How will markets go? Forecaster Robert Prechter warned that the Dow Jones would fall below 1,000 in 2010 – it has spent most of 2015 around the 18,000 level. Photograph: Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Market forecasting is a tricky business, with countless studies indicating we should be sceptical towards those who purport to know what the future ho(...)

NYSE traders: Evidence is mounting that many high-fee funds that purport to be active are just closet index trackers. Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The vast majority of actively managed funds fail to beat the market, and little wonder – many are not even trying. Evidence is mounting that many high(...)

Short supply: anchovy fisheries, which collapsed in early 1998 when the temperature of the oceans off South America rose dramatically, may be in danger again as El Niño is expected to return this year

In 1997-1998 abnormally high ocean temperatures off South America caused a collapse of the anchovy fisheries. Anchovies are a vital link in the foo(...)

Soldiers in the US army watch as the mushroom cloud grabs the sky in the first test of an atomic weapon during the Trinity Test

Physicists, engineers and applied mathematicians have an arsenal of problem-solving techniques. Computers crunch out numerical solutions in short orde(...)

Donal Kelleher: will work alongside DTZ Sherry FitzGerald chairman Peter Lynch

Agents DTZ Sherry FitzGerald has announced the appointment of Donal Kelleher as head of development land. He will work alongside company chairman Pete(...)

Former Eircom finance director Peter Lynch announces his resignation as chief executive of private equity firm Prime Active Capital. Photograph: Frank Miller

Peter Lynch has resigned as chief executive of Prime Active Capital, a private equity firm listed on London’s AIM market and Dublin’s IEX exchange.(...)

C-3PO: The Star Wars robot – described as a walking humanoid – was one of many robots discussed at a symposium in Izhevsk, east of Moscow, on mechanical and biological systems

The application of mathematics in biology is a flourishing research field. Most living organisms are far too complex to be modelled in their entirety,(...)

 Surfers on  the Severn Bore,  a natural tidal phenomenon that pushes a 4ft wave up the Severn Estuary in Gloucestershire. Photograph:  Matt Cardy/Getty Images

According to the old adage, water finds its own level, but this is true only for still water. In more dynamic situations where the water is moving rap(...)

Santa Claus is coming: With about a billion houses to visit, and the typical distance between neighbouring houses being 10m, it is estimated that Santa will have to travel 10 million kilometres on Christmas Eve

How far must Santa travel on Christmas Eve? At a broad scale, he visits all the continents. In more detail he travels to every country. Zooming in, he(...)

There is little agreement among experts as to what is the maximum population that the environment can sustain on Earth. Photograph: Getty

The population division of the United Nations marked October 31st, 2011, as the “Day of Seven Billion”. The world population is now above that figure (...)