should come under the label "logic", and in this collection of articles we try to explain why.
If you can prove that a statement can't possibly be false, does this mean it's true?
The story of George Boole is an extraordinary example of collaboration across the centuries.
Modern computers wouldn't be possible without George Boole, who died before light bulbs even came on the market. We celebrate his 200th birthday with a look at the man and his work.
What are mathematical proofs, why do we need them and what can they say about sheep?
On the face of it the Universe is a fairly complex place. But could mathematics ultimately lead to a simple description of it? In fact, should simplicity be a defining feature of a "theory of everything"? We ponder the answers.
We all take for granted that mathematics can be used to describe the world, but when you think about it this fact is rather stunning. This article explores what the applicability of maths says about the various branches of mathematical philosophy.
Almost nothing tangible remains of the legendary Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing. So when an extremely rare collection of papers relating to his life and work was set to go to auction last year, an ambitious campaign was launched to raise funds to purchase them for the Bletchley Park Trust and its Museum. The Trust has announced today that the collection has been saved for the nation as the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) has stepped in quickly to provide £213,437, the final piece of funding required.
In the 1930s the logician Kurt Gödel showed that if you set out proper rules for mathematics, you lose the ability to decide whether certain statements are true or false. This is rather shocking and you may wonder why Gödel's result hasn't wiped out mathematics once and for all. The answer is that, initially at least, the unprovable statements logicians came up with were quite contrived. But are they about to enter mainstream mathematics?