Topic: math

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How many LEGO combinations can be made with 6 standard bricks?

"How many ways can you put together six of these bricks?" This question, asked and answered in 1958 with an estimate of 103 million, has only recently been answered correctly, thanks to math professor Soren Eilers and...

Sunlight is way older than you think – TED Ed

The random walk problem -- the "mathematical formalization of a path that consists of a succession of random steps" -- can be applied to sunlight... not the sunlight that travels from the sun to Earth, which takes onl...

Chris K. Palmer’s origami tessellations – Flower Tower

Origami artist Chris K. Palmer specializes in complex origami tessellations -- "a flat surface is the tiling of a plane using one or more geometric shapes, called tiles, with no overlaps and no gaps" -- that he folds ...

The Ingenious Design of the Aluminum Beverage Can

When we first think of aluminum, we think of aluminum foil or aluminum cans, those ubiquitous containers that line beverage shelves in almost every grocery store. But have you ever thought about the decades of design ...

The science of solar eclipses: How do solar & lunar eclipses work?

How do solar & lunar eclipses work? And why don't we get eclipses every month? This Vox explainer is packed full of really interesting information about the remarkable science of solar eclipses. Find out how 5.1 d...

Fig. 1: How Much Sugar Are You Really Eating?

The average American eats 19.5 teaspoons (82 grams) of sugar every day... that's around 66 pounds of sugar every year for each person. How are we consuming that amount? From Fig. 1 by University of California, learn m...

3D-Printed “Blooming” Fibonacci Zoetrope Sculptures

Animation is a trick of the eye, and we're often reminded of this when we get to see animation happen right in front of us. 3D-printed zoetrope sculptures by math and Fibonacci-inspired artist and designer John Edmark...

The Dot & the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics (1965)

Winner of the Academy Award for Animated Short Film in 1965, and adapted from the celebrated book by Norton Juster, best-known for Phantom Tollbooth, this is The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics. Th...

Kokichi Sugihara’s Impossible Rooftop & Folding Ladder Illusions

File under impossible objects, this is the Impossible Rooftop Illusion or "Anti-Gravity Two Sided Roof" by Meiji University's Professor Kokichi Sugihara in 2013. Using computer software, Sugihara creates award-winning...

The Curiosity Show: Matchstick Triangle Puzzle

Get out some matchsticks or toothpicks and some Play-Doh! Deane Hutton, science educator and co-host of Australia’s The Curiosity Show, sets up two challenges that requires some hands-on creative thinking: 1. How ...

More Evidence Birds Can Count: Where’d that other mealworm go?

Researchers are eagerly tricking wild New Zealand robins, but it's FOR SCIENCE! Watch as this box with a sliding trick drawer helps Alexis Garland and Jason Low at Victoria University of Wellington observe the behavio...

How do we study the stars & measure extreme distances in space?

How can we know so much about other galaxies? What are they made of? How big are they? How far away are they from Earth? "Want to know the secrets of the universe? Just follow the light." These two TED Eds fro...

Pangraph v4: Making Spirocakes (Spirograph Pancakes)

Nathan Shields has been working on making spirograph pancakes for over a month. From his workshop to his kitchen, he's done the math, designed templates, made gear teeth on a bandsaw, tried out different materials, an...

Fourth graders create a solar powered classroom

When Aaron Sebens started talking about renewable energy with his fourth grade class, they kept coming back to their excitement about solar power and making it a more hands-on learning experience. How might they move ...

Eva Szasz’s Cosmic Zoom (1968)

From director Eva Szasz and the National Film Board of Canada, Cosmic Zoom (1968) is a wordless journey that attempts to demonstrate the scale of the universe. Beginning with a boy boating on the Ottawa River, we trav...

The Iron Genie Harmonograph

Watch artist Anita Chowdry's Iron Genie Harmonograph create intricate, spirograph-like drawings. Made of steel, it was inspired by mid-19th century harmonographs and St. Pancras Station's Victorian engineering. The vi...

The Ring of Truth: Noodles & the principle of halving

Chef Kin Jing Mark demonstrates how to make super-thin noodles and helps introduce the principle of halving in this clip from the PBS miniseries The Ring of Truth: An Inquiry Into How We Know What We Know - Atoms (198...

Understanding tether dynamics through kite flying

For Hilary Costello's ongoing Ph.D. research, she can be found inside at a computer, coding and writing equations, and outside flying kites in the wide open spaces of Cambridge University. Her goal: "design an aerodyn...

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