Tagged With maths

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Australian scientists have discovered the purpose of a famous 3700-year old Babylonian clay tablet, revealing it is the world's oldest and most accurate trigonometric table, possibly used by ancient mathematical scribes to calculate how to construct palaces and temples and build canals.

The new research shows the Babylonians, not the Greeks, were the first to study trigonometry – the study of triangles – by more than 1000 years, and reveals an ancient mathematical sophistication that had been hidden until now.

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Video: The story of the history of maths and how zero came to be is actually quite fascinating! They should have taught us that instead of actual maths in high school, if you ask me. Thankfully, Hannah Fry tells us in the animation below all we need to know. There's fascinating bits about how the number system (and zero) was resisted by the Romans, and why it's very important to calculus and things like the binary system.

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The dishwasher! The perennial optimization problem. Even the chronically untidy have been known to harbour strong opinions on efficient loading technique. But did you know dishwasher manuals actually include photos and illustrations of ideal rack layouts? (Be honest — did you even realise your dishwasher had a manual?)

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Our universe appears to be bound by a finite set of laws, yet we often talk about things that go on for an eternity. "Infinity" is a strange idea. But it's crucial if you want to understand anything from philosophy to mathematics. Here's why.

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A new fractal analysis of London's dense network of streets and intersections reveals that a green belt meant to encourage migration to the suburbs had the opposite effect. The city has just became denser. People really seem to love urban living, especially in a thriving city like London. The work could shed light on how modern cities evolve, and help guide future urban growth policies.