As a historian of 18th-century London, it would be too predictable to choose Samuel Johnson's great Dictionary of 1775 as my choice for a book with enduring impact. There is no doubt that Johnson's work had a pivotal role in defining our modern language, but in terms of cultural significance, there's another book which is almost equally important: Ephraim Chambers's Cyclopaedia.
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Tuesday 03 May 2011
Monday 25 April 2011
It is the most elusive subatomic particle in the universe and its discovery could revolutionise nuclear physics.
Monday 11 April 2011
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
Monday 04 April 2011
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.
Saturday 26 February 2011
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.
Friday 18 February 2011
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".
Sunday 30 January 2011
Sunday 16 January 2011
Wednesday 15 December 2010
Monday 15 November 2010
Professor Benoit Mandelbrot: Mathematician whose development of fractal geometry increased our understanding of nature's complexity
Thursday 21 October 2010
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.
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
UK evangelist says Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber 'retiring from music'
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile