Free kicks will deliver much of the drama in the football world cup this summer. But how should strikers approach them and how does the design on the ball impact on its behaviour in flight? Maths can give us answers...
The Plus team's vehicle of choice is the bicycle, so we're particularly pleased about an announcement that hit the news this month: a clever car mirror that eliminates the dreaded blind spot has been given a patent in the US. The mirror was designed by the mathematician Andrew Hicks, of Drexel University, after years of puzzling over the problem.
The Jerusalem Chords Bridge, Israel, was built to make way for the city's light rail train
system. Its design took into consideration more than just utility — it is a work of
art, designed as a monument. Its beauty rests not only in the visual appearance of its criss-cross
cables, but also in the mathematics that lies behind it. So let's take a deeper look at it.
The only good thing about a wash-out summer is that you get to see lots of rainbows. Keats complained that a mathematical explanation of these marvels of nature robs them of their magic, conquering "all mysteries by rule and line". But rainbow geometry is just as elegant as the rainbows themselves.