A Review of the Science Museum’s New Winton Gallery

Our Pictures Editor, Natasha Gertler, takes a look at the Science Museum’s new Winton Gallery, which brings 400 years of mathematical history to life.

Mathematics, Measurement and Money

Throughout its brief history, mathematics has been closely linked with measurement and money. In the ancient settlements the rules of arithmetic and geometry were used to solve problems about the allocation of food and resources. When life became more complex, the use of coined money led to computational problems that required good algorithms for their […]

Hampstead Scientific Society: Puzzles & Paradoxes in Science & Mathematics

Why is the sky dark at night? This talk will explore the differing roles of puzzles and paradoxes in science and in mathematics. Thought experiments like Maxwell’s Demon or the EPR Paradox have been used to illustrate or question new ideas in physics; the Olbers Paradox has challenged our understanding of the universe, while mathematical […]

Asimov’s psychohistory in maths

Could Mathematics hold the key to predicting the future? According to Professor Dan Crisan, possibly yes. During his inaugural lecture at Imperial College Professor Crisan used some complex mathematical formulae to show how a branch of mathematics – stochastic analysis – can be used to understand the link between microscopic and macroscopic events. Using a […]

Science behind the photo #48

A Persian falconer’s prize, the Black Shaeen (Falco peregrinus peregrinator) is one of the fastest and treasured falcons, reaching speeds of up to 320km/h …

Invisibility cloaking – hiding a whole new world

The idea of invisibility cloaking – being able to hide things from view – has been a point of interest to humans for thousands of years. Plato wrote in The Republic about The Ring of Gyges which allowed the wearer to become invisible. Within nature there are many different species of creatures that have evolved […]

Knotty Developments with DNA

Karin Valencia is a PhD student in Imperial’s DNA Topology research group. The term ‘DNA structure’ may bring to mind any number of things, from the television drama CSI to the famous double helix. Perhaps less familiar are the ‘higher-order’ structural features of DNA, namely knots. DNA in nature can be found to be ‘knotted’ […]

(Pre-)crime and Punishment

Do models that claim to be able to predict crime open the door to smarter policing, or just reduced policing? “A city is an ecological system” – a true urban jungle, in which human behaviour can be viewed through a thoroughly biological lens, its stable patterns open to tracking and even anticipation. So says University […]

50 Years of the Internet

Map of scientific collaborations Guest contributor Julie Gould celebrates the Internet’s Golden Jubilee. There have been significant leaps in our understanding of science and technology in the last fifty years. Some have radically changed our world, such as our sending a man into space and the silicon chip. However, one tool above all has become […]

Access Denied

Giving the public access to the research that they fund is about much more than eliminating journal pay-walls. Open access is a hot topic right now. For months, academics have been taking an uncharacteristic interest in the detailed financials of the publishing world, and, for many scientists, the fight for our right to party – […]

Maths and Imaginary Machines

This article is taken from the Spring 2012 issue of I, Science. Programming is a skill that allows us to develop and personalise the functions of computers – and anyone can learn to harness it, argues Michael Cook One of my favourite editions of historical webcomic Hark! A Vagrant! is about Ada Lovelace, daughter of […]

Sounds From Other Planets

Have you ever wondered what your voice might sound like on another planet? A team of scientists working at the University of Southampton have used mathematical and physical tools taking into account atmospheres, pressure and fluid dynamics to produce the natural sounds of other worlds, including thunder, human voices, whirlwinds, probe splashdowns and waterfalls. The […]

Natural mathematicians nonplussed by negative numbers from an early age

Ai is 35 years old and lives with her son, Ayumu. They both work together in a computer lab in Kyoto, Japan. Ai and Ayumu caused a riot in 2008 when they proved they could win at any standard (albeit math based) computer game. Using their faster-than-average ability to remember numbers in sequence they would […]

A world bubbling over with bubbles

The most recent financial crisis caused by the housing bubble, which popped as subprime mortgages in the US and many Western European countries defaulted, has been having dramatic consequences in many aspects of Western Europe and US economies such as high rate of unemployment and economical policies based on ”cut if you can”. Stock market […]

Metropolitan metrics

How would you describe a city? A unique maze of people-lined streets? A series of districts linked through things which make up your life; that coffee shop you like, that bar that serves the best margarita, and home? However you describe it, you probably don’t think there’s anything similar, or even scientific, linking all the […]

Bringing Order to Chaos

If you were to look at the world around you, you would quickly realise that fractals appear in nature more often than you might think. Take for example a tree, which has one thick trunk, that then splits into thinner branches, each of which have their own, slightly smaller branches, who in turn have their […]