## vector

Mathematicians have proved a new result in the field of combinatorics.

Recently we had to learn about tensors for an upcoming article. Although they seem confusing at first, they are just a way of capturing information we are all used to. Nothing to feel tense about!

Foraging ants have a hard life, embarking on long and arduous trips several times a day, until they drop dead from exhaustion. The trips are not just long, they also follow complex zig-zag paths. So how do ants manage to find their way back home? And how do they manage to do so along a straight line? Their secret lies in a little geometry.

When insects go foraging, they zoom off from their nest in complex zig-zag paths. How do they manage to find their way back home? And how do they manage to do so along a straight path? These questions are explored in an exhibit at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, currently taking place at the Southbank Centre in London.

**Phil Dench**tells

*Plus*how he uses mathematics to help bring these models to life.

**Josefina Alvarez**describes the workings of the most famous search engine of them all. You'll need some linear algebra for this one, but it's worth the while!

*Plus*spoke to

**Peter Wadhams**from the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge to get a glimpse of the group's work.

**Joan Lasenby**tells us about the mathematics and engineering behind them.