Archive for the ‘Mathematics’ Category

Blood Vessel in Eye Spells the Word “Love”

May 7, 2014

Bloodshot eyes appear red because the blood vessels in the surface of the white portion of the eye (sclera) become swollen. This may result from dry air, too much sun, dust, something in the eye, allergies, infection, or injury.

And while a million monkeys typing for a million years will not reproduce Shakespeare’s work, 7 billion humans on Earth with 14 billion eyeballs will eventually create an eyeball which is capable of spelling the word ‘love’ using small blood vessels called capillaries.

See:

Blood Vessel Spells Love

Nature by Numbers

January 27, 2013

The Fibonacci Sequence is the series of numbers:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, …

The next number is found by adding up the two numbers before it — and it is in nature …

How Big Is Infinity?

January 17, 2013

Using the fundamentals of set theory, explore the mind-bending concept of the “infinity of infinities” — and how it led mathematicians to conclude that math itself contains unanswerable questions.

A clever way to estimate enormous numbers

October 6, 2012

Have you ever tried to guess how many pieces of candy there are in a jar? Or tackled a mindbender like: “How many piano tuners are there in Chicago?” Physicist Enrico Fermi was very good at problems like these — learn how he used the power of 10 to make amazingly fast estimations of big numbers.

The World’s Hardest Sudoku

July 25, 2012

So. You think you’re smart. Well, Finnish mathematician Arto Inkala challenges you to a game of sudoku, the hardest one ever constructed (on the scale of 1 to 5 as rated by difficulty, this sudoku goes all the way to 11):

Learn more here. (Give up? Here’s the answer)

How Folding Paper Can Get You to the Moon

May 30, 2012

Can folding a piece of paper 45 times get you to the moon? By seeing what happens when folding just one piece of paper, we see the unbelievable potential of exponential growth. This lesson will leave you wanting to grab a piece of paper to see how many times you can fold it!

Some computer games are hard, and that’s mathematically official

April 16, 2012

If you have ever struggled to complete classic Nintendo games, don’t feel bad – they are officially difficult.

An analysis of the computational complexity of video games, including those in the Mario and Legend of Zelda series, proves that many of them belong to a class of mathematical problems called NP-hard. This means that for a given game level, it can be very difficult to work out whether it is possible for a player to reach the end. Learn more here.

Your mathematical probability of being wrong is high

November 26, 2011

Probability theory is the branch of mathematics concerned with analysis of random phenomena. In most four-choice multiple choice questions, your probability of being correct is 1 in 4. Not so with this question:

Our changing world

December 6, 2010

See how the entire human population is slowly getting rich and healthier:

Can you fold paper in half 12 times

August 7, 2010

A popular belief holds that it is impossible to fold a sheet of paper in half more than 7 times.

Suppose that you start with an standard A4 sheet of paper – about 300 mm long, and about 0.05 mm thick.

The first time you fold it in half, it becomes 150 mm long and 0.1 mm thick. The second fold takes it to 75 mm long and 0.2 mm thick. By the 8th fold (if you can get there), you have a blob of paper 1.25 mm long, but 12.8 mm thick. It’s now thicker than it is long, and, if you’re trying to bend it, seems to have the structural integrity of steel.

In fact, if you had a sheet of paper, and folded it in half 50 times, how thick would it be? The answer is about 100 million kilometres, which is about two thirds of the distance between the Sun and the Earth.

In fact it is possible to fold paper 12 times you would need about 1.2 km of paper. A high school student called Britney Gallivan did  it in 2002.

After some searching she found a roll of special toilet paper that would suit her needs – and that cost US $85. With her parents, she rolled out the jumbo toilet paper, marked the halfway point, and folded it the first time. It took a while, because it was a long way to the end of the paper. Then she folded the paper the second time, and then again and again.

After seven hours, she folded her paper for the 11th time into a skinny slab, about 80 cm wide and 40 cm high, and posed for photos. She then folded it another time to get that 12th fold. Read more here or here.


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