mathematics

Mind-Melting Animations Made From 3D-Printed Fibonacci Sculptures 

Inspired by the naturally-occurring mathematical Fibonacci sequences found in pine cones and sunflowers, Stanford University’s John Edmark designed and 3D-printed these sculptures that appear come to life — with bizarre undulating animations — when filmed spinning using a strobe light or video camera with a high-speed shutter.


How To Fix A Wobbly Table Using Maths

We’ve all been sat drinking a beer only to realise that the table wobbles irritatingly. But while a piece of folded paper can solve the problem for a few minutes, there is a better solution — and it uses some simple maths.


Three Minutes Of Spinning Tops That Are Impossible To Stop Watching

This short film takes its inspiration from the 1969 film Tops directed by famed designers Ray and Charles Eames, and is literally nothing more than footage of spinning tops of all shapes, sizes and colours. But don’t be fooled; it’s as captivating as anything Hollywood has produced in the past decade.


What's The Most Boring Number?

To any good nerd, numbers are inherently interesting, whether they’re square, primes, part of the Fibonacci sequence… whatever. But some numbers aren’t so special — so what’s the most boring one?


Computer Finally Proves The Answer To A 400-Year-Old Maths Problem

Way back in 1611, Johannes Kepler suggested that the most efficient way to stack spheres — like arranging oranges for sale — was in a pyramid formation. Sadly, he couldn’t prove it, but now a computer has finally verified it to be true, settling centuries of debate.


A Brief History Of Pi

That the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is constant has been known to humanity since ancient times; yet, even today, despite 2000 years of thought, theories, calculations and proofs, π’s precise value remains elusive.


If You Fold A Paper In Half 103 Times It Will Get As Thick As The Universe

The myth: You can’t fold a paper in half more than eight times.* The reality: Given a paper large enough — and enough energy — you can fold it as many times as you want. The problem: If you fold it 103 times, the thickness of your paper will be larger than the observable Universe: 93 billion light-years. Seriously.


The Aloof Blackjack Player Who Created Our Digital World

Every digital device you use operates on a string of ones and zeroes, the binary “yes/no” decision at the foundation of modern computing. It’s a concept so fundamental to our modern day that we rarely stop to wonder where it came from. But it’s all the work of one man: Claude Shannon, whose fascinating story you’ve likely never heard.


What Are Fractals, And Why Should I Care?

Fractal geometry is a field of maths born in the 1970s and mainly developed by Benoit Mandelbrot. If you’ve already heard of fractals, you’ve probably seen the picture above. It’s called the Mandelbrot Set and is an example of a fractal shape.