Pushing Particles Forwards Might Make Them Go Backwards Because Quantum Physics Is Bonkers

You are very lucky that you ended up about the size that you are today, somewhere between one and ten feet tall and weighing somewhere between one and one thousand pounds. This is a very good size. Not to body shame, but if you were, say, a quadrillion times shorter and weighed a nonillion times less (that’s one followed by 30 zeros), that would be very inconvenient for you. Everything would be very inconvenient for you. Read More >>

Basic Assumptions of Physics Might Require the Future to Influence the Past

One of the most well-accepted physical theories makes no logical sense. Quantum mechanics, the theory that governs the smallest possible spaces, forces our human brains to accept some really wacky, uncomfortable realities. Maybe we live in a world where certain observations can force our universe to branch into multiple ones. Or maybe actions in the present influence things earlier in time. Read More >>

Physicists Think They Know How to Stop Your Wheeled Suitcase From Tipping Over

Imagine you’re at an airport with your fancy new bag rolling behind you. You have spent a little too much time deciding which plane snack will both taste good and doesn’t have too many calories, and now must sprint to catch your plane. You make a turn and suddenly, your bag begins to wobble. No time to fix it, you are now dragging your suitcase sideways to the gate. Read More >>

These Black Female Mathematicians Should Be Stars in the Blockbusters of Tomorrow

The hallways of maths and science history are overflowing with the achievements of white men, from Sir Isaac Newton to Steve Jobs; their faces are printed into school textbooks everywhere, and their achievements have been indelibly drilled into our minds, with countless awards and institutions named after them. To be brilliant is a gift, but who gets to be remembered as such involves privilege. Read More >>

10 Tips to Improve Your Mental Maths Ability

Calculators are awesome, but they’re not always handy. More to the point, no one wants to be seen reaching for the calculator on their mobile phone when it’s time to figure out a 15 per cent gratuity. Here are ten tips to help you crunch numbers in your head. Read More >>

The Twisted Logic Behind Why Airlines Sell Too Many Tickets

Each year, tens of thousands of passengers get bumped from their scheduled flights because of overbooking. A new video from TED-Ed explains why companies do it, and why you have a right to be pissed off when it happens. Read More >>

These Are the Four Stages of Your Brain on Maths

Have you ever wondered what your brain is really doing as you sweat your way through a maths test? Now you can see for yourself, thanks to a new brain imaging study from Carnegie Mellon University that captured the brain activity of people in the act of solving maths problems. Read More >>

Scientific Proof That Melania Trump’s Speech Was Definitely Stolen From Michelle Obama

Following Melania’s now-infamous speech from the Republican Convention, a Canadian physicist has calculated the odds of those words and phrases appearing in the same order as Michelle Obama’s speech eight years ago. Looking at his answer, let’s just say it would be a coincidence of cosmic proportions. Read More >>

The Maths Behind the Perfect Climbing Rope

Rock and mountain climbers rely on strong, yet elastic ropes to keep them safe should they happen to fall. Now mathematicians at the University of Utah have come up with an equation to design an ideal climbing rope—one that would be safer and more durable. They described this perfect rope, and a promising class of materials that might be used to make it, in a recent paper in the Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology. Read More >>

This Man’s Explanation on the Way We Eat Pizza is ‘Remarkable’

If you fold a pizza in half lengthwise to eat it (the proper way to eat pizza), then you’re actually utilising mathematician Carl Gauss’s “theorem egregium” or the “remarkable theorem”. Read More >>

Playing Super Mario Brothers Is Like Solving a Super Hard Maths Problem

If you’ve ever been frustrated at your inability to complete a level of Super Mario Brothers, here’s a little something to cheer you up. Computer scientists have demonstrated that solving a level in the popular video game is tantamount to solving some of the hardest problems in computational science. Read More >>

We’ve Finally Solved the Mystery of How Monarch Butterflies Navigate for Thousands of Miles

Each year, the migratory monarch butterfly embarks on an extraordinary journey from eastern North America to central Mexico. A multidisciplinary team of scientists has now created a model circuit that finally explains how these insects are able to navigate across such vast distances. Read More >>

Vintage Mechanical Calculator Shows Why It’s a Bad Idea To Divide by Zero

Everyone learns in primary school that you can’t divide by zero, but few of us ever learn (or fully understand) why. The stock answer is that it gives you an answer of infinity. The truth is a bit more nuanced than that, and an old mechanical calculator offers the perfect illustration. Read More >>

This Fractal Generator is More Beautiful Than the Hypnotic Patterns it Creates

Designer Love Hultén is probably best known for his Pixel Vision, a tiny portable gaming machine made of wood that’s reminiscent of the folding Game Boy Advance. His latest creation doesn’t play games, but it does generate mesmerising fractals guaranteed to burn hours of time. Read More >>

British Professor Awarded for Solving Mathematical Mystery From 1637

Put your hands together for Sir Andrew Wiles. The 62-year-old University of Oxford professor has been awarded the Abel Prize by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters for his proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem, which has been troubling mathematicians since 1637. Read More >>