Mathematics

If you fold an A4 sheet of paper 103 times its thickness will roughly be the size of the Universe

Whaaaat? It’s just a matter of math, really. Fold an A4 once and it will be twice as thick, fold it again and it will be four times as thick as it initially was. Turns out, according to Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, if you do this 103 times the sheet’s thickness will be larger than the observable Universe: […]

These architectural wonders were built by robots

University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design (ICD) is a state of the art research facility that seeks to solve complex structural problems by mimicking nature. Every year, the institute demonstrates how natural biological constructions can be used to solve design problems by building a new research wing. The results are nothing short of breath taking. […]

Invisibility cloak could help protect cities from earthquakes

French researchers say they are close to developing seismic ‘invisibility cloaks’ which would cancel out potentially hazardous earthquake shockwaves, protecting key buildings or even entire cities. Nuclear power plants especially, and potentially entire cities could be cloaked using this technology – if the researchers’ theories are true (which seems highly likely). They believe that by drilling boreholes […]

Monkeys can do math, study proves

It’s long been supposed that monkeys are capable of mental arithmetics, but it was only recently that this was proven for a fact by neuroscientists at the Margaret Livingstone of Harvard Medical School in Boston. The researchers taught three rhesus macaques to identify symbols representing the numbers zero to 25, then when given the choice […]

Gesturing is a powerful tool for children’s math learning

Children who use their hands to gesture during a math lesson gain a much deeper understanding of the concepts and methods discussed, according to new research from University of Chicago’s Department of Psychology. It’s already a pretty much accepted fact that gesturing accentuates children learning – it was already established by several studies that gestures […]

Making Asimov proud: New algorithm can detect where atrocities will occur

If you’re a sci-fi geek like me, you’ve most likely read at least a few Asimov novels, and you know what psychohistory is – a fictional science which combines history, sociology, and mathematical statistics to make general predictions about the future behavior of very large groups of people. Now, researchers have made important steps towards […]

Perpetual motion machines still an impossibility – even in the quantum world

New research shows that negative absolute temperatures and perpetual motion machines are still out of reach, no matter how you tackle it, and no matter how small you try to make it. The concept of a perpetual motion machine has been an enticing one since it was first thought of. Unfortunately, it’s doomed to fail […]

Practice, not talent, makes you good at math

A recent study from  the Norwegian University of Science and Technology aims to overthrow the long standing assumption that being good at most forms of math is an innate ability. The researchers found that if you want to be good at multiple types of mathematics, you need to practice them all since relying on one good […]

Polynesian people used binary numbers 600 years ago, way before Leibnitz

Binary arithmetic, the basis of all virtually digital computation today, is usually said to have been invented at the start of the eighteenth century by the German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz. But a new study shows that the system might have actually been invented way before that, in the 1400s, by people of the tiny Pacific […]

Predicting pandemic outbreaks by looking at air traffic

The world is getting smaller by the day, as fixed geographical distances become easier and more accessible for the common folk to travel. What this means is that a lot of things change as well, including the day diseases are carrier and spread throughout the world. Only a century ago, the number one mean of […]

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