Thatsmaths

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Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, Germany, now with its fountain

When Frederick the Great was crowned King of Prussia in 1740 he immediately revived the Berlin Academy of Sciences and invited scholars from throughou(...)

The 2017 path of the Great Americian Eclipse which will be seen on August 21st. Source: NASA

Next Monday, August 21st, the shadow of the Moon will bring a two-minute spell of darkness as it sweeps across the United States along a path from Ore(...)

It’s a piece of cake: One way to remember the value of pi is by means of a ‘piem’, a poem whose words have letters corresponding to the digits of pi
It’s as easy as pi

Every circle has the property that the distance around it is just over three times the distance across. This has been known since the earliest times. (...)

Pythagoras: the mathematician in The School of Athens, by Raphael, from 1509. Photograph: Creative Commons/Wikimedia

According to Plato, a core of mathematical knowledge, later known as the quadrivium, was essential for an understanding of the universe. He outlined t(...)

From Mallow to Cambridge: Mathematician Robert Murphy

“A brilliant meteor that flared intensely but all too briefly”; this was how Des MacHale described the Cork-born mathematician Robert Murphy in his bi(...)

James Joyce - It is said he wrote Finnegans Wake  to “keep the critics busy for 300 years”. It’s keeping   mathematicians busy too. Photograph: Hulton Getty

Tomorrow we celebrate Bloomsday, the day of action in Ulysses. Most of us regard Joyce’s singular book as a masterpiece, even if we have not read it. (...)

Antique engraved portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach, the grand master of structural innovation and invention in music

The numerous connections between mathematics and music have long intrigued practitioners of both. For centuries scholars and musicians have used maths(...)

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(...)

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,(...)

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(...)

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