Life and Style

Johanes Kepler, who was born on 27 December 1771, was born near Stuttgart and made his foray into astronomy after he worked as a maths teacher in Graz, Austria - where he became an associate of Prince Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg.

Last Weekend: Do you want to know a secret? The only way is Bucks

Careless talk costs lives, but careful listening can save souls by the millions: that is the message at the Buckinghamshire home of the codebreakers who helped to turn around the Second World War and hasten Nazi Germany's fall.

Investment Column: SThree has the skills to keep growing

Hyder Consulting; Gooch & Housego

The maths of AV: A small step towards a fairer vote

The Yes and No to AV teams both say their voting system is fairer. But which is? We asked mathematician Tony Crilly to do the sums

Leaked memo reveals 'discovery of God particle'

It is the most elusive subatomic particle in the universe and its discovery could revolutionise nuclear physics.

Britons 'waste an average of £195 on mobile bills'

British mobile phone users are wasting an average of £195 a year on their mobile phone bills because they are on the wrong contract, a new report has found.

Professor Frank Bonsall: Leading mathematician of the post-war years who led research into functional analysis

Frank Bonsall was a distinguished mathematician and a significant figure in the mathematical life of the United Kingdom in the post-war years. His particular interest was functional analysis, a subject that unifies different parts of mathematical analysis within a single more abstract framework, and he was instrumental in raising its profile, particularly in Scotland and the north of England. His research work was characterised by its aesthetic simplicity, and his ability to focus on key ideas and strip out unnecessary complications.

Minor British Institutions: The cat flap

The cat flap, besides being especially popular in Britain, has claims to be our invention; by Isaac Newton, no less, who cut a hole in the door to his Cambridge rooms to allow his cat to come and go without interrupting the Newtonian cogitations. He then cut a smaller hole for its kittens.

Boyle, By Michael Hunter

Though his discoveries have been overshadowed by his younger contemporary Isaac Newton, this lucid and absorbing life reminds us that Robert Boyle "stands at the roots of British empiricism".

'I'm a writer. I've come to terms with that'

Gaynor Arnold tells James Kidd about her late career change, and how a Booker nomination can change your life

Carol Vorderman: When x + y = z, the goddess Algebra smiles, and I worship her

The Cambridge graduate explains her passion for the discipline that unlocks the secrets of our world

All the President's MythBusters

It's the TV show that's encouraging people to think about physics, history and things that go boom. Plus, says Nick Harding, Barack Obama is a big fan

Digital Digest: 15/11/2010

The Best Of The Web

Professor Benoit Mandelbrot: Mathematician whose development of fractal geometry increased our understanding of nature's complexity

The mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot is best known for his work in the field of fractal geometry. He told me that when he was seeking a word to describe his geometry, thumbing through his son's Latin dictionary he came across the word fractus, which translated as "broken, fractional, irregular". The most famous fractal is the Mandelbrot set, which generates a complex structure from simple rules.

Father of fractals dies at 85

The man whose mathematical method revolutionised our understanding of everything from economics to cauliflowers and coastlines has died of cancer at the age of 85.

Leading article: A beautiful mind

Scientific and mathematical geniuses are distinguished by a particular elegance of mind. Fiendish complexity becomes something the non-specialist can comprehend. Rarer still is the scientist whose mental elegance creates, or reveals, something of physical beauty. Watson and Crick might have staked a claim for the double helix that is the molecular structure of DNA.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform