Thatsmaths

123 results

A remarkable photograph of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales viewed from Ireland, taken by photographer Niall O’Carroll on January 12th last using a Panasonic DMZ-TZ 100 camera from the Ben of Howth.
Seeing beyond the horizon

From a hilltop, the horizon lies below the horizontal level at an angle called the “dip”. Around 1020 AD, the brilliant Persian scholar al-Biruni use(...)

French mathematician, philosopher and theologian Blaise Pascal was first to make a comprehensive study of the triangle. However, it was known much earlier.

Pascal’s triangle is one of the most famous of all mathematical diagrams, simple to construct and yet rich in mathematical patterns. These can be foun(...)

A figure illustrating the polyhedral pattern (a truncated octahedron)  within coronavirus

Euclid’s Elements was the first major work to organise mathematics as an axiomatic system. Starting from a set of clearly stated and self-evident trut(...)

Atmospheric flow is chaotic: a small change in the starting values can lead to a wildly different forecast.

Weather forecasting relies on supercomputers used to solve the mathematical equations that describe atmospheric flow. The accuracy of the forecasts is(...)

CP Snow compared ignorance of the Second Law of Thermodynamics to ignorance of Shakespeare. Photograph: Picasa 3.0

In a famous lecture in 1959, scientist and author C P Snow spoke of a gulf of comprehension between science and the humanities, which had split into “(...)

Space weather concerns the influence on the Earth’s magnetic field and upper atmosphere of events on the sun

Space weather, first studied in the 1950s, has grown in importance with recent technological advances. It concerns the influence on the Earth’s magnet(...)

Queueing at Dublin Airport in busier times. Computational modelling confirms a single queue is the more efficient organisation, with shorter waiting times than multiple queue systems. Photograph: Frank Miller

Queueing is a bore and waiting to be served is one of life’s unavoidable irritants. Whether we are hanging on to a phone, waiting for response from a (...)

Goldbach’s conjecture is one of the best-known unsolved problems in mathematics.

The starting point for rigorous reasoning in mathematics is a system of axioms. An axiom is a statement that is assumed, without demonstration, to be (...)

Climate models are complex computer programs with millions of lines of code.

Climate prediction models are markedly defective, even in reproducing the changes that have already occurred. Given the great importance of climate ch(...)

  The term algorithm comes from the name of Persian mathematician al-Khwarizmi. Photograph courtesy of    Prof Irfan Shahid

From the name of the Persian polymath al-Khwarizmi, who flourished in the early ninth century, comes the term algorithm. An algorithm is a set of simp(...)

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