Highlights from Interbike 2014

Mathematics

Entanglement mixes you with everything (Photo: ShutterStock)

Quantum entanglement is the key to quantum computing, cryptography, and numerous other real-world applications of quantum mechanics. It is also one of the strangest phenomena in the Universe, overcoming barriers of space and time and knitting the entire cosmos into an integrated whole. Scientists have long thought that entanglement between two particles was a rare and fleeting phenomenon, so delicate that exposure of the particles to their surroundings would quickly destroy this linkage. Now mathematicians at Case Western University have shown that entanglement between parts of large systems is the norm, rather than being a rare and short-lived relationship.  Read More

Researchers at Tottori University have developed a mathematical equation designed to predi...

With Hollywood movie studios increasingly gambling astronomical sums of money on the next big thing, they might want to pay attention to the work being done by Akira Ishii at Tottori University. His research group claims to have developed a mathematical equation that combines advertising, word-of-mouth, and social networks to predict if a movie will be successful.  Read More

A tree that could benefit from the formulas devised by students at the University of Sheff...

For those who prefer something more traditional than the Treeasy, members of the University of Sheffield’s Maths society have devised a formula for the perfect Christmas tree in response to a challenge by U.K. department store Debenhams.  Read More

Students using the SynergyNet project's NumberNet desks

Mathematics has always been one of those subjects that poses a lot of difficulties for some young students. In the 3-year SynergyNet project conducted by Britain’s Durham University, however, it was found that something might help – multi-user multi-touch networked desks.  Read More

Fibonacci Cabinet comprises separate units which all follow the Fibonacci sequence

A traditional Chinese medicine cabinet features numerous deep drawers, all of the same dimensions. It's a piece of furniture that has remained unchanged for centuries thanks to the form being perfectly suited to its function. By applying some mathematical magic to the core design of the Chinese medicine cabinet, design studio Utopia has created Fibonacci Cabinet.  Read More

The Mosely Snowflake fractal, made from 49,000 folded business cards

An origami fractal made out of nearly 50,000 business cards is the first physical representation of the Mosely Snowflake three-dimensional fractal in the world. The sculpture was put together by more than 300 students and volunteers at the University of Southern California.  Read More

Slices of a Fano variety

Mathematicians are creating their own version of the periodic table that will provide a vast directory of all the possible shapes in the universe across three, four and five dimensions, linking shapes together in the same way as the periodic table links groups of chemical elements. The three-year project, announced today, should provide a resource that mathematicians, physicists and other scientists can use for calculations and research in a range of areas, including computer vision, number theory, and theoretical physics. For some mental exercise, check out these animations that have already been analyzed in the project.  Read More

An electric current applied to the brain could improve math skills (Image: Diego Silvestre...

If you’re one of the many people, yours truly included, who always found math class a bit on the difficult side then maybe all you needed was a jolt of electricity. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has been used as a psychiatric treatment since the 1930s and is still used today, most commonly as a treatment for severe depression. Now researchers are reporting that applying an electrical current to the brain could enhance a person’s mathematical performance for up to six months without impacting their other cognitive functions.  Read More

Jet lag is one of the major downsides of air travel (Photo: Noel McKeegan/Gizmag)

Research has established that exposure to light is the key to resetting the body’s internal clock to overcome the effects of jetlag. We’ve seen a number of devices that utilize this knowledge such as the Litebook and LED light glasses. Now researchers have developed a software program that could increase the effectiveness of such devices by prescribing a regimen for timed light exposure.  Read More

Robert Lang's Origami art

Robert Lang laughs in the face of your paper crane. This former NASA engineer and Ph.D in Physics has spent the last seven years as a professional Origami expert after using computer algorithms and ridiculous folding skills to come up with some of the most mind-bending paper art we've ever seen. One sheet of uncut paper in Lang's hands can become a beetle, a dinosaur, an elk or an organist sitting at a keyboard. Using his freeware computer software, he can show you how to make just about anything you like. And through his theories on the mathematics of folding, he has come to find himself consulting on a range of fascinating projects that extend the art into practical and industrial uses - his advanced techniques have been used to pack automobile airbags and even fold up the lens of a space telescope for transport and deployment. Amazing stuff.  Read More

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