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.
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Sunday 17 October 2010
Benoit Mandelbrot, the Polish-born mathematician who played a central role in Chaos theory, has died at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, aged 85, of cancer.
Wednesday 06 October 2010
Friday 01 October 2010
After encountering the weird odds and ends in this book of scientific quirks – the "Halifax gibbet", invented for the dispatch of Yorkshire miscreants, was a predecessor of the guillotine; heroin, invented by the Bayer company, takes its name from heroisch because it made one user feel heroic; an Indiana mathematician persuaded his state to grant him a patent for pi at the incorrect value of 3.2 – the reader may recall a TV programme that specialises in unlikely revelations.
Thursday 02 September 2010
The universe was not created by God, scientist Stephen Hawking has said in his new book.
Thursday 12 August 2010
To be precise: there are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different possible configurations of the coloured squares on any Rubik's Cube. Yet now researchers have calculated that you're never more than 20 moves away from solving the famous puzzle.
Friday 02 July 2010
A Russian mathematician has rejected a $1m (£700,000) prize for solving one of the most challenging problems because he considers it unfair.
Sunday 23 May 2010
Friday 26 March 2010
A book charting the frontier between handicrafts and geometry on Friday won Britain's quirkiest literary award, the Diagram Prize for year's oddest book title.
Friday 26 March 2010
Sunday 14 March 2010
Shares in John Maynard Keynes are rising, and Peter Clarke's elegant, succinct biography could not be more timely. The first half is a chronological account of Keynes's life, reminding us what a polymath the man was. As well as the most influential economist of the 20th century, he was a mathematician and philosopher whose first published work was a treatise on probability, an essayist and journalist, an adviser to governments, and friend of most of the leading intellectuals of his day. (Bertrand Russell described him as the cleverest man he ever knew, and said that every time he argued with Keynes he felt as though he was taking his life in his hands.)
Thursday 11 February 2010
My relationship with Horizon has been a bit rocky of late. We were pretty much inseparable back in the Eighties, but recently it's been nothing but bickering and rows. I've often thought about cutting my losses entirely and going for a clean break, perhaps even dating other science strands less obsessed with cosmetics and celebrities. The only problem is that there aren't any out there, and certainly none that can match the memories I have with Horizon. Also, every now and then, something clicks and I remember what made me fall in love in the first place. It happened last night, with Stephen Cooter's "To Infinity and Beyond", a dizzyingly enjoyably attempt to net the ineffable. It won't, I think, have been one for the real puritans, those for whom a Seventies Open University physics module remains the apogee of science broadcasting. But I thought it was close to exemplary in its quiet wit and patience and relish for paradox.
Friday 22 January 2010
This year the Royal Society celebrates its 350th birthday. The "Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge" was founded on 28 November 1660, when a dozen "ingenious and curious gentlemen" met at Gresham College, London, after a lecture by Christopher Wren, the 28-year-old Professor of Astronomy, and decided to found "a Colledge for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematicall Experimentall Learning." Among the signatories of that historic memorandum were Wren, chemist Robert Boyle, clergyman and polymath John Wilkins, Sir Robert Moray, and mathematician William, Viscount Brouncker.
Monday 18 January 2010
Saturday 09 January 2010
Friday 08 January 2010
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
- 1 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 2 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Cocaine and cannabis haul hidden in Vatican car seized by French police