Tiger Woods: one chapter shows talent nurtured early can produce a world champion. Photograph: Phil Coale/AP Photo

David Epstein’s follow-up to his 2014 book The Sports Gene provides a counterbalance to Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 hours rule”. In Outliers, Gladwell (...)

The Greeks regarded the heavens as the epitome of perfection. All flaws and blemishes were confined to the terrestrial domain. Since the circle is per(...)

This artist’s impression compares the seven planets orbiting the ultra-cool red dwarf star Trappist-1 to the Earth at the same scale.  They are shown to the same scale but not in the correct relative positions. Image: M Kornmesser/ESO

The Pythagoreans believed that the planets generate sounds as they move through the cosmos. The idea of the harmony of the spheres was brought to a hi(...)

Kepler’s idea was not warmly supported by his contemporaries, but harmonic relations are known today to be crucial. Photograph: Getty

Johannes Kepler, German mathematician and astronomer, sought to explain the solar system in terms of divine harmony. His goal was to find a system of (...)

“Papers relating to a trial against Sister Benedetta Carlini of Vellano, abbess of the Theatine nuns of Pescia”

Everyone knows about the trial of Galileo for his heretical insistence that the earth moved around the sun, a belief he was forced to recant while – a(...)

Shooting for the stars

“Discover the force of the skies O Men: once recognised it can be put to use.” – Johannes Kepler. The 1963 film, The Mouse on the Moon (sequel to be(...)