maths


20
Jan 13

Arguing with Matt Parker about Pi and Tau

Numberphile is a great youtube channel about maths. They invited me and Matt Parker on to fight about the circle constant. Here it is:

You can also follow Matt on twitter. And catch us both live in Festival Of The Spoken Nerd.


20
Jan 13

Talking about Benford’s Law for Numberphile

Numberphile is a great youtube channel about maths.  They invited me on to talk about Benford's Law. Here it is:

Here's my earlier post about Benford's Law.


5
Aug 11

Make your socks last longer with a Euclidean rubber glove switch

Your left hand and right hand are mirror images of each other. There's no way you can position your left hand so that it looks like a right hand. It will only look like a right hand if you look at it in a mirror.

There are molecules like this in chemistry. Molecules that can't be positioned in such a way as to look exactly like their own mirror image. These are called chiral molecules. We talk about them having a handedness because they share this property with our hands. Continue reading →


3
Mar 10

Interesting freecycle freebiejeebies scam and a dubious experiment

Interesting freecycle freebiejeebies scam and a dubious experiment

I love scams. They're often ingenious and involve a good bit of psychology. It's great fun figuring out how they work.

I saw an interesting misuse of freecycle recently which was a scam of sorts. I'll tell you how it worked then introduce my own dubious experiment. Continue reading →


19
Feb 10

The Droste effect – image recursion

The Droste effect – image recursion

I love recursion. There's something about the way it invokes infinity that makes my head spin. Droste effect images are recursive images that got their name from a Dutch company that makes chocolates and cocoa and things like that. Continue reading →


15
Feb 10

Shapes of constant width – coins from around the world

In a previous post I talked about shapes of constant width. I didn't know of any other coins besides the UK 50p and 20p that had the property of being the same width all the way round without being circular.

Well I was recently given this coin instead of 20p:

Shapes of constant width   coins from around the world Continue reading →


15
Jan 10

How 3D cinema works

I recently saw Avatar in 3D and 'forgot' to hand my glasses back in at the end. I thought I knew how this technology worked so I was very surprised when I started doing some experiments.

I saw Avatar at a Vue cinema that recently had 3D installed and the way it works is quite different to the IMAX. Continue reading →


8
Nov 09

How to cheat with Frank Benford

How to cheat with Frank Benford Pick a number at random from the universe. Not just from inside your head. Open a page of the financial times or look up the size of a planet; convert you height to cubits or measure the weight of your favourite book. Something like that.

Don't actually do it, it's hypothetical. But ask yourself a question. What are the chances of that number starting with a 1? Continue reading →


29
Sep 09

Venn Vs Euler: The Diagrams

I know what you're thinking: what's the difference between a Venn diagram and an Euler diagram? Good question. The following diagram should clear things up:

Venn Vs Euler: The Diagrams

Just to clarify, Venn diagrams have regions for all possible combinations of groups whether there are things in those regions or not. Continue reading →


26
Sep 09

Bryan Adams Diagrams

I've been wanting to make one of those diagrams that describes a song. In the end I did a few for Bryan Adams. Here they are:

Bryan Adams Diagrams Continue reading →