Our latest edition, Issue 05, is available now. Enjoy the articles online or scroll down to view the magazine as a PDF.
We chat to the chief scientific advisor to the Home Office about the role of scientists and mathematicians in politics
Rediscover linear algebra by playing with circuit diagrams
Explain the strange dynamics of certain insects using game theory
Fermat's Last Theorem with complex powers, wrapped in a story every mathematician can relate to
When slide rules used to rule... find out why they still do
Factorisation is often used in cryptography. But there's something even simpler which turns out to be just as hard.
Folding origami, building networks, making projections and multiple dimensions!
What is the real story behind the lady with the lamp?
Mary Somerville fights against social mores to become one of the leading mathematicians of her time.
Read more about the fire-breathing curves that appear on the cover of issue 05
Win £100 of Maths Gear goodies by solving our famously fiendish crossnumber
Mathematical fashion advice for an ever-changing world
Prof. Dirichlet tackles political arguments and werewolves in answering your personal problems
Part 4 of our mathematical comic's adventure
Solve the puzzles that appeared in Issue 05.
How to model bread making!
Are you feeling ideal? In your prime? Discover your inner mathematical object (plus handy term explainer).
Make calculations easy with this simple-to-make slide rule
The definitive chart of the circle's greatest parts
Vote for your favourite geometry instrument
The answers to the puzzles that appeared in issue 05
Download Issue 05 as a PDF
Our original prize crossnumber is featured on pages 58 and 59 of Issue 05.
- Although many of the clues have multiple answers, there is only one solution to the completed crossnumber. As usual, no numbers begin with 0. Use of Python, OEIS, Wikipedia, etc. is advised for some of the clues.
- One randomly selected correct answer will win a £100 Maths Gear goody bag. Three randomly selected runners up will win a Chalkdust t-shirt. The prizes have been provided by Maths Gear, a website that sells nerdy things worldwide, with free UK shipping. Find out more at mathsgear.co.uk
- To enter, submit the sum of the across clues via this form by 22 July 2017. Only one entry per person will be accepted. Winners will be notified by email and announced on our blog by 30 July 2017.
Maths is a fickle world. Stay à la mode with our guide to the latest trends.
HOT Maths memes
Even better if they’re royalty-free images, because it’s not cool to steal other folks’ cartoon-based work
Used to be full of fun maths; now full of people declaring the end of the world. Sad!
Moonlighting agony uncle Professor Dirichlet answers your personal problems. Want the prof’s help? Send your problems to email@example.com.
I personally have a very deep, long-held belief in free-market capitalism and the value of hard work, but I was recently shocked to discover when I switched subjects that most people in my new research area are staunch followers of Karl Marx! I’ve had many arguments with my new colleagues on this. I can feel my energy slowly draining with every passing debate. How do I resolve this?
— Feeling blue, Surreyv
These puzzles appeared in Issue 05 of the magazine.
Bread is a staple of many diets. From delicious garlic bread to crunchy pizza, it’s enjoyed throughout the world. But have you ever wondered what mathematics lies just beneath the crust? Thankfully DR Jefferson, AA Lacey and PA Sadd at Heriot-Watt University have! No? Well, we’re going to tell you anyway.
Bread dough is initially a bubbly liquid, with bubbles connected to other bubbles in a ‘matrix’. These bubbles will collapse, provided that both the temperature and temperature gradient are high enough. To start with, the bubbles at the surface (which is hotter than the interior) reach a temperature at which they are likely to fracture. At this point, the temperature gradient is also high, with plenty of cooler liquid dough nearby. However, when the temperature of the interior has increased sufficiently to allow the bubbles inside to burst, the temperature gradient is much lower, the matrix has set, there is less liquid dough nearby, and so less collapse can take place.
But that’s not all! We can refine the model by considering the movement of the ‘crust boundary’ (where bubbles collapse) as the dough rises, as well as the vaporisation of moisture inside the bubbles. Both of these allow for the transfer of heat and affect the thermodynamics of the whole process.
So in the future, please try to remember all the maths that worked hard to ensure the crustiness of your bread! And, on that note, we’re off to get pizza…
Jefferson DR, Lacey AA & Sadd PA 2007 Crust density in bread baking: Mathematical modelling and numerical solutions. Applied Mathematical Modelling 31 (2) 209–225.
Jefferson DR, Lacey AA & Sadd PA 2007 Understanding crust formation during baking. Journal of Food Engineering 75 (4) 515–521.
You will need
- a printed copy of these images (click to enlarge)
1. Cut out the two scales.
This issue, Top Ten features the top ten parts of a circle! Then vote here on the top ten geometry instruments for Issue 06!
At 10, and dangerously close to having a “(sic)” added after it: the center.
Beating its American cover version to number 9 this week: Stuck in the Centre with You by Stealers Wheel.